Housing News Roundup: April 29, 2015 | How Housing Matters
News Roundup

Housing News Roundup: April 29, 2015

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Neighborhood Disparities Tell the Story of Baltimore’s Racial Divide

Two neighborhood maps of Baltimore show few vacant buildings in the largely white areas of the city, while in the predominantly black areas — in particular, the neighborhood where Freddie Gray, whose death prompted this week’s riots in the city, lived — 34 percent of residential properties are vacant or abandoned. Generational poverty in the Sandtown neighborhood has left residents with a void of hope and opportunities.

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Sources: Washington Post, Baltimore Sun

Report Finds Serious Problems in NYC’s Spending on Homeless Shelters

New York City has spent $1.7 billion to support its shelter system since 2010 — and as much as $241 million of that has gone to buildings with extensive health and safety violations. Violations in the 24 facilities receiving city funds range from dead vermin to blocked fire escapes to broken smoke detectors. The new findings about the city’s deficient shelter system come at a time when it’s needed more than ever. Since 2010, the number of homeless families looking for shelter in New York City rose from 37,000 to top 60,000 as of late 2015.

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Source: New York Daily News

3,000 Affordable Homes to Be Renovated, Stay Affordable

Analysts say the purchaser of more than 3,000 affordable homes spread across 10 cities is perfectly positioned to keep the units affordable. Related Cos. purchased the portfolio of affordable housing for more than $270 million, or about $87,750 per unit. The company will also spend $262 million in renovations. “During 2008 and 2009 when you couldn’t get a construction loan to save your life and development ground to a halt, those were some of the busiest years that I had because affordable housing preservation continues to march on,” said Matthew Finkle, president of Related’s affordable housing division.

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Source: Wall Street Journal

Report: Millennials Don’t Know About the Mortgage Process, Don’t Care About the Mortgage Process

When it comes to mortgages, ignorance isn’t bliss — it’s a recipe for financial ruin. That’s especially bad news for Millennials. According a recent survey of people looking to buy a home in the next 18 months, 42% said they aren’t at all concerned with their lack of knowledge about mortgage lending. Of that group, 42% were Millennials. “The lack of home-buying activity from Millennials thus far is decidedly not because this generation isn’t interested in homeownership, but instead because younger Americans have been delaying getting married and having children, two key drivers in the decision to buy that first home. As this generation matures, they will become a home-buying force to be reckoned with.” According to Housing Wire, that means it’s also time for Millennials to get educated about the home-buying process.

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Source: Housing Wire

Widening Disparities in U.S.

The United States’ income inequality is fueling the nation’s continued social disparity, according to a new analysis of 34 industrialized nations by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. “On nearly all indicators of mortality, survival and life expectancy, the United States ranks at or near the bottom among high-income countries,” said a report by the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine. While the country is the most prosperous in the world, it is not spending nearly enough to support people in the bottom half of income. There’s great debate over how to turn this trend around, but the answer remains elusive.

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Source: New York Times

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