Housing News Roundup: February 5, 2015 | How Housing Matters

Housing News Roundup: February 5, 2015

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Head of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Doesn’t Plan on Big Changes Yet

While the housing market continues to improve, the new director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency has indicated that he’s unlikely to make any major changes at Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac in the near future. Mel Watt has initiated a number of smaller strategies designed to strengthen the housing market, including encouraging home down payments as low as 3%.

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Source: New York Times

Auburn Program Could Make $20,000 Houses a Market Reality

An Auburn University program that has worked since 1993 to, among other things, design $20,000 homes is close to making some of the plans available on the open market. “It’s a resource that could be used and replicated in rural communities, that could be affordable housing or supportive housing,” says Katrina Van Valkenburgh, a managing director at CSH, a nonprofit focused on supportive housing.

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Source: City Lab

How Public Housing is Changing, and What That Means

Over the past two decades, traditional public housing has gradually been replaced in many areas with mixed-income developments targeting a wider economic demographic. However, whether this strategy has been successful depends on how success is defined and who is asked.

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Source: The Conversation

Number of Renter-Occupied Residences Climbing as More Millennials Leave Home

Powered by a growing job market and more Millennials ready to move out of their parents’ homes for good, the number of renter-occupied residences in the United States grew by about 2 million in the past year. There’s a “pent-up demand for housing that’s built up as young people waited longer to enter the housing market,” said Jed Kolko, chief economist for San Francisco-based real estate researcher Trulia Inc. “All of the reported household formation is new renter households.”

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Source: Bloomberg

Are Urban or Suburban Areas Growing Faster? It’s Complicated

Knowing where and why populations are growing is important when forming long-term affordable housing strategies. A recent analysis has found that while suburban areas are growing faster than urban areas overall, the reality is more complex.

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Source: City Lab

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