Housing News Roundup: March 10, 2015 | How Housing Matters

Housing News Roundup: March 10, 2015

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As Buyers Moved Out of Single-Family Homes, Renters Moved In

The mortgage-industry driven collapse of the housing market presented many people across the country with the chance to rent homes that were originally built for sale to single families. The number of single-family rental properties climbed from 10.5 million units in 2005 to 14.2 million units in 2013 — an increase of 35 percent. But, as the economy recovers and more people can afford to buy again, what’s in store for these units and their residents? And did the conversion of single-family homes to rental uncover a previously unmet demand?

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Source: CityLab

Report Finds the ‘Sweet Spot’ of Affordable Housing, Solid Job Growth

Some areas of the country are experiencing impressive job growth. Others have quality affordable housing. And some are in that “sweet spot” of both, according to a new report that charts both the health of local economies and the availability of affordable housing. Dallas, Houston and Atlanta are among the most financially appealing.

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Source: Wall Street Journal

University of Chicago Program in Search of New Urban Policy Interventions

The University of Chicago has announced a new competition to foster and fund innovative urban policy interventions. The program could award as much as $1 million over two years for strategies that address energy and the environment, health and/or poverty. “We know that these problems are tremendously interrelated,” said David Meltzer, director of the new Health Lab and medical professor. “It’s one thing to be sick. It’s a much more difficult thing to be sick and poor and in a neighborhood that’s so unsafe that people won’t come to help you. So the interactions are myriad.”

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Source: Next City

N.J Court Ruling to Force Towns to Comply with Affordable Housing Obligations

With a unanimous 6-0 decision, the New Jersey Supreme Court will allow residents to sue towns that they believe have not lived up to their legal obligation to provide affordable housing. The ruling will take effect in 90 days. The ruling “will present an avenue for low- and moderate-income New Jersey citizens, and entities acting on their behalf, to challenge any municipality that is believed not to have developed a housing element and ordinances that bring the town into compliance with its fair share of regional present and prospective need for affordable housing,” wrote Justice Jaynee Lavecchia.

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Source: Philadelphia Inquirer

Salary Needed to Afford Median-Priced Housing Varies Dramatically Across the Country

Clearly illustrating that defining “affordable” can be a matter of map coordinates, a new report outlines the annual salary a household would need in order to afford a median-priced home in 27 U.S. metro areas. Pittsburgh was the least expensive, with a salary of $31,716, while San Francisco topped the list at $142,448. The calculation assumes a 20 percent down payment and that 28 percent of the monthly gross goes to paying interest, taxes and insurance.

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Source: Washington Post

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