Housing News Roundup: March 11, 2015 | How Housing Matters

Housing News Roundup: March 11, 2015

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Targeted Funding Could Cut Poverty in NYC by Nearly 70%

Investing between $6.4 billion and $9 billion in government programs already in place could help reduce poverty in New York City by as much as 69%, according to a new study from the Urban Institute. The targeted spending would go toward programs such as tax credits for seniors, housing vouchers, child care subsidies and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program. Approximately 20% of New York City’s residents live in poverty.

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Source: Wall Street Journal

Even After the Bubble Burst, Homes Sales Bidding Wars Live On

The housing bubble’s bidding wars seem to have survived the market collapse, obscuring homeownership affordability for potential buyers. As recently as the 1990s a listing price was viewed as a seller’s ceiling, but it is increasingly being used as a starting point for multiple buyers bidding against each other, which can cause price inflation and muddy the waters for first-time buyers. “The persistence of this suggests that people have decided that this is a good way to think about selling these kinds of goods,” said William Strange, an economist at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, “selling housing in a more auction-like way.”

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Source: Washington Post

NLIHC: Low-Income Renters’ Needs Aren’t Being Met

While approximately 10.3 million U.S. renters are considered extremely low income (ELI), with incomes at or below 30% of the area median, only 3.2 million affordable housing units are potentially available to these renters. A new report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) found that none of the 50 largest U.S. metro areas had more than 47 affordable units available for every 100 ELI households. “This country has been neglecting the needs of ELI households for far too long, and as a result we need more than 7 million affordable units to meet the current demand,” said Sheila Crowley, president and CEO of the NLIHC.

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Source: Affordable Housing Finance

NYC’s Homeless Look to Airports for a Place to Stay Warm

With New York City’s homeless population continuing to climb — an estimated 60,000 people sleep in shelters every night — more are turning to the LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy International airports for a safe and warm place to stay. “It’s a public space,” said Carmen Keaton, Volunteers of America’s director of community case management and facility operations. “You have a place to bathe. You have a place to eat. You have a place to panhandle for money, and a warm facility.”

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Source: Crain's New York

California City Puts the Promise of Self-Driving Cars Above Expanding Bus Lanes

The city council of Sunnyvale, Calif., has voted to oppose dedicated bus lanes, despite evidence that it would minimally affect drivers while approximately halving transit times for those living farther from job centers. “The travel time savings from a bus today to a dedicated lane bus would be so significant that it would make it an alternative for people who don’t see it as an alternative today,” said Sunnyvale Public Works Director Manuel Pineta. Council members preferred a mixed flow of cars and buses in anticipation of self-driving cars cutting down on future traffic congestion. “When cars are actually autonomous and speak to each other, they will be packed more densely on the roads, and they won’t be creating that congestion,” according to Council member David Whittum.

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Source: StreetsBlog SF

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