Housing News Roundup: March 13, 2015 | How Housing Matters

Housing News Roundup: March 13, 2015

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Critics Push for HUD Reverse Mortgage Policy Changes to Protect Widowed Seniors

Advocates for consumers and the rights of seniors believe a new HUD policy could force widowed homeowners who’d been married to spouses with reverse mortgages out of their homes and potentially onto the streets. The new policy was written to stop foreclosures and evictions, but the new eligibility requirements are overly restrictive, critics contend. “HUD needs to go back to the drawing table on this policy and it needs to fully disclose how it is making this policy, how many people are potentially affected, and what the costs and benefits are with various options,” said Odette Williamson, staff attorney at the National Consumer Law Center.

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Source: Housing Wire

Arizona Bill Could End Tempe’s Inclusionary Zoning Plans

The city of Tempe’s efforts to ensure housing availability for its low-income residents could be in danger due to a proposed state senate bill that would prohibit developers from setting aside housing for specific groups. While the bill’s proponents say the legislation would only clarify existing laws, opponents such as Tempe City Councilman Kolby Granville believe it would impede the city’s work to prevent it from becoming a place “where people who work for $8 an hour have to get bused in 50 miles to go to work because they can’t afford to live in that community.”

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Source: Arizona Republic

Poll Puts Educational, Economic Opportunities as Most Important When Finding a Home

Most Americans place educational and economic opportunities at the top of the list of what they look for when choosing a place to live, according to a new poll. Approximately 90 percent of respondents placed these two factors ahead of other factors such as racial, ethnic or political diversity.

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Source: CityLab

Report: LGBT Women at Heightened Risk of Economic Insecurity

LGBT women are among the demographics most at-risk of economic security, which — when combined with discrimination and stigmatization — can severely impede their ability to secure and maintain ideal housing. The report, co-authored by the Movement Advancement Project and the Center for American Progress, found that nearly 30% of bisexual women and 23% of lesbian women live in poverty, compared to 21% of heterosexual women.

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Source: Huffington Post

Mass. Housing Community Designed for Seniors, Families Who Adopt from Foster Care

Developers in Easthampton, Mass., have finished construction of a master-planned affordable housing community specially designed for seniors and families who adopt from foster care. In addition to the emphasis on affordability, the 46-acre village includes deeded open space, higher-density development than permitted under normal zoning ordinances, a walking/pedestrian system and energy-efficient housing. The community development project took more than a decade to complete.

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Source: Housing Finance

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