Housing News Roundup: March 9, 2015 | How Housing Matters

Housing News Roundup: March 9, 2015

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When ‘Mobile’ Housing Becomes a More Permanent Solution

The “mobile” in the name of the New Jersey community of Edison Mobile Estates is a misnomer. While it began as a trailer and camper park for Ford employees in the 1950s, it has transitioned into a community of affordable manufactured housing — which is especially important in a state where a resident must make $24.92 per hour in order to afford a two-bedroom apartment without shelling out more than 30 percent of their monthly income.

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Source: MyCentralJersey.com

Affordable Housing Lenders Look to Secondary Markets in 2015

Lending for affordable housing development could increase significantly in 2015, according to some experts. Investors and developers interested in affordable housing are positioned to benefit from a “perfect storm” borrowing environment this year, a result of the mortgage-interest benchmark dropping below 2% and an increase in lenders. Lenders’ interest in secondary markets is expected to rise due to heavy competition and high construction costs in top-tier metros. “There’s a lot of capital chasing deals,” said Phil Melton, senior managing director with Hunt Mortgage Group. “And that means lots of options for ­borrowers.” However, waning gap financing sources may threaten affordable housing deals in the future unless replacement sources are found.

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Source: Affordable Housing Finance

Homeless Shelter a Component of Reno’s Successful Revitalization

Downtown Reno businesses initially voiced opposition to the inclusion of a homeless shelter in the area’s revitalization, but the reality has won over the skeptics. The Community Assistance Center, which provides homeless services as well as emergency and permanent supportive housing, has improved public safety in the area while offering more cost-effective assistance to a population in need. “There’s a difference between ending homelessness for individuals and for a community,” says Sandy Isham of the Volunteers of America, which co-operates the facility. “We can end homelessness one person at a time, but crisis is a part of the human condition. … People lose their jobs, they go through divorces, they become physically disabled — that’s why you need to have services to help people get through.”

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Source: Next City

NYC Developers Needs to Look to Suburbs for Housing Opportunities

New York City is focused on adding affordable housing — but is it focusing on the wrong areas? Some housing and urban policy experts believe that by emphasizing new developments in Manhattan, rather than in the city’s suburbs, people are still not being given the opportunities to live where they want to, while housing prices in the city also remain high.

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Source: Capital New York

Low Wages a Continued Drag on the Economy’s Recovery

Unemployment might be down to its lowest rate since 2008, but that doesn’t mean the jobs being filled today are necessarily equal to those lost during the Great Recession. Low wages continue to be an impediment to continued economic recovery, a combination of highly-paid Baby Boomers retiring and young workers being made to start at lower salaries than their predecessors.

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Source: New York Times

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