Housing News Roundup: October 29, 2015
Artist Housing Proposed for Chicago's Historic Pullman Neighborhood
A proposal to develop low-income, artist housing in Chicago’s Pullman neighborhood is reaping varied reactions. Although many residents see the proposed Pullman Artspace Lofts as a positive contribution to the neighborhood, others feel it will not integrate into the historic district that dates back to the 1880s. The proposed site sits two blocks from the Pullman Historic District that was recently declared a national monument. Since the site’s declaration, an initiative lead by the National Parks Conservation Association and the Chicago chapter of American Institute of Architects has spurred increased attention to the area through the resulting report “Positioning Pullman”. The collaboration between Artspace, Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives and PullmanArts, if approved, will resides between two existing historic apartment buildings that would be revitalized through the project.
Source: Chicago Tribune
Early Lead Tests Proposed for Maryland Children
Mandatory lead poisoning testing is being proposed for all Maryland 1 and 2 year olds by Governor Larry Hogan’s administration. The change could ensure that an estimated 175,000 children will be tested for the chemical in their first two years. Current mandated screening programs are focused only on low-income children and those living in areas with housing built before 1950. The administration is proposing the expansion in an attempt to detect early exposure and address sources of lead. Lead poisoning was once a widespread health problem for the state, which has experienced a 97 percent decline in the number of children poisoned since tightened oversight of lead-paint in older homes was introduced in the 1990s. The proposal comes after this year’s expansion of oversight to include rental homes built before 1978, the year that lead paints designed for home interiors were banned nationally.
Source: Baltimore Sun
To Retain Teachers, Bay Area Gets Into Housing
School districts in Oakland, San Francisco and other Bay Area cities are proposing affordable housing developments designed to house local teachers. Jody London, an Oakland school board member says “It might not be our core competency, but we have a real problem right now attracting teachers.” San Francisco mayor Ed Lee announced last week that he plans to build 100 affordable apartments for teachers and school staff on city-owned property, a move the city’s teachers union supports. The Bay Area is modeling its program after other California cities and counties. Ten years ago, community colleges in San Mateo developed apartments for employees. Some believe the housing would not retain teachers because it would not support enough of the teachers. In addition to limited units, depending on income limitations, the housing may be more accessible to staff like janitors than to teachers.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
Los Angeles County Establishes Affordable Housing Fund
Los Angeles county supervisors unanimously voted to establish an ambitious affordable housing fund. The housing fund proposed by supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Mary Ridley-Thomas will start with $20 million next year and increase over the next five years to $100 million. Established with the goal of addressing growing homeless in the region, the fund will support the construction and maintenance of affordable housing in the county. The supervisors do not have a clear plan for financing the fund, but have encouraged the county chief executive to incorporate the fund in the counties $28 billion budget next year. Although the source of the funds has not yet been established, both the city and county of Los Angeles are investing in efforts to decrease the area’s homeless populations, which stands at 44,000.
Source: The LA Times
Mayor Looks to Salt Lake City for Solution to Central Florida’s Homeless Crisis
Increased homelessness among children in Central Florida has prompted Orange County’s Mayor Teresa Jacobs to take action. According to a recent report by the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness, last year 1-in-17 children were homeless in Orange, Osceola and Seminole Counties. Mayor Jacobs is leading a cohort of 71 local representatives from government, business and non-profit sectors on a two-day tour of Salt Lake City due to the emerging reports on the mounting crisis. The leaders of Central Florida are looking to learn about Salt Lake City’s policies on reducing homelessness, which have been heralded as the most successful in the nation. One of the keys to Salt Lake City’s success has been the collaboration of faith and business communities with elected officials.
Source: The Orlando Sentinel