Housing News Roundup: April 1, 2015
Analysis: Increased Access to College Isn’t the Answer to Income Inequality
Sending more people to college would increase the salaries and income security of middle- and lower-income Americans, but it’s not the solution to the problem of income inequality, according to a new study from researchers at the Upjohn Institute and the University of Maryland. The researchers calculated that if 6.8 million American men without a college education suddenly had one, annual incomes would increase across the board, with typical workers seeing an additional $3,020 per year. However, this would barely make a dent in the nation’s income disparity.
Source: Washington Post
Berkeley’s Novel Approach to Adding Affordable Housing
The city of Berkeley may relax housing regulations that govern the size and location of secondary units — or in-law units — as a way of adding much-needed affordable housing. Currently, secondary units can either be up to 750 square feet or 75 percent the size of the main residence; the new policy would remove a $2,000 user permit fee and minimum lot requirements. Mayor Tom Bates said the proposed policy change would provide affordable housing while also making it easier to age in place, as residents would also have space for caretakers.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
Questioning Olympic Priorities in Boston
Hundreds of Boston residents turned out to a public meeting this week to voice their concerns that officials were prioritizing a 2024 Olympics bid over the city’s need for improved transit infrastructure and more affordable housing. Cassie Hurd, of the Boston Homeless Solidarity Committee, believes that the problems faced by low-income residents and the homeless will only get worse unless something is done now, saying that “Indirect displacement is completely preventable.”
Source: Boston Globe
What We Know About Aging in Place
Just shy of its 30th anniversary, New York City’s Naturally Occurring Retirement Community Supportive Service Program has released a report on the effectiveness of the program, which provides social workers, nurses and other support staff to help community residents age in place. The report determined that Supportive Service Programs contribute to good health and safe aging, while also fostering a sense of community. “Connectedness to other people (not just service providers) and the broader community is a determinant of well-being in old age.”
Analysts Foresee Higher Housing Prices Ahead
Early signs suggest a strong spring and summer housing market is coming. Analysts point to the state of mortgage rates, housing supply and housing demand as reasons to be upbeat about the chance of seeing increases in housing prices. The seasonally adjusted index of pending home sales in February was its highest since June 2013, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Source: Wall Street Journal