Housing News Roundup: April 12, 2018
How Widespread Is Eviction? New Data Paint an Alarming Picture
A new database assembled from 83 million eviction court records shows that landlords had the legal right to remove at least 1 in 50 renter households in the regions covered by the data in 2016. The calculations include households that were involved in a legal process but did not include households that moved with informal warning, so estimates are likely conservative. Are landlord-tenant laws working for everyone in the system?
Source: New York Times
Seattle’s Plan for Sanctioned Parking Lots for Vehicle Dwellers Failed. Now What?
Seattle’s strategy to build sanctioned parking lots of homeless people to sleep in their vehicles failed, and the city has no alternative to meet the needs of vehicle residents. Vehicle camping makes up 40 percent of King County’s unsheltered population, and as Seattle struggles for a solution, three vehicle residents have died since January. “If we had any pride in what we were trying to do, for the dignity of people, we would have provided something more hospitable” than the current parking lot, said Bill Kirlin-Hackett, director of the Interfaith Task Force on Homelessness.
Source: Seattle Times
The Twin Cities Don’t Have Enough Affordable Housing for Domestic Violence Survivors
Housing is the primary need for domestic violence survivors, but Twin Cities advocates say the region’s high rents and low vacancies have made housing less available. A recent, first-of-its-kind survey found that 29 percent of Minnesota’s homeless have experienced domestic violence, and more than 40 percent were told there were no available housing resources or shelter. Ho Nguyen, from the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women, noted that the housing and domestic violence worlds “really never necessarily intersected in a way that fully supported victims and survivors.”
Source: Pioneer Press
Atlanta Advocates Say Contract-for-Deed Agreements Violate the Fair Housing Act
Zachary Anderson thought he owned the house he purchased several years ago, until his brother found that public records showed the owner was a corporation. Anderson had entered into a contract for deed, an arrangement common in the 1950s and 1960s when African Americans did not have access to conventional lending practices that some experts say are more predatory today than they used to be. Now, advocates in Atlanta say that these arrangements are racially discriminatory and violate the Fair Housing Act.
Source: The Atlantic
Los Angeles County Might Lose Billions Worth of Affordable Housing in Next Five Years
According to a recent draft report, Los Angeles County is at risk of losing about $3 billion worth of affordable housing in the next five years because of public-private development, gentrification, tax reform, and other factors. Southern California director for the California Housing Partnership Corporation, the organization that authored the report, said that in 2017, the county saw a 21 percent decline in tax credit funding for new affordable housing “that will play out over the next couple years.”