Housing News Roundup: April 14, 2015
Food Insecurity Remains Stagnant
The United States’ food insecurity rate in 2013 was 15.8%, barely down from the previous year’s rate of 15.9% and still a long ways from pre-Great Recession levels of 11%, according to a new report by food bank network Feeding America. “While we’re starting to see some improvements in the economy, food insecurity stays at stubbornly high levels,” said Elaine Waxman, head of research for Feeding America. Feeding America runs more than 60,000 food pantries, which rely on donations to help those people who also rely on government assistance.
Source: NBC News
Wealthier Americans Benefit the Most from Housing Subsidies
A recent analysis by the Lincoln Land Institute of Housing Policy found that the nation’s well-off benefit far more than its poor from federal housing subsidies. The study, which included budgeted programs and tax expenditures, found that approximately three times as many subsidies (in actual dollars) go to areas of white affluence than to areas of nonwhite poverty. The largest subsidy is the home mortgage interest deduction. According to University of Minnesota professor Edward Goetz, a lack of understanding about this reality negatively impacts expenditures for public housing. “I think it’s an uncomfortable conversation. I don’t think that policymakers … want to talk about policy in terms of race and the distribution of benefits across races. I think in housing policy, there’s precedent for camouflaging all of this by talking about poverty instead of race.”
Source: Next City
Bulk Buyers are Straining the Housing Market for Individuals, Families
Add one more obstacle to the many potential homeowners must face before they find a place of their own: bulk buyers snatching up properties sight unseen. “They’re outbidding all of us,” said Brian O’Neal, a Realtor in a southeastern suburb of Atlanta. Investors are increasingly using mathematical models to find homes for sale and calculate whether they’re worth the investment — sometimes in a matter of only a few minutes.
Source: Wall Street Journal
Which Metro Areas Have the Highest Percentage of Kids — and Why?
Metro areas with a large working class, a high number of immigrants and a significant Latino population are also more likely to have a greater percentage of their population be children. While it’s still true that whiter, wealthier metro areas are less likely to have children, the new analysis refutes the conventional wisdom that cost is pushing all families out of the big cities and into the suburbs.