Housing News Roundup: April 26, 2018
HUD Proposes Work Requirements and Increasing Rent for Americans Receiving Federal Housing Subsidies
On Wednesday, secretary of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Ben Carson proposed increasing the rent amount low-income Americans who receive housing subsidies pay from 30 percent to 35 percent of their gross income and requiring recipients to work. HUD also plans to eliminate deductions for medical and child care costs that are currently considered when determining tenants’ rent.
Source: Chicago Tribune
Homeless Single Mothers Defy the Odds by Graduating from College
A group of formerly homeless single mothers in Louisville is graduating from college at a rate of 86 percent through the Family House Scholar program, which makes use of the Section 8 voucher program and provides extensive mental health counseling, legal assistance, pediatricians, and other services to moms and their children. “If you meet two or three of people’s challenges, that’s good, but if they have 17 challenges, you’re not going to get very far,” said Cathe Dykstra, president and chief executive of the program.
Source: Washington Post
Questions Emerge in Early Stages of Opportunity Zone Program
The US Department of the Treasury has started issuing approvals of opportunity zones, or census tracts with poverty rates of at least 20 percent in which investors are offered a capital gains tax reduction for investing capital gains income into the area. Brett Theodos of the Urban Institute worries that “it could be used to take affordable housing and convert it into market-rate condos. It could be used to support payday lenders. Amazon could engineer it into an investment vehicle for HQ2.”
Providing Jobs to Los Angeles County Residents Could Prevent Homelessness
As high rents and job loss perpetuate Los Angeles’s homelessness crisis—despite the county’s large-scale efforts to provide permanent housing and boost construction efforts—a new study finds that providing jobs and other services to newly homeless people could prevent thousands from experiencing enduring homelessness. “The pragmatic argument for early interventions such as employment is that they cost much less than the roughly $300,000 in subsidies required to make a housing unit permanently affordable for a formerly homeless person,” said the report.
Source: LA Times
What Opportunities Could Mobile Home Parks Create for Low-Income Housing?
Mobile home parks can fill a critical gap in housing opportunities for low-income Americans, as they tend to house single women, new residents of the country, young families with limited income, and retirees, but these parks are endangered. Why are they endangered, and what’s the best way to preserve them? Researcher, preservationist, and landscape architect Eduard Krakhmalnikov sheds lights on the landscape and nuances surrounding mobile home parks.
Rising Housing Costs Prevent Americans from Moving to Opportunity
Exorbitant housing costs and land-use restrictions not only push people out of the housing market—they prevent people from accessing it in the first place. A new study by the University of California, Los Angeles, found that young adults are increasingly anxious about the cost of living, with rising housing costs being their primary concern. “Mobility of all sorts has fallen over the last 50 years; even mobility across neighborhoods has fallen,” says Yale Law School professor David Schleicher.