Housing News Roundup: April 27, 2017 | How Housing Matters

Housing News Roundup: April 27, 2017

ShareShare on Facebook0Share on LinkedIn0Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

School Choice May Lead to School Segregation

When it comes to school choice, well-off families will have the most options as to where they send their children. Many wealthier families determine which schools their children will attend based on where they choose to live. Ann Owens and her colleagues found that, as a result, increases in residential segregation by income have helped increase segregation between poor and nonpoor students over 40 percent between 1991 and 2001. “Rich districts are being created and leaving middle-to-poor districts behind,” Owens explained. Wealthier families can also afford to choose to send their children to schools beyond the neighborhood school to alternatives, like charter, magnet, and private schools, as Salvatore Saporito and Deenesh Sohoni demonstrated in their 2007 study. The privilege that wealthy families have with school choice is currently playing out in Manhattan. Public School (P.S.) 199, where students’ median household income is $124,700. P.S. 199 was rezoned in 2015 to alleviate crowding, sending some students nine blocks away to P.S. 191, where students’ median household income is $64,000. Though the rezoning caused intense debate, wealthy families, like Mark Gonsalves’s, were able to move back into the area zoned for P.S. 199. P.S. 191 expected a reprieve from its poverty through the rezoning process, but many of the students zoned for it attend other public schools. And, according to Saporito, “If you define choice as deciding not to enroll in the school that serves your neighborhood, then choice leads to greater segregation.”

ShareShare on Facebook0Share on LinkedIn0Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Source: CityLab

City’s Old Housing Stock Contributes to High Risk of Childhood Exposure to Lead

Buffalo, New York, is one of the most at-risk US cities for child exposure to lead, according to a report by Reuters News. Between 2006 and 2014, 40 percent of the children tested in four of the city’s zip codes had elevated levels of lead in their blood. The report cites the city’s old housing stock as the cause of this problem, noting that units built before 1978 may have lead pipes or lead paint. Compounding this issue, remediation requires home repairs that many low-income households may not be able to afford. Also, federal budget cuts threaten programs that address lead exposure, such as those run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. However, one of the authors of the report, Michael Pell, suggests that framing this as an infrastructure problem could help save these programs, “The clean up we’re talking about, lead remediation, is nothing but an infrastructure project, improving housing.” Dr. Gale Burstein, the Erie County commissioner of health, also describes the added benefits of lead remediation, “Prevention is so much more cost effective. We can prevent these children from being poisoned from lead. Their quality of life will be better. It will save our health care system so much money.”

ShareShare on Facebook0Share on LinkedIn0Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Source: WBFO

New Community Center Highlights National Shift Toward Aging in Place

The new community center at Morningside Retirement and Health Services community center in Morningside Heights, New York, a “naturally occurring retirement community,” is part of a national trend that focuses on seniors aging in place. Erica Weinberg has lived in the Morningside Gardens coop apartments for the past 60 years; after her husband died, the sense of community that the facility created allowed her to stay in her home. Matthias Hollwich, author of New Aging, echoed the importance of the community center, “This Morningside Heights project shows how the future of aging in place should really happen: more social and more integrated.” With the number of Americans older than 80 expected to double over the next two decades, there is more and more talk about ways to keep seniors in their current homes. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, aging in place is a cheaper alternative as care in nursing homes costs over three times more than noninstitutional long-term care services. Nationally, states, localities, and nonprofits are already focused on in-home care, such as an inclusive home design ordinance in Pima County, Arizona, and Vermont’s requirements for universal housing design. Federally, legislation is being considered to provide tax credits for retrofitting homes. As for Weinberg and the community center in Morningside Heights, “If it wasn’t for this place, staying in this neighborhood, on my own, would have been impossible,” she said.

ShareShare on Facebook0Share on LinkedIn0Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Source: Curbed

Air Rights May Offer a Solution to the San Francisco Housing Shortage

To help ease the housing shortage in San Francisco, the city may allow affordable housing to be built on top of a fire station. Supervisor Aaron Peskin introduced legislation on Tuesday that, if passed, would give ownership of the air rights for the fire house’s lot to the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, and the fire department would retain ownership of the land. Building affordable housing above the fire station takes advantage of the property’s 200-foot height limit in an area where land for development is scarce. It is estimated that the 9,000-square-foot site would allow for 100 to 150 housing units to be built. Similar projects have been completed in other cities, such as Washington, DC, and the list of cities employing this strategy is growing. “When you live in a dense, dense city like San Francisco,” explained Ken Cleaveland, president of the San Francisco Fire Commission, “you have to use the space that you have.”

ShareShare on Facebook0Share on LinkedIn0Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Increases in Homeless Students Cause Budgeting Questions in New York City

The number of students who attend New York City public schools and live in homeless shelters reached almost 33,000 in the 2015–16 school year— a number that increased in each of the past five years according to a report by the city’s Independent Budget Office. The report found that though most schools in the city only have a small number of students living in shelters, 45 schools had more than 10 percent of their student populations experiencing homeless. And though student homelessness has risen in every borough over the last five years, more than 40 percent of homeless students attended schools in the Bronx. The concentration of homeless students places extra demands on schools, which often must provide additional services to compensate for the instability that the homeless students experience outside of the classroom. The city has allocated $10.3 million this year to help homeless students by hiring more social workers and implementing a variety of programs. But homeless advocates are unsure if that will be enough. Liza Pappas, the author of the Independent Budget Office report, explains, “The question the city has to answer is whether the allocation to schools is sufficient to get ahead of this problem if the numbers continue to increase like they have over the past five years. Because it seems like we’re already behind.”

ShareShare on Facebook0Share on LinkedIn0Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Source: New York Times

Add a Comment

Add a Comment

Advanced Options

Filter Search:
Month
Day
Year
Events Calendar
Filter Search:
Month
Day
Year
S
M
T
W
T
F
S
Thursday, April 8, 2014
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday

Please select year

OK
X