Housing News Roundup: April 28, 2015
‘Microtransit’ Systems Could Give Low-Income Commuters More Options, Freedom
The increasing prevalence of “microtransit” systems is opening up transit options for city dwellers who don’t want to deal with — or are financially unable to cover — the cost of a personal automobile. Commuter buses, shuttle services and even carpool programs exist in the middle ground between cars and public transportation. In order to be most effective, microtransit programs must, among other things, reach into low-income communities as part of a larger system that’s integrated with the public transportation infrastructure.
Miami Launches New Homeless Initiative
The Miami Coalition for the Homeless is launching a new initiative to create 1,500 housing units for low-income households over the next 10 years. The “Homes for All” initiative will pool the resources of investors, philanthropists, developers and public agencies to increase affordable housing. According to the Coalition, 50,000 extremely low-income families in the Miami area spend more than half their incomes on rent.
Source: Miami Herald
Report: ‘Smart’ Roofs Improving Lives in D.C.
The last decade has seen a range of new rooftop technologies — such as cool roofs and green roofs — that provide important health, energy, water and environmental benefits, according to a new report on “smart” roofs in Washington, D.C. Benefits can include lower energy bills for residents, reduced city summer temperatures and a possible slowing of global warming. The technology can be especially effective for low-income and elderly residents who are more vulnerable to extreme heat and poor air quality.
Source: Washington Post
Kids, Adults Living in Poverty Face Serious Exposure to Second Hand Smoke
A new report finds that exposure to second hand smoke remains high for far too many people, especially kids ages 3-11, blacks and people living in poverty or in rental housing. While numbers have dropped in recent years, 58 million people are still exposed to second hand smoke, which could drop further if more multi-unit buildings implemented smoke-free policies.
High Rents Contributing to California’s Poverty Problem
Sky-high rents in California are pushing many residents into poverty, according to a new study from the California Housing Partnership, which found that residents with the lowest incomes are forced so spend two-thirds of their wages on housing alone. This leaves little for necessities such as food, health care and transportation. Approximately 1.5 million California households don’t have access to affordable housing.
Source: Los Angeles Times