Housing News Roundup: August 1, 2019
Busing People Out of San Francisco Doesn’t Always Help Them Exit Homelessness
San Francisco is looking to expand its Homeward Bound program, which buses people experiencing homelessness out of the city and says it helps them exit homelessness—but it doesn’t always result in better outcomes, data show. From late 2018 to early 2019, 56 percent of participants said they were stably housed; the others were struggling, couldn’t be tracked, were in jail, or were elsewhere. With limited knowledge of what happens to participants in the long term, how do we know if the program is successful?
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
Baltimore’s Rat Problem Stems From Housing Policies
Rodent problems are a consequence of racist housing policies, poor urban planning, and poverty, experts have said in recent years about Baltimore’s rat population. “If codes are poorly enforced, rats have more places to hide,” says Dawn Biehler, an associate professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Biehler’s research has found that rats are a constant stress for residents and affect their quality of life. “They’re afraid to go out at night because there might be rats lurking around. It kind of makes them feel like they’ve been treated as trash,” she said.
Source: Baltimore Sun
Low Housing Supply and High Housing Costs Aren’t Limited to the Coasts
Low mortgage rates and high employment rates are encouraging many first-time buyers to purchase homes, but the low supply is causing home values to skyrocket. According to CoreLogic Inc., the spring season was the slowest for sales in five years. Unlike in previous years, the trend isn’t limited to areas like New York and San Francisco—it’s spreading across the country. “We have a lot more buyers preapproved for mortgages than people closing on homes. What that means is the struggle is not in the financing. The struggle is in the inventory,” said agent Jeff Davis.
Milwaukee Eviction Map Reveals Patterns of Eviction
A new interactive map that illustrates the roughly 40,000 evictions filed in Milwaukee from 2016 through June 1, 2019 can be a resource for policymakers and tenants alike to unearth patterns of possible retaliatory evictions by landlords. It was created through a partnership among the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Institute for Health Equity’s Division of Epidemiology, Legal Action of Wisconsin, the Milwaukee City Attorney’s Office, and the Milwaukee Department of Neighborhood Services after Matt Desmond’s research highlighted the city’s eviction crisis.
Source: Journal Sentinel
Charleston’s Affordable Housing Challenges Mirror the Nation’s
Bridgeview Village, the largest privately owned affordable housing complex in Charleston is for sale, and officials worry what the loss of affordable stock will mean for the city. Though Charleston is building new affordable housing, existing units are disappearing as federal tax credit restrictions expire. “We’re about to face an unbelievable crisis in this city. We really are,” said councilman William Dudley Gregorie. Meanwhile, nearly half a million low-income housing units are scheduled to expire by 2030.
Source: Post and Courier