Housing News Roundup: August 30, 2018
Gentrification Patterns in Durham Reflect a History of Redlining
A 1930s map of redlining, or the systematic practice of denying housing loans to creditworthy applicants in particular neighborhoods (primarily ones with African American residents), reveals the current pattern of gentrification in Durham, North Carolina. A new study by the North Carolina Poverty Research Fund discovered overlap between redline tracts from the ’30s and the poorest census tracts today. As revitalization in downtown Durham has generated developer interest in nearby areas, the study points to the issue of residents being displaced. “This is an example of a cycle that once it starts going, it is really hard to stop. Once that momentum builds it’s hard to divert that,” said coauthor Heather Hunt.
Source: Herald Sun
New Study Reveals Stark Segregation among New York City Middle Schools
About a third of New York City’s 600 middle schools serve low-income students, and more than half these students are clustered in a quarter of the city’s middle schools, according to a new report released by the New York City Independent Budget Office. Prior research has shown that breaking up concentrated poverty can improve academic achievement. Activists argue that integrating schools could combat the effects of housing segregation. “Working towards more diverse and inclusive schools is a key part of that agenda,” said Will Mantell, a department of education spokesman.
Source: New York Times
Denver Doubles Affordable Housing Fund
A new Denver program that has provided short-term assistance to hundreds of city residents who are at risk of losing their homes over rent or utility bills jumped in to cover Monica Gallegos’s rent after she was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm and was forced to miss two months of work. Before she learned about the program, Gallegos said, “I honestly thought I was going to be homeless.” On Monday, the city council voted to double Denver’s $15 million commitment to the housing fund, partially by raising the special retail marijuana tax. “I’ve never asked for a handout,” Gallegos said, “but they were very kind and just very eager to help.”
Source: Denver Post
Study Finds That Homeowners Are More Politically Involved
A recent Stanford University study found that homeownership is a significant factor in local and national political participation. Researchers found that zoning issues have the greatest effect on homeowner voting turnout, increasing it 75 percent. They also noted that owners of more expensive homes have significantly higher levels of turnout and warn that current trends “may increase political and economic inequality.” They added, “Because homeownership appears to change beliefs along with participation, policies that encourage homeownership may prop up existing status quos by creating a larger constituency in favor of restrictive zoning policies and other pro-homeowner policies that disadvantage those without property.”
Getting a Lawyer Could Prevent Californians from Being Evicted
California organizations striving to combat eviction are learning that getting tenants a lawyer is one of the most significant ways to help them. In Los Angeles County, more than 50,000 households receive eviction notices each year. The Inner City Law Center offers free legal help to 4,000 people a year. Meanwhile, San Francisco recently passed a proposition that funds nonprofits to provide legal help for nearly all tenants facing eviction. Will other cities in California adopt similar services to help renters?