Housing News Roundup: August 9, 2018
Rents Are Falling—but Not for the People Who Most Need It
Nationally, rent increases have slowed. But decreasing prices for high-end rentals are driving the decline, while rents have actually increased for low-income residents in major cities, including Atlanta, Nashville, and San Francisco. “For-profit developers have predominantly built for the luxury and higher end of the market, leaving a glut of overpriced apartments in some cities,” said Diane Yentel, president and chief executive of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. “Some decisionmakers believed this would ‘filter down’ to the lowest-income people, but it clearly will not meet their needs.”
Source: Washington Post
Denver Landlords Must Accept Prospective Renters with Section 8 Vouchers
On Monday, the Denver City Council approved a local law that prevents landlords from turning down prospective renters on the basis that they would be paying rent with subsidized housing vouchers and other unconventional sources of income. Councilmembers said that if a prospective tenant can afford the rent, it should not matter how they pay it. Councilwoman Robin Kniech said, “This really came from the community. It came from best practices.”
Source: Denver Post
Baltimore’s Black-White Homeownership Gap Mirrors the National Average
A recent report found that 72 percent of white adults owned homes in 2017 in America, compared with only 43 percent of black adults. Baltimore mirrors the nation, with a 31 percent white-to-black homeownership gap, and for black residents, median income was half that of whites in the city. “The black homeownership problem is not just about blacks being able to purchase homes going forward; it’s equally about blacks who own today keeping their ownership and being able to transfer and build equity and advance their overall wealth picture,” said Alanna McCargo, vice president for housing finance policy at the Urban Institute.
San Francisco Begins Homeless Assessment Knowing It Won’t Be Able to House Everyone in Need
This week, San Francisco began a three-month assessment of chronically homeless adults to prioritize their placement into the city’s limited permanent supportive housing. The city aims to assess 2,000 residents and will begin placing them in housing in November. Megan Owens of the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing said that a significant number would not receive priority status because of limited capacity. “I think it is really troubling that we don’t have enough permanent supportive housing for everyone—that’s the big solution,” she said. “It is also very troubling to have a lot of chronically homeless people running around chasing resources they are never going to get.”
Source: San Francisco Examiner
Can a Park Transform This Detroit Neighborhood?
Neighbors, city officials, developers, and philanthropists achieved their dream of opening Ella Fitzgerald Park in Detroit. But that was just the first step of their plan. The park sits in a neighborhood in which a third of the lots are vacant, and the project’s partners aim to transform the neighborhood without building new housing on the vacant lots. “We want to create a neighborhood that feels complete, intentional, and cared for without having to build a single house,” said Alexa Bush, Detroit’s east region design director. Will the park strengthen the neighborhood and make it an equitable place for all residents?