Housing News Roundup: December 20, 2018
Homelessness Rose for the Second Year in a Row
Homelessness rose marginally for the second year in a row, despite the strong economy, according to a report from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These increases come after seven years of decline. HUD secretary Ben Carson attributes the increase to rising rents and displacement because of natural disasters. “I’m not sure victory is the right word to use here,” he stated. Some notable cities, including San Francisco—which has experienced a major rise in homelessness—did not participate in the national count.
Source: New York Times
Seattle Pledges to Build a Record Number of Apartments in 2019
This year, homelessness increased in the Seattle area by more than 10 times the national average, and rising housing costs are pushing out many residents. To combat the problem, Mayor Jenny Durkan announced Monday that the city will spend more than $75 million on affordable housing in 2019. Though it’s less than the $100 million it pledged last year, it has allocated a bulk of money to produce a record number of new units.
Source: Seattle Times
New Loan Program Will Give Security to Landlords and Tenants
Early next year, Philadelphia will roll out a pilot program that will provide loans to landlords who own four or fewer units to help them make repairs they would otherwise not be able to afford. In a city with no repair court, “if a landlord still doesn’t want to fix the violations, the code enforcement process can be very slow,” said Department of Licenses and Inspections spokeswoman Karen Guss. The program could be life-changing for low-income renters who otherwise would have to experience a disruptive move.