Housing News Roundup: December 21, 2017
Gentrification May Be Accelerating DC School Integration
A new study shows that as Washington, DC, gentrifies, schools—particularly traditional public schools—are becoming less racially segregated. From 2007 to 2014, the share of nearly fully segregated traditional public schools in gentrifying areas dropped from 67 to 41 percent, while hypersegregated charter schools in gentrifying areas declined only from 77 to 70 percent. This could have implications for school choice in DC, which has the only federally funded charter program that uses public funds for private school tuition.
Source: Washington Post
A Hospital’s “High Utilizer” Program Cuts Costs and Helps Most Vulnerable Citizens
Ninety-six people visited Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Texas, at least 10 times in one month, nearly all of them homeless during some part of the year, and some have racked up more than $100,000 in unpaid bills. Recognizing the need to do something about these “high utilizers,” Parkland opened a clinical innovation center in 2015, and evidence shows it’s working. The joint effort involves community partners, such as homeless shelters and food pantries, and an advanced software platform that allows the hospital to refer discharged homeless patients to shelters and social workers to ensure they have a place to sleep, healthy food, and access to prescription refills.
Is Puerto Rico Heading for a Foreclosure Crisis?
About a third of Puerto Rico’s homeowners are behind on mortgage payments in the wake of Hurricane Maria, and the island is preparing for a foreclosure crisis that could be worse than Detroit’s. “If there is no income, the people cannot make payments,” said Ricardo Ramos-González, coordinator of a consumer legal aid clinic at the University of Puerto Rico School of Law. “Thousands have lost their jobs, thousands of small business have closed, and thousands more have left the country.”
Source: New York Times
California Funds Housing for Senior Vets Dangerously Close to Freeway
Despite the health risks associated with living near highways, including higher rates of asthma, heart disease, cancer, and more, state officials are helping construct low-cost housing for senior veterans 200 feet from a major Los Angeles freeway. While the state tries to curb greenhouse gases and battle the housing shortage, its most vulnerable could suffer health problems from living beside a major source of traffic pollution.
Source: Los Angeles Times
80 Homeless People Died on the Streets of Portland in 2016
A new report reveals that 80 homeless people died on the streets in the Portland, Oregon, metropolitan area last year, marking a 70 percent rise in homeless deaths in Multnomah County. Thirty-two of them died in public spaces, and nearly 80 percent were men. “They need long-term housing with supportive services,” said Deborah Kafoury, chairwoman of the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners. “It’s very expensive, but we pay for it one way or another, whether in emergency rooms or jail overcrowding—or deaths.”
Source: ABC News