Housing News Roundup: December 6, 2018
How the ACA Affects Late Rent Payments
A new study found that people who got health insurance under the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) subsidized exchanges were 25 percent less likely to miss paying their rent or mortgage on time. The research studied adults who live in states that did not participate in the Medicaid expansion who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but too little to receive insurance subsidies. “It’s only by virtue of the fact that some states opted out of Medicaid expansion that we’re able to assess the benefits of the ACA,” said author Emily Gallagher, assistant professor of finance at the University of Colorado Boulder.
To Boost Opportunity for Wealth Building, Cities Are Fighting Low Home Prices
In the Rust Belt and parts of the Northeast, young professionals, millennials, and others are moving away, leaving behind aging homes with declining values. As the populations in these areas drop, cities must grapple with the side effects: low home prices hinder wealth building through equity. Akron, Ohio, has decided to combat the trend with incentives. Last year, the city approved an exemption on the added property value if new home construction or renovation was valued at $5,000 or more for 15 years, which can save property owners thousands per year. “People respond to incentives,” said Mayor Dan Horrigan. “We have a city of 200,000, with the capacity for 300,000.”
Source: Washington Post
Is Miami Close to Passing a Mandatory Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance?
Rising sea levels, new construction focused on luxury condominiums, and other factors have contributed to rising real estate values and the inability of many working people to afford to live in downtown Miami, near many service-industry jobs. Could inclusionary zoning solve the problem? Miami city commissioner Ken Russell is pushing for a plan that would require developers to build affordable units next to market-rate developments in designated parts of downtown in exchange for more zoning flexibility. Affordability requirements would be tiered so that the lower the rent on affordable units, the fewer units developers would have to include.
Your Zip Code May Determine How Long It Takes for an Ambulance to Reach You
A new study found that it takes 10 percent longer for heart attack victims in low-income areas to be transported to a hospital than wealthier ones, even after accounting for rush-hour traffic and other such factors. It analyzed 2014 data from 46 states, including the zip codes where heart attacks occurred. “Our findings are disturbing, given that poorer neighborhoods have higher rates of disease and other structural disparities for health care access,” the researchers wrote.
Source: Pacific Standard
New Austin Program Will Pay Homeless People to Clean Public Parks
The Other Ones Foundation, a nonprofit in Austin, Texas, has partnered with city government to create a program that pays homeless people $15 an hour to collect trash in public parks. The program began in October and has employed roughly 50 homeless people who have worked more than 800 hours to date. It also provides free lunch, transportation, housing connections, and other support services. “Our goal as an organization is to build a community in which people are able to transition out of homelessness,” said foundation director Chris Baker.
Source: The Daily Texan