Housing News Roundup: December 7, 2017
US Homelessness Increased in 2017 for the First Time since 2010
According to new data released by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on Wednesday, homelessness in the United States increased this year for the first time since 2010. A surge in homelessness on the West Coast, particularly in Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, and Seattle, is almost entirely responsible for the rise. Secretary Carson emphasized that overall, the country’s homeless numbers are still 13 percent lower than they were in 2010.
How the Housing Crisis Could Affect Single-Family Neighborhoods
Though the severe affordable housing shortage is being felt across the country, single-family neighborhoods have largely been untouched by its repercussions. Economists say this must change. Developers are beginning to buy and build multiple units on individual lots in such areas. “Single-family neighborhoods are where the opportunity is, but building there is taboo,” says Issi Romem, BuildZoom’s chief economist. Development is already being met with disapproval from neighborhood residents.
Source: New York Times
LA County Program to House Sick Homeless People Saved Taxpayers Thousands
A three-year Rand Corporation study found that for every $1 invested in the Los Angeles County program that provides housing for sick homeless people, the county government saved $1.20 in health care and social service costs. Participants experienced improved mental health outcomes and fewer hospitalizations and emergency room visits, and 96 percent of participants stayed in housing for more than a year.
Source: LA Times
How Will the Tax Overhaul Affect Affordable Housing?
Portland, Oregon, housing authority officials said that the United States could lose nearly 1 million units of affordable housing over 10 years if the final tax bill eliminates the tax-exempt status for a bond that developers often use to finance affordable housing. The estimate is based on a recent analysis conducted by San Francisco–based accounting firm Novogradac & Co.
Source: Washington Post
Hurricane Harvey Victims Face More Challenges
A new survey reveals that more than 40 percent of Texas Gulf Coast residents say their homes were damaged by Hurricane Harvey, 33 percent said they had been late on rent or mortgage payments, and 11 percent said they were still displaced. Cinnamon Perry is one of many who were forced to leave their homes and have experienced poor health outcomes because of the storm. Unable to afford renting a new house, she returned to her moldy home after spending a month in a hotel the Federal Emergency Management Agency paid for. “I can’t breathe, and they don’t care,” Perry said of state and federal officials.
Source: Texas Tribune