Housing News Roundup: February 1, 2018
Citizen’s Committee Brings Neighborhood Change from the Inside Out
Residents in Brownsville, Brooklyn—a community where more than half of families live in public housing and where the poverty rate is double New York City’s—are capitalizing on shared neighborhood pride and a sense of service to others to tackle issues that confine citizens to poverty and powerlessness. This includes waste management innovations, expansion of preschool, and revitalized public spaces. “We’re changing the face of Brownsville because somebody in Brownsville began to change their mind,” said community member Lytheia Smith. “No one is coming from outside and bringing that in. We’re doing it from the inside out.”
Section 8 Voucher Holders Might Experience Greater Opportunity for Mobility
This year, public housing authorities across the country can offer higher Section 8 rental assistance voucher payments to landlords in higher-rent neighborhoods. It reinstates a rule that began in 2012, when the US Department of Housing and Urban Development began experimenting with setting voucher payments by zip code rather than across a metropolitan area to facilitate mobility of voucher holders. “Small-area fair market rents should really help communities that are trying to come up with strategies to reduce segregation,” said Ellen Lurie Hoffman, federal policy director at the National Housing Trust.
Many Houstonians Are Still Stuck in Unsafe Homes without Aid after Hurricane Harvey
After losing everything during Hurricane Harvey, Dorothy Jones and her daughters lived in their damaged apartment as mold spread. They all suffered from asthma and made at least 10 trips to the doctor’s office or emergence room. When her landlord deemed the apartment “livable,” the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) turned down Jones’s application for housing assistance, though the apartment was later condemned by the city. Jones is among many low-income renters who have experienced housing instability post-Harvey. As of late January, only about 369,500 of the 895,500 people who applied for FEMA assistance after the storm had received it.
Source: The Texas Observer
Will Denver’s Housing Shortage Peak in 2018?
A new report on Denver’s chronic housing shortage reveals that it could take 10 or more years correct the problem, which affects homebuyers and renters, especially on the lower end of the market. The housing deficit has been building since 2014 and is expected to peak at 32,000 units this year. “The market is not responding to people who have an affordability issue. We need to be more creative in how to bring supply to this market,” said Phyllis Resnick, an author of the report.
Source: Denver Post
Coordinating Housing and Medical Care to Keep Seniors in their Communities
Navy veteran Conrado Solano lost his house to foreclosure after experiencing health complications, but he now lives on his own in a low-income senior living community thanks to the Health Plan of San Mateo’s Community Care Settings Program. The program pairs housing with medical assistance for clients so they can stay in the community and out of an inpatient nursing facility. “The longer you can live in the community with support, the better people feel, the better quality of life, and they’re happier,” says Margaret Beed, chief medical officer of the Health Plan.
Source: San Mateo Daily Journal