Housing News Roundup: February 17, 2015
In the U.S., it’s Easier to Be a Little Poor than a Lot Poor
People in the United States with low-wage jobs are much more likely to get government assistance for expenses than people who are not working and are living below the poverty line. This makes it more difficult for these people to secure affordable and safe housing. The current disparity dates back to the decades-old decision to make welfare a short-term program in order to both combat fraud in the system and encourage people to find jobs.
Source: New York Times
‘Shared Equity’ Opens up Home Ownership in Vermont
A Vermont housing program splits home equity between a housing trust and the buyer, reducing down payment and mortgage costs while helping low- and middle-income people become homeowners. “The potential is that, if it’s done well, it occupies the middle rung between renting and owning,” says Brett Theodos, a senior research associate at the Urban Institute.
Source: City Lab
Photo Exhibit Gives a Personal Look at Public Housing
“Voices Behind the Bricks,” a photography exhibit at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, showcases images that teenagers have taken of the aging public housing projects they call home. The photos were captured during a four-month after-school program sponsored by the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency and Mercy Housing California, an affordable housing developer. The housing projects are being considered for redevelopment, and residents have said they have been left out of the process.
Source: Sacramento Bee
Why We Should Plan Cities through the Eyes of a Child
Looking at a city — or a city-to-be — from the height of a 2-year-old can provide planners an often overlooked perspective on activities and destinations. “[D]esigning from 34 inches could be a good start. At the very best, it could foster a safe, engaging atmosphere for the most vulnerable pedestrians.”
Source: Next City
What ‘Home’ Means to Us
Home Matters, a national advocacy program to increase awareness about affordable housing needs in the U.S., is accelerating its efforts with a video this month that focuses on what the word “home” means to people. “Home means a place where you can feel secure and feel comfortable and concentrate on the important things in life…instead of worrying where your next meal is coming from or whether you’ll freeze at night.”
Source: Huffington Post