Housing News Roundup: February 18, 2015
L.A.’s High-Rise Boom Leaves Affordable Housing Behind
While the current housing surge in downtown Los Angeles is a boon for the real estate industry, it won’t come close to meeting the city’s needs for affordable housing. Construction will add more than 3,000 units — mostly for rent — to a 40-block area. However, in a city recently named the country’s least-affordable rental market, at least 100,000 new units are needed by 2021 if there’s any hope for meeting demand.
Source: Next City
New York AG Pushes for an End to ‘Zombie Properties’
As part of an ongoing strategy to help people recover from the housing crisis, New York’s attorney general will propose legislation to reduce the number of “zombie properties” and open up the potential for more affordable housing. The state of New York has approximately 16,700 such properties in 2014, an increase of nearly 50% from the previous year.
Source: DS News
San Francisco’s Mission District Fights Gentrification to Save its ‘Soul’
One Bay Area community is resisting what it sees as gentrification, calling for a halt to the development of market-rate housing in the city’s Mission District. Their goals include the fast-tracking of affordable housing projects. “We’re trying to save the soul of our neighborhood,” said Brooke Oliver, an attorney with the volunteer council for the Calle 24 Cultural District, which is seeking the changes. “We want to slow down the land grab in the Mission.”
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
Vacation Rental Units Create Housing Complications
Companies that rent out residential space by the night or week (many via Airbnb) can make it difficult for cities to meet affordable housing needs, especially when the practice violates local ordinances or leads to confusion about what is legal. “We have an affordable housing crisis in the city,” said John Miller, executive director of Oregon Opportunity Network, “and when folks from out of town buy units and convert them into Airbnb units, that has negative effects on the neighborhood.”
Source: Willamette Week
New Tracker Will Monitor NYC Housing Maintenance Violations
Capital New York has released a housing violations tracker to monitor violations to the city’s housing maintenance code, which are more common in poor and low-income communities. The city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development issued almost 30,000 violations in January.
Source: Capital New York