Housing News Roundup: February 19, 2015
Energy-Efficient Affordable Housing Saves Virginia Residents Hundreds Annually
Energy-efficient affordable housing units are helping some Virginia renters save an average of $648 annually, according to a new study from Virginia Tech’s Center for Housing Research. “To some households, that might not be a lot. But to these households that are low-income or very low-income, that’s a very significant savings that they can use for other critical needs that they have in their budgets,” said Robert Adams, executive director of Housing Virginia.
Source: Affordable Housing Finance
Survey: Full Housing Recovery Still a Ways Away
A complete recovery from the housing boom is still at least two years away, according to a Zillow.com survey. One of the reasons for the slow recovery is the high cost of renting, which makes it difficult to afford a down payment on a home purchase. However, industry experts say the slow recovery is a positive overall because it suggests the industry isn’t simply on its way toward another bubble burst.
Coalition Focusing on Safe and Affordable Housing for LGBT Baby Boomers
A coalition of groups has come together to ensure that LGBT Baby Boomers — many of whom have faced housing and employment discrimination — have access to safe and affordable housing as they retire. “America is going to have to face the needs of an aging population, and LGBT people are part of that,” said Jennifer Ho, Senior Advisor on Housing and Services at HUD. “Those of us in the younger generation owe it to the older generation who showed the way.”
Severe Winter Weather Is Impeding Boston’s Efforts to Provide for its Homeless
As severe winter weather continues to hammer the northeast, Boston officials are having difficulty providing for the city’s homeless population. The reopening of the Boston Night Center — which isn’t a true shelter, but can sleep up to 80 — has provided some relief. The city’s homeless population is estimated to be 30 percent higher than it was last year.
Source: Next City
San Francisco Must Take Bold Step to Meet its Housing Needs
While San Francisco is adding jobs at an impressive rate, it is falling short on ensuring affordable housing for the people taking these new positions. Among the steps the city can take are restarting neighborhood planning, simplifying the process of adding secondary units and investigating new ways to produce middle-income housing.