Housing News Roundup: February 23, 2015
Oakland Mayor Says San Francisco’s Affordable Housing Need Could Use a Regional Solution
What’s one possible solution to meeting San Francisco’s ongoing need for affordable housing? Build it across the bay in Oakland. Though she has not yet broached the subject with her neighbor city, Oakland Mayor Libby Shaaf recently expressed openness to the possibility. “What has been vetted, what we do know, is that no one city can address the regional housing crisis by itself,” said the mayor’s chief of staff. “San Francisco and Oakland can’t solve these problems on their own because jobs, transportation and housing are all components that people think about when deciding on a place to live.” (See related How Housing Matters articles on the Bay Area’s workforce housing gap and commuting burdens.)
Source: Next City
Pittsburgh Looks to Boston as a Model for Inclusionary Zoning
Taking its cue from Boston’s success in its Back Bay neighborhood, Pittsburgh is looking into the possibility of implementing an inclusionary development policy. There’s growing concern that the city’s “luxury housing binge” will price out Pittsburgh’s middle- and lower-income workers.
Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Report: Utah’s Struggling Households Hampered by Low Education & Wages, Lack of Healthcare & Affordable Housing
The prices of housing in Utah are beyond the reach of many older residents and the low-wage workers who populate the state’s service industries. A new report finds that improving education will lead to greater salaries and therefore ability to afford housing. The report also notes a lack of livable wages and healthcare access as additional factors that trap Utahans in poverty.
Source: Deseret News
El Paso Public Housing to Go Smoke-Free
As part of a $600 million renovation project, El Paso residents living in public housing will be required to live smoke-free, ensuring that the housing developments are healthier. “Right now, people can smoke. The new policy will be implemented over the course of the next few years as we undergo the [Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD] conversion,” said Gerald Cichon, CEO of the Housing Authority of the City of El Paso. “With the RAD conversion, everyone will have to sign a new lease anyway, and the smoking policy will become a provision in the leases.”
Source: El Paso Times