Housing News Roundup: February 6, 2015
Post-Katrina Cottages Converted for Affordable Homeownership
Cottages originally built to replace substandard FEMA trailers deployed after Hurricane Katrina are being repurposed into affordable, disaster-resistant homes in the impoverished Baptist Town neighborhood of Greenwood, Miss. Eight families have already settled in their much-needed homes. “Baptist Town has a legacy of neighbors taking care of one another,” said Rose Architectural Fellow Emily Roush Elliott, according to Housing Finance. “But the housing was horrendous, and public spaces were very terrible.”
Source: Affordable Housing Finance
Study: 1 in 4 Foreclosures are ‘Zombie Homes’
Approximately 1 in 4 homes facing foreclosure are “zombie homes” — that is, homes where the owners have already left even before the bank’s repossession is final — according to new data. According to Daren Blomquist vice president at RealtyTrac, an increase in these cases in states with a complicated foreclosure process is a positive sign for people in need of affordable housing. “In many markets there is plenty of demand from buyers and investors to snatch up these distressed properties as soon as they become available to purchase,” he told Housing Wire.
Source: Housing Wire
Denver Announces $10 Million Affordable Housing Loan Fund
The city of Denver has announced a new $10 million revolving loan fund to support the development of affordable rental units for individuals and families earning up to 60 percent of the area medium income. Comparing the city’s housing struggles to that of a state neighbor, Mayor Michael Hancock said, “Aspen workers can’t afford to live where they work. We are fast approaching that scenario in Denver.”
Source: Denver Post
Portland’s Obstacles to Affordable Housing Goals
The city of Portland, Ore., doesn’t have the financial resources needed to meet its “ambitious goal” of having 30 percent of the units in the central city affordable for people earning up to 80 percent of the region’s median, according to the head of the Portland Housing Bureau. New development incentives or mandates will be necessary.