Housing News Roundup: February 7, 2019
HUD Places NYCHA under Its Supervision
On Thursday, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) appointed a federal monitor to oversee the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) after years of mismanagement that exposed vulnerable renters to lead and other severely inadequate conditions. NYCHA—the largest public housing agency in the country—faces $32 billion in capital repairs to improve conditions affecting 1 in 11 New York City renters.
Florida Families Struggle to Meet Basic Needs
Despite Florida’s economic rebound in recent years, a new report reveals that nearly half of households struggle to meet their basic needs, including housing, child care, food, transportation, and health care. Stagnant wages are to blame, according to the report. “When nearly half of households in our community are on the financial edge, it’s clear we have to work together to address these big issues around housing, transportation, and skilled employment opportunities,” said United Way Suncoast CEO Suzanne McCormick.
Source: Tampa Bay Times
Philadelphia Neighborhood Tackles Opioid-Related Homelessness
Recently, the Kensington neighborhood in Philadelphia cleared the last of its four major homeless encampments, accomplishing the first phase of its strategy to tackle opioid-related homelessness. The pilot plan followed a San Francisco model that involved recording everyone living at each of the encampments and assessing their needs. In the next phase, outreach workers will continue to get people off the streets; the program partnered with the Philadelphia Police Department, which launched its own initiative in Kensington that gives people stopped for low-level offenses the option to seek treatment instead of being prosecuted.
Why Millennials Aren’t Buying Homes
The US Federal Reserve attributes student loan debt—which has skyrocketed in the past decade to $1.5 trillion—to millennials’ low homeownership rates. “It’s not that they’re not going to buy homes. It’s just that they’ll purchase these homes later in life,” says Odeta Kushi, deputy chief economist at First American, a real estate research firm. Kushi expects to see more buyers in the coming years, adding, “This generation will still yield the wealth benefits from becoming a homeowner, which I think is the key point.”
Affordable Housing Shortages Aren’t Just an Urban Problem
Advocates, developers, and city leaders in Ohio are recognizing the need for affordable housing in nontraditional areas—the suburbs. Across the state, 42.4 percent of affordable housing tax credits issued between 2016 and 2018 were suburban—a trend experts attribute to the gap between increasing monthly rents and home prices and stagnant wages. The Ohio Housing Finance Agency is learning to confront challenges unique to affordable suburban housing projects, such as restrictive zoning and higher land acquisition costs.
Source: The Columbus Dispatch