Housing News Roundup: January 10, 2019
How the Shutdown Could Affect Low-Income Tenants
Experts say that with no end in sight, the partial government shutdown could lead to mass evictions. More than 1,000 contracts with private landlords who manage subsidized housing units for low-income Americans have expired, and 500 more will expire by the end of this month. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development is encouraging landlords to use reserve payments instead of evicting tenants. Depending on the length of the shutdown, lack of funding could also affect local housing authorities’ ability to operate.
Most Fort Worth Landlords Reject Vouchers
Seventy-eight percent of landlords in Fort Worth, Texas, reject federal housing vouchers, according to an Urban Institute analysis that compared acceptance rates among five cities. Why does Forth Worth have the highest rate? “Some of it has to do with how the local housing authorities are managed. Some of it has to do with a source of income protection that says it’s illegal to discriminate against voucher holders, which Fort Worth doesn’t have. A lot of it has to do with where the rents are set,” said Mary K. Cunningham, vice president for metropolitan housing and community policy at the Urban Institute.
Source: KERA News
How Will Amazon’s Arrival Affect Vulnerable New York Residents?
In addition to being the location of one of Amazon’s HQ2s, Long Island City and bordering neighborhoods may also be part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to fight New York’s homelessness epidemic. Blissville, a small neighborhood that may be blocks away from the new headquarters, has roughly equal numbers of permanent and homeless residents. “There’s no basic community services here, no supermarkets, playgrounds, parks, libraries, churches—nothing. The city neglects us,” says resident Warren Davis. Experts warn that Amazon’s arrival could create conditions leading to increased homelessness.
Source: The Guardian
Kansas Seeks to Serve Chronically Homeless People with Mental Illnesses
To address chronic homelessness and support people with mental illness and substance abuse issues who often cycle in and out of jails, three communities in Kansas have adopted the Housing First model. Sam Tsemberis, a Columbia University psychiatrist working with Kansas Aging and Disability Services, hopes to expand the program throughout the state. “What we’re doing with a program like this is essentially leveling the playing field so that people who have for some reason become homeless have the same opportunity to have and keep housing as the rest of us,” he said.
Source: Topeka Capital-Journal
Housing Choice Vouchers Are Making a Difference for Las Vegas Families with Children
In the Las Vegas metropolitan area, the share of voucher recipients with children living in low-poverty neighborhoods is greater than the share of voucher-accepting affordable rentals living in these neighborhoods, according to a new study. Author Alicia Mazzara suggested that having just one housing authority to serve the entire metropolitan area may make it easier for voucher recipients to move to more affluent neighborhoods. However, the study also found that only 1 in 25 voucher recipients with children lives in high-opportunity neighborhoods. What explains this discrepancy?
Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal