Housing News Roundup: January 18, 2018
The Opioid Crisis’s Devastating Effect on New York City’s Homeless Population
A recent report reveals that the opioid crisis increased the number of deaths of homeless people in New York City to record numbers in the 2017 fiscal year. Deaths of homeless people, the leading cause of which was drug use, increased 30 percent from 2016. More than 75 percent of overdose deaths were opioid overdoses. “This report speaks to the need to make high-quality medical services available to people on the streets and in shelters, including a comprehensive program for access to buprenorphine,” said George Nashak, executive director of Care for the Homeless.
School District Will Attempt to Retain Teachers Through Subsidized Housing
Every year, about 400 teachers in the Indianapolis school system (20 percent) quit or switch schools. Teachers note that unaffordable housing plays a large part in this high turnover, which in turn affects student learning. The school district is partnering with a community developer and nonprofits to create a new housing project called the Teachers’ Village, which aims to offer subsidized housing to teachers near schools and revitalize an area where properties have sat vacant for years.
Seattle Experiences Declining Section 8 Voucher Success Rates
Only 44 percent of Section 8 voucher holders found housing through the Seattle Housing Authority in 2017, down from 57 percent in 2013. Meanwhile, 70 percent of King County Housing Authority voucher holders found housing last year, but spokesperson Rhonda Rosenberg noted that the number “used to be a lot higher.” Limited vouchers, expiration periods, and rising rents contributed to declining success rates.
Los Angeles Plans to Use Trailers as Temporary Housing for Homeless
Los Angeles city leaders are proposing to install trailers in a parking lot as temporary shelters to get homeless people who sleep on sidewalks off the street. The plan involves the shelter operating for three years, with the hope that residents would move to permanent housing within six months. This proposal is part of a citywide effort spurred in part by Mayor Garcetti’s office, which deputy chief of staff Matt Szabo says aims to get “as many people off the streets as possible.”
Source: Los Angeles Times
Report Finds New York City’s Vulnerable Residents Are Most Affected by Tenant Harassment
A new report details tenant harassment tactics practiced by New York City landlords that accompany predatory equity. The report highlights that most respondents affected by predatory tactics were people of color (more than half identified as Latino, and more than 20 percent identified as African American) and women (about 60 percent of respondents) and that 46 percent of people affected reported an annual household income of less than $25,000. Harassment tactics include cutting off utilities and refusing repairs.