Housing News Roundup: January 24, 2019
Oregon May Establish Statewide Rent Control
Oregon lawmakers are poised to pass a bill limiting rent increases to 7 percent plus inflation per year throughout the state and would require most landlords to cite a cause when they evict tenants after their first year. Landlords could raise rent without a cap if renters leave on their own accord. Oregon would be the first state to establish statewide rent control—a policy many consider controversial. “I think that the traditional criticisms just don’t apply here,” said House speaker Tina Kotek.
Source: The Oregonian
How the Shutdown Has Affected Low-Income Renters, Homeless People, and Others
A month into the government shutdown, low-income renters are feeling pressure to cover the gap between their subsidized and full rent. “I can’t pay that much; it is beyond my means,” said 48-year-old Amanda Neeley, who survives on a disability check. Meanwhile, homeless housing providers are weighing financing options, with some considering tapping into reserve funds to cover rents and case managers’ salaries. In addition, the shutdown has stopped the US Department of Housing and Urban Development from funding public housing repairs, reviewing new housing voucher applications, and processing housing requests from disaster-hit states and Puerto Rico.
Source: New York Times
Philadelphia Tenants Will Now Receive Protection against Evictions
In 2017, 1 in 14 Philadelphia residents had evictions filed against them. On Tuesday, Philadelphia lawmakers signed a bill into law that requires landlords to have “good cause” to evict tenants of less than a year. “The good cause bill strengthens the Fair Housing Ordinance and will keep unscrupulous landlords from committing unfair rental practices and terminating leases simply because tenants request necessary repairs,” said Rue Landau, executive director of the Fair Housing Commission.
Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer
Mayors across America Are Concerned about Affordable Housing
Affordable housing tops the list of issues mayors were most concerned about in 2018, according to newly released data. The Boston University Initiative on Cities surveyed more than 100 mayors in cities with at least 75,000 residents on wide-ranging issues and found that the trend is bipartisan. Nearly two-thirds of respondents consider affordable housing as part of the city’s infrastructure. Last year, the survey found that housing cost was the primary reason mayors said people moved out of their cities.
Source: The Columbus Dispatch
Could Microhomes Be the Solution Nashville Needs to Its Affordable Housing Shortage?
In the past six years, the average home price in Nashville nearly doubled, increasing from $140,000 to $260,000. Eddie Latimer, CEO of nonprofit Affordable Housing Resources, thinks microhomes could provide a solution. The organization is developing a “microvillage” of 13 450-square-foot tiny homes. Though they aren’t a solution for very low–income residents, they could be an option for the workforce housing market. Latimer says they could expand homeownership to those who can’t afford it now. He is planning to develop such communities on a large scale.