Housing News Roundup: January 28, 2016
NYC Affordable Redevelopments Engage Community
While development plans often fuel residents’ skepticism about neighborhood changes, affordable housing developers in New York City have defused opposition through exceptional design and community engagement. The former Ocean Village development in the Rockaways, which was in dire need of repair after Hurricane Sandy, has been revived as Arverne View. The new owner, L&M, guaranteed residents that the improvements, which include a floodwall and energy-efficiency upgrades, would not change their rents. In Manhattan’s Harlem neighborhood, Jonathan Rose Companies and Harlem RBI partnered on a new affordable housing development and co-located charter school. Through years of community negotiations, they “created a core of stakeholders,” according to Harlem RBI executive director Rich Berlin. In both cases, the results have proven to jaded New Yorkers that equitable improvement is possible.
Source: New York Times
Changing Affordability in Charlotte
Established in 1891, the Cherry neighborhood in Charlotte, North Carolina, is the city’s oldest, historically black, workforce housing community, but the population mix and housing prices are changing. The neighborhood’s proximity to the city’s job center and public transportation, combined with the availability of vacant lots and low-cost homes during the recession, has made the community ripe for redevelopment. Residents have voiced concerns at city council meetings, but the community changes have not required zoning approvals. As Cherry and other neighborhoods change from their affordable roots, the city’s resources for creating new affordable units are not keeping pace with rising costs. Voluntary inclusionary zoning is on the books but unused. A bond-funded city housing fund is expected to add more than 300 units of affordable housing in the next two years, but the city has an estimated 34,000 fewer affordable units than needed for its population.
Source: Next City
Poverty and School Performance in Ohio
Ohio school report card data show consistent connections between students’ poverty levels and academic performance. The analysis, prepared by the Ohio Education Policy Institute, looked at school poverty concentrations and academic factors, such as ACT scores, college enrollment, and enrollment in advanced placement courses. In addition, the state of Ohio ranked 43rd in the nation for its test score gaps between students living in poverty and higher-income classmates. “If there’s one thing we ought to be pretty well convinced of at this point is that parents’ income makes a big difference on school performance,” says Peggy Lehner, an Ohio state senator.
Source: Columbus Dispatch
Job Gains May Drive Housing Market
Economists are projecting that job growth will drive the U.S. housing market, despite looming issues. Falling oil prices, volatile financial markets, the potential for higher interest rates, and a shortage of construction workers pose challenges. However, economists view rising household formation, improving labor markets, and rising rents as drivers that may boost home purchases. The projections reflect optimistic home sales forecasts by economists from Nationwide Insurance, CoreLogic, and the National Association of Home Builders at the International Builders Show in Las Vegas.
Source: Wall Street Journal