Housing News Roundup: July 19, 2018 | How Housing Matters

Housing News Roundup: July 19, 2018

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HUD Will Award $43 Million to Communities to Tackle Youth Homelessness

On Friday, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced it is awarding $43 million to 11 local communities, including 5 rural areas, to prevent and end youth homelessness. The selected communities will partner with youth action boards and the local or state public child welfare agency to develop plans to tackle the issue. HUD secretary Ben Carson said he hopes to “break the cycle of homelessness and lead them on a path to self-sufficiency.”

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Source: Housing Wire

Study Finds the Greater the Housing Segregation, the Higher the Racial Disparity among Gun Homicides

A new study found that the more racially segregated a state’s neighborhoods are, the greater the disparities between black and white gun homicide victims. Researchers analyzed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data from 1991 to 2015 and used an index to measure racial segregation at the state level in 32 states. For every 10-point increase on the index (larger numbers indicate greater segregation), the ratio of black-to-white gun homicide death rates increased 39 percent. “These findings show that a history of structural racism over decades in the past has significant implications for the lives of black people today,” said author Michael Siegel.

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Source: US News and World Report

Foreclosures Return to Puerto Rico

In the past four months, nearly 300 new foreclosure actions were filed in Puerto Rican courts, marking an end to the moratorium on foreclosures that began after Hurricane Maria. Housing advocates fear it could lead to a wave of foreclosures affecting 3.4 million people. “The main problem here is that people are not prepared, and a lot of borrowers will be taken by surprise. A lot of people are going to lose their homes,” said Ricardo Ramos-González, a coordinator of a consumer legal aid clinic at the University of Puerto Rico School of Law.

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Source: New York Times

St. Louis Empowers the Community to Fight Blight

St. Louis, Missouri, has launched a vacancy website that gives users access to 12 datasets across four city departments that show which properties are vacant and details about each one. By making this tool available, the city hopes to encourage residents to fight blight and provide tools that community stakeholders need to work together to reduce vacancy. “For people who like maps and data, which I do, it’s great to be able to look at that and then hover over a particular parcel and up will pop the owner of that parcel, and it will tell you whether they are current on their taxes. We want somebody with a plan and some ability to do the work on the property and take care of it,” said Mayor Lyda Krewson.

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Source: Fox St. Louis

How Accurate Is the Annual Homelessness Count? Los Angeles Data Beg the Question

According to the 2018 homelessness count, homelessness is down in Los Angeles for the first time in four years. But data from the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority show a sharp increase in tents and vehicles being used as homes. This discrepancy contributes to a broader conversation questioning the accuracy of the annual homelessness count. Homeless authority statisticians say that fewer people are living in these structures but acknowledge that estimates could be off. “From a methodological standpoint, we didn’t make a drastic change from 2017 to 2018,” said JuHyun Sakota, manager of data and research for the homeless authority.

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Source: LA Times

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