Housing News Roundup: July 25, 2019
HUD Denies Los Angeles $80 Million, Citing Discrimination against People with Disabilities
On Friday, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) notified mayor Eric Garcetti that Los Angeles would not receive $80 million from the agency. HUD secretary Ben Carson cited the city’s failure to ensure that its affordable housing programs are accessible to people with disabilities. Local officials have 45 days to resubmit their funding applications. Mayor Garcetti said city leaders are working to address concerns but that HUD should not withhold the money.
Source: Los Angeles Times
Montgomery County Homeowners Protest Zoning Change
Montgomery County, Maryland, homeowners’ protests against a zoning amendment that would relax regulations for auxiliary dwelling units mirror battles in Reno, Nevada; Colorado Springs, Colorado; and other cities across the country that are also reconsidering their zoning laws to make more affordable housing available. “The vision of suburbia that people have is just not sustainable anymore in terms of climate change, in terms of social and economic equity,” said Amanda Hurley, a journalist from Silver Spring. Residents like Matt Quinn disagree. “We’re paying our taxes, we’re keeping our yards clean, our children are going to school. Why is it that we need to change here?” he asks.
Source: Washington Post
Austin Housing Authority Takes Innovative Approach to Section 8 Housing
In Texas, landlords are allowed to deny tenants based on their source of income, and a housing voucher doesn’t guarantee a place to live. To combat discrimination, the Housing Authority of the City of Austin is buying private-market housing units to make them more affordable and accessible to low- and moderate-income people. This includes a 452-unit apartment complex the authority bought in partnership with the Community Development Trust, which they will make available to tenants earning no more than 80 percent of median family income.
New Study Shows High Housing Costs Threaten Child Well-Being
A new study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation showed that child well-being has improved in the past 30 years, but high housing costs threaten their stability and economic success. California ranked 46 out of 50 states for economic well-being, and the report found that 43 percent of California’s children are living with a high housing cost burden. Although the state has seen remarkable improvement in health, with 97 percent of children now having health insurance, soaring housing costs put many of California’s children in economic jeopardy,” stated Children Now, a California nonpartisan child research and advocacy organization.
San Francisco Creates Office of Racial Equity
On Tuesday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to create an Office of Racial Equity, which will oversee a racial equity plan aimed at addressing persistent racial disparities in life expectancy, employment, homelessness, and more. The plan will require city departments to achieve predetermined outcomes or pay a penalty. “This legislation will hold us accountable to moving the needle for racial equity in our city and addressing the disparities facing communities of color with regards to economic stability, housing, health outcomes, or policing,” said supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer.