Housing News Roundup: July 30, 2015
Report: Racial Segregation Still a Serious Problem
While today’s cities are more diverse overall, racial segregation is still very much alive. While previous data points to a decline in housing and community segregation, new research published in the American Sociological Review clearly illustrates that black people still tend to live in majority black suburbs, with white people doing the same. Daniel Lichter, lead author of the study and a sociologist at Cornell, found that white flight, prejudice, and exclusionary zoning are creating segregation between races in cities and suburbs alike. According to the report, “Segregation between places (e.g. city-suburb or suburb-suburb) may be increasing, even as overall metro-neighborhood segregation declines.”
Source: City Lab
Conversation with Raphael Bostic on Why a New Fair Housing Rule is Needed
Raphael Bostic, director of the University of Southern California Bedrosian Center on Governance, discusses why there is a need for a Fair Housing Rule in 2015. He argues that the old rules simply were not solving the fair housing problems that communities were experiencing. Bostic says that there is misinformation circulating about the rule, and explains that it is meant to make addressing fair housing challenges easier and more cost effective and not meant to force communities to take any particular actions. Bostic, who was involved in the creation of the new rule when he was former assistant secretary of HUD, hopes it will result in new patterns of investment that create more opportunity in neighborhoods across the country.
Source: DS News
NY Audit Finds People Skipping Ahead on Affordable Housing Waiting Lists
A just completed audit of three affordable housing developments by the New York Comptroller found that two of the three complexes did not assign vacant units to the family at the top of the waiting lists, leaving others on the list unable to secure their own safe and affordable housing. The audit also showed that the waiting list was not the only problem; in at least one case, a unit was illegally offered for rent through Airbnb. “New York is facing a dire shortage of affordable housing, and it is imperative that the affordable apartments we have are managed fairly,” said Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. “No one should wait years for an apartment only to be passed over without explanation.”
Source: New York Daily News
Planned Brooklyn Development Raises Concerns
A proposed housing complex called Pier 6 in Southern Brooklyn has come under fire recently as part of the city’s ongoing effort to build more affordable housing. Pier 6, which was approved by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration, was able to move forward originally because of a change in plans to include 117 units of below market-rate housing. However, opponents of the plan fear that Brooklyn Heights and adjacent Cobble Hill cannot handle the construction of the Pier 6 project, because they are already in line for other large construction projects. Supporters of Pier 6 argue that the waterfront, which has expensive piers to maintain, needs additional taxpayer money to stay afloat; without Pier 6, the waterfront will be bankrupt within ten years.
Source: New York Post
More Affordable Housing Needed to End Veteran Homelessness
On Wednesday, veterans advocates told federal lawmakers that a lack of affordable housing stock was hindering the nation’s efforts to ensure that homeless veterans move off the streets and into homes. Jennifer Ho, senior adviser at the Department of Housing and Urban Development said most housing vouchers provide approximately $650 per month for rent, but finding housing at that cost can be very difficult for veterans. In recent years, federal efforts have helped to reduce the number of homeless veterans in the United States, but there are still an estimated 50,000 veterans struggling to find secure and affordable housing. Advocates say that rapid housing and transitional shelter programs have been successful, and that bolstering these programs would help end veteran homelessness.
Source: The Military Times