Housing News Roundup: June 30, 2015
The Entrenched Effects of Housing Discrimination
Last week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project could have major implications for neighborhood change. The interwoven legacy of economic stratification and racial segregation are still visible in U.S. neighborhoods despite a half a century of fair housing law. A new map from the Urban Institute illustrates the effects of income inequality across the nation, including how wealthy neighborhoods have stayed static over the past few years, while poorer neighborhoods have shifted, expanded and grown even poorer over time.
New York Bans ‘Poor Doors’ in 421a Deal
In a renewal of New York City’s 421a tax abatement program for multifamily housing, the state has banned what many have referred to as the ‘poor doors’ – separate doors for residents of affordable housing units in a mixed-income building. The bill, signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday, includes incentives for housing projects to add increased affordable housing units in their buildings. “Buildings that segregate entrances for lower-income and middle-class tenants are an affront to our values,” Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer told the New York Post. Others point to poor doors being a symptom of a much larger problem of economic inequality and affordable housing in the city.
5 Metros Where Millennials Can Own Homes
Millennials interested in buying their own homes should look toward smaller Midwestern metros, according to a new study by Zillow.com. While salaries are often higher on the coasts, so are housing costs. The new report compares median incomes for Millennials with home prices in major U.S. metro areas to determine which metros were the most affordable for young home buyers. The top five, in no particular order, are Scranton, Penn., Buffalo, N.Y., and Youngstown, Dayton, and Akron, all in Ohio.
Source: Main Street
The Affordable Housing Crisis Affects All Americans
The unavailability of affordable housing is now being recognized as a serious issue for Americans of all ages and incomes, with media across the country shining a light on the challenges regarding housing affordability and accessibility. Still, many policymakers seem unphased by the housing crisis, as they have not prioritized changing laws benefiting relatively higher-income homeowners, and have not expanded low-income tax credits. Housing affordability challenges increasingly affect middle-income Americans, not only the poor.
Source: Houston Chronicle
VA Helps Homeless Veterans Find Long-Term Employment & Housing
A new employment program launched by the Department of Veteran Affairs will help to address the serious and continual problem of homelessness and unemployment in the veteran community. Now, 154 community employment coordinators across the nation will work to help homeless veterans establish relationships with local employers, and get the resources they need to travel to job interviews or meet professional dress code requirements. “The idea [of the program] is to try to put all those resources together so it’s more streamlined and efficient for the veteran,” says Carma Heitzmann, national director of the new employment program.
Source: Columbus Dispatch