Housing News Roundup: June 5, 2015
Inclusionary Zoning’s Role in Washington, D.C.
Inclusionary zoning could be one of the tools Washington, D.C. needs to keep neighborhoods diverse even as housing costs continue to climb. The city’s inclusionary zoning regulations, in effect since 2008, require that new rental or condominium buildings with more than 10 units, as well as buildings that more than double in size due to expansion, must make 8-10% of units affordable to working and middle class families. The regulation allows developers to put more market-rate units in a complex to subsidize the costs of the lower-priced units. However, the city’s program has a poor reputation due to its apparent stifling of development during the housing crash, challenges with the lottery for filling affordable units, and concerns about low levels of affordability in general. However, the program has caught the eye of the D.C. City Council, which passed a resolution to allow more units in a building — nudging the mayor of D.C. to take action.
Source: Washington Post
Investment Firm’s $1B Plan to Improve Affordable Housing
Investment management firm Turner Impact Capital is launching a $1 billion fund to acquire and manage apartment properties in an effort to help fix the nation’s affordable housing problem. The Turner Multifamily Impact Fund will focus on investing in densely populated, ethnically diverse urban communities. It hopes to acquire and improve workforce housing for people earning up to 80% of area median income.
Source: Los Angeles Business Journal
USDA Program to Help Low-Income Rural Residents Make Home Repairs
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has opened the pre-application process for USDA Rural Development’s Housing Preservation Grant program. The grants can be used toward housing repairs for low- and very-low-income rural residents. “These grants help rural homeowners and rental housing owners repair and improve their properties,” Vilsack said. “Funds may be used to resolve health or safety issues, make accessibility modifications for people with disabilities or make energy-efficiency improvements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower utility costs.” Town or county governments, public agencies, federally recognized Indian Tribes and non-profit and faith-based organizations are all eligible.
Source: High Plains/ Midwest AG Journal
Report: 5 Booming Metros Where Most Millennials Can’t Afford to Buy
As Millennials make headway in the workforce and increasingly move out on their own, bad news strikes: few make enough to afford to buy in booming metros. The typical 23- to 34-year-old makes enough to afford about 70% of residences in most major metro areas, but not in booming economies. “San Francisco, Seattle, Denver — places that have a lot of job creation and that many Millennials want to move to — those are more iffy,” said Zillow economist Svenja Gudell. The least affordable metro areas for Millennials were Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and Fresno.
Source: The Street