Housing News Roundup: June 6, 2019
LA County Homelessness Increases
Despite voter-approved tax increases and more than $600 million spent on social and supportive housing services, homelessness increased 12 percent in Los Angeles County last year. Officials attribute the rise to increasing rents (over the past two decades, median monthly rent has increased 32 percent) and evictions. “Skyrocketing rents statewide and federal disinvestment in affordable housing, combined with an epidemic of untreated trauma and mental illness, is pushing people into homelessness faster than they can be lifted out,” said mayor Eric Garcetti in a statement.
Neighborhoods with HOAs Tend to Be Wealthier and Less Diverse
A new study found that single-family homes in homeowners associations (HOAs) sold for an average of 4 percent more than similar homes outside HOAs and that HOA residents are more likely to be white or Asian and wealthy. The study also found that the HOA premium was highest in areas with less local government. “You can see there could be some real value with having HOAs.… On the flip side, we don’t think people are fully informed about the restrictions they face living in HOAs, and they might also propagate segregation and inequality in a way that we as a society don’t view as positive” said coauthor Matthew Freedman. This research comes at a time when 80 percent of all new homes are in HOAs.
LGBT Seniors Are Vulnerable to Discrimination in Nursing Homes and Hospice
By 2030, roughly 4.7 million LGBT seniors will need elder care and services. More than a third are worried they will have to hide their identities to secure suitable housing, and 60 percent worry about neglect, harassment, and abuse, according a survey of AARP members. A forthcoming survey conducted by Yeshiva University found this concern could be warranted—most of the 850 hospice and palliative care providers interviewed said LGBT patients received discriminatory care, and two-thirds of providers said this about transgender patients. Increasingly, senior housing and care programs are writing nondiscrimination policies and training their employees to provide inclusive care.
Source: Washington Post
Sonoma County Switches Housing Voucher Program from Waiting List to Lottery System
On Tuesday, Sonoma County supervisors voted to switch the housing voucher program from a waiting list, which currently has 26,278 applicants, to a lottery system. The new system will provide housing every two years for 500 people, will give preference to seniors and residents with disabilities, and will waive preference for veterans who receive other housing program supports. Supervisors acknowledge that neither system is perfect. “We’re moving from an inadequate system to a somewhat inadequate system. We need more housing,” said supervisor Lynda Hopkins.
Charlotte’s Affordable Housing Fund Nears Its Goal
This week, Fifth Third Bank and Atrium Health each pledged $10 million for affordable housing and a joint $13 million for the Charlotte Housing Opportunity Investment Fund—bringing the fund to 88 percent of its $50 million goal. “We are one of the most prosperous, fastest-growing cities in the country. And on the other side, there’s just too many of our neighbors left behind,” said Gene Woods, president and CEO of Atrium.
Source: Charlotte Observer