Housing News Roundup: June 7, 2018
Affordable Housing for Formerly Incarcerated People
Missoula County, Montana, is piloting a program that will help about 75 formerly incarcerated people secure affordable rental housing. Missoula, which has the second-highest homeless population and the second-highest number of people in corrections supervision in the state, hopes the program will lower the recidivism rate. “They do want to get a job. They do want to find medical care and get their kids in school,” said county grants administrator Erin Kautz. “Once you get people into housing, all the rest will follow.”
Source: Montana Public Radio
Behind on Affordable Housing Goals, Atlanta BeltLine Recalculates How to Measure Progress
Originally, the Atlanta BeltLine strove to create 5,600 affordable housing units, but since then, the organization has fallen behind on its goal. Now, the BeltLine is changing the way it’s calculating progress by including units built by public agencies such as the Atlanta Housing Authority, in addition to counting units built by the organization and the city’s development department. BeltLine CEO Brian McGowan says his new goal is to create 10,000 units. “The whole team is looking at way beyond 5,600. That’s a minimum,” he said.
Austin to Review Ordinances That Criminalize Homelessness
On Monday, the Public Safety Commission of Austin, Texas, voted to instruct the city manager to review ordinances that may “create barriers for people who are trying to obtain housing or employment.” Such ordinances include making it illegal to camp in public spaces and lay down in parts of downtown. Andrew Keegan, an assistant city auditor who helped draft a recent analysis that said ordinances likely make it harder for people experiencing homelessness to obtain housing or jobs, said arresting people for these violations “did not appear to be an efficient method to connect people to services.”
Source: Austin Monitor
Seeking Federal Assistance, Puerto Rico Communities Explore Community Land Trusts
Federal funding to repair and replace houses damaged in Hurricane Maria could make a huge difference for working-class Puerto Ricans, but they’ve had trouble accessing those funds. The Federal Emergency Management Agency requires recipients to prove homeownership, but that’s impossible for people who had documents that were destroyed in the storm or who never had official documents to begin with. Communities across the island are exploring establishing community land trusts to receive assistance.
San Francisco Infrastructure Project Aims to Prevent Displacement and Create Long-Term Jobs
San Francisco’s Southeast Treatment Plant needs a major upgrade, and the city agency that owns and operates it is taking a unique approach to ensure that the surrounding community, which could be at risk of experiencing residential displacement, reaps the benefit. The agency will coordinate apprenticeships with the school district and community-based organizations to help residents secure permanent, long-term careers. Other communities considering antidisplacement policies could explore place-based job-creation ladders.