Housing News Roundup: March 15, 2018
No State Has Enough Housing for Low-Income Renters
A new report shows that only 35 affordable rental homes are available for every 100 extremely low–income households in the United States, a figure unchanged from last year. This problem exists in every state and metropolitan area, though Nevada and California have the worst ratios. “The problem…is that many jobs don’t pay enough for low-income people to afford to pay the rent,” said Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, which released the report.
A Missouri Law May Compromise Fair Housing Investigations
Last year, Missouri passed a bill that the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) says alters fair housing law. This month, HUD suspended Missouri’s participation in a program that investigates housing discrimination and enforces fair housing laws in rural areas. Some lawmakers are advocating for a full repeal of the bill. Advocates worry that the federal caseload will pile up. “The system will not work well for people who are in dire need and distress and need to find some relief quickly,” said Charles Bryson, executive director of the St. Louis Civil Rights Enforcement Agency.
Source: St. Louis Public Radio
New Police Division Will Connect the Homeless with Services
A new division of the San Diego Police Department will offer services to homeless people willing to accept help. It will include the county’s Psychiatric Emergency Response team to pair law enforcement officers with mental health clinicians. “It’s all going to be tied together so we’ll work more efficiently with the ultimate goal of getting these homeless people into permanent housing,” said assistant police chief Paul Connelly. The division will have a constant presence in areas with the largest homeless populations.
Source: San Diego Tribune
How a Park Could Promote Equitable Development
A team of organizations plans to build a park above the Anacostia River in Washington, DC, to connect the neighborhoods of Capitol Hill, where the 2014 median household income was $91,000, and Anacostia, where it was $32,000. Beyond creating new community space, the project plans to combat gentrification by creating a community land trust to preserve affordability of homes available for rent and purchase.
Six Months After Hurricane Harvey, FEMA’s Housing Strategy Appears Unsuccessful
After Hurricane Harvey, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) asked Texas to help find trailers, lease apartments, and repair flood victims’ houses rather than pay for short-term housing. Six months after Harvey, fewer than 8,000 Texas families, or about 2 percent of applicants who qualified for federal assistance, have made it into trailers or homes funded by FEMA programs.
Source: Houston Chronicle