Housing News Roundup: March 22, 2018
A Housing First Program Has Reduced Participants’ Days in Jail
A program in Denver that provides housing and subsequent substance abuse and mental health counseling to previously homeless, high-frequency users of jail, detox, and emergency departments, is proving successful. Tyler Jaeckel, who coordinated the program’s development in the city’s finance department, said that it disproves the idea that people who have been chronically homeless resist services. “The dynamics are completely different when you offer someone actually housing,” he said.
Source: Denver Post
California’s Housing Problems Spread to Nearby States
Amid California’s homelessness and housing crisis, increasing numbers of residents and companies have migrated to Reno, Nevada, a city with cheap land and lower home prices a mere four hours from Silicon Valley. Some Reno residents worry about the pace of growth. The median home price has risen, homes are being sold faster, and the average rent price is 30 percent higher than it was five years ago. The trend is occurring in other western cities, such as Boise, Idaho, and Denver, Colorado.
Source: New York Times
Wi-Fi Can Be a Lifeline for Seattle’s Homeless Campers
Librarians have been bringing Wi-Fi hotspots to sanctioned homeless encampments in Seattle, an effort that has met mixed reception. It has been life changing for some residents who can now access online classes, see job listings, reconnect with family, or access entertainment. Nonprofits have begun to follow the Seattle Public Library’s lead, but Nan Roman, president of the National Alliance to End Homelessness, worries that the trend makes tent camps more permanent. “I mean, given that it’s important they have access, it’s still not OK that people live outside. You sort of hate to see the infrastructure around that hardening,” she said.
Source: Seattle Times
How Does School Choice Affect Gentrification?
A new study focusing on Charlotte, North Carolina, found that housing prices rose in places where students in areas considered to be failing were allowed to switch schools. The study aligns with other research that shows that when more school choice options are available, neighborhoods with more people of color are most likely to gentrify. “What is remarkable in this moment is that schooling and housing are decoupled in a way that hasn’t been the case before,” said Carla Shedd, a professor at the City University of New York Graduate Center.
Source: The Atlantic
Packaged Services Improve Outcomes for the Homeless and Save Money
Los Angeles County’s Housing for Health initiative has housed and provided health care for more than 3,400 formerly homeless people since it began, improving participant outcomes while saving the county $1.20 in health care and social services for every dollar invested in the program. “If you have a case manager, you don’t have to call 911 four times a week because you’re out on the street,” said Mark Trotz, director of Housing for Health. A study found that participants’ emergency room visits dropped 67 percent.
Source: Christian Science Monitor