Housing News Roundup: March 23, 2015
Health Care Systems Experimenting at Intersection of Health and Poverty
Health officials are searching for ways to treat the millions of patients who are now insured while also tackling the rising costs. So recognizing that health is often tied to housing, food security or even the ability to, say, get a drivers license, at least 26 states are testing ways to manage patients by helping them beyond the medical realm. “This is a holy grail in research right now,” said John Vu, a vice president at Kaiser Permanente, one of the largest insurers and care providers in the country. In Minnesota’s Hennepin County, medical costs have fallen by 11 percent per year on average since a pilot program began in 2012. Largest costs savings? Finding permanent housing for more than 250 patients.
Source: New York Times
Neighborhood ‘Redlining’ of the 1930s Reflects Staying Power of Discrimination
A recent article in Belt Magazine shows that many current high-poverty neighborhoods in the U.S. match closely with “to be avoided” areas on maps — circled in red and referred to as “redlining”— created for the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) in the 1930s. The FHA requested the information to assess mortgage risk following massive foreclosures during the Great Depression. Information on the maps included type and age of buildings as well as the “threat of infiltration of foreign-born, negro or lower-grade population.” The article uses a Census data overlay to show the similarities of “redlined” maps and high-poverty neighborhoods right now in Detroit, Cleveland and Chicago.
San Jose is Booming for High-Tech Immigrants, Less So for Low-Skilled U.S. Workers
Once an agricultural region that attracted farm workers, San Jose is now home to dozens of high-tech firms and thousands of highly skilled immigrants from China and India. High wages have pushed housing prices up, too. The city had the highest median list price for homes — $698,000 — last year among major U.S. metropolitan areas. Left behind, say experts, are many Latinos and African Americans who are underrepresented in tech and see few employment prospects in San Jose. Adding to the pain: traffic congestion and gang-related home robberies.
Source: Bloomberg Business
Cities in New York State Have Soaring Poverty Rates
Recent Census data show that childhood poverty has reached “epidemic levels” for all ethnic and racial groups in New York State, according to a report by the Assembly Puerto/Rican Task Force. In most of the state’s 10 major cities, racial and ethnic minorities have a child poverty rate of 50 percent or more; in some upstate areas, child poverty rates exceed 70 percent for some racial minorities. At current rates of growth, New York will surpass every state in the nation with the most children living in poverty. Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently appointed a task force to address child poverty in Rochester, the only city of its size in the nation where slightly more than half of children live in poverty.
Source: Elmira Star Gazette
U.S. Foreclosure Rate at Lowest Level in Nearly a Decade
February saw the lowest rates of foreclosures on U.S. homes in almost nine years according to a report by housing data and analytics firm RealtyTrac. Absolute numbers are still striking, though. The report shows that last month 101,938 properties across the U.S. were facing some stage of the foreclosure process including notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions. Maryland has the highest foreclosure rates; Nevada and Florida rank at number two and number three.