Housing News Roundup: March 27, 2015
Transportation Costs Are a Major Factor in ‘Affordable’ Housing
While “affordable” housing most often focuses on whether costs are more or less than 30% of a household’s income, experts says it’s also important to factor in the cost of transportation, which can be determined by where a person calls home. For example, higher rent in a city could be offset by inexpensive public transportation, while someone with a small mortgage in the suburbs would require a car and everything else that entails. The nonprofit Center for Neighborhood Technology believes housing and transportation costs should be no more than a combined 45% of a household’s income.
Source: Washington Post
S.F. Program to Keep Entire Street Encampments Together in Single Shelters
As part of its ongoing efforts to end chronic homelessness, San Francisco is opening a shelter dedicated to bringing in entire street encampments. City officials believe that keeping these groups together will make is easier to evaluate individual needs and transition people into supportive or permanent housing. “A lot of these folks have built a community on the street — they don’t want to go into shelters for various reasons,” said Trent Rhorer, director of the city’s human-services agency. “We are trying to address all of those reasons with the navigation center.”
Source: Wall Street Journal
The Sun Shines Bright in Texas, Too
SolarCity and MP2 Energy are joining together in an effort to bring low-cost solar energy technology to the rooftops of homes and businesses in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. While Texas excels in the production of gas and wind energy, a lack of incentives has limited solar’s growth. Under the new plan, solar customers will pay less than they would for grid electricity, while also receiving credit for solar energy they generate but don’t use.
Source: Next City
Census: Young Americans the Most Likely to Move
No matter the state of the economy, young adults and their children are the most likely to pick up and move to a new area of the country, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. An analysis determined that while young adults were only 24% of the population from 2007-2012, they accounted for 43% of moves. The analysis also found that more and more they are moving to cities, which could inform new policies designed to encourage young adults to stay in place.
Transit Options, Workplace Incentives Promote Use of Public Transportation
Close proximity to transit stops and workplace incentives are two of the most powerful motivators that drive people to use public transportation, according to a new study from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. “While changing the physical environment may be challenging, worksite policies such as incentives and safe bike storage are relatively easy and inexpensive to implement,” said co-authors Dr. Aaron Hipp, Assistant Professor at the Brown School, and Dr. Lin Yang of the Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Surgery at the Washington University School of Medicine.