Housing News Roundup: March 8, 2018
Sidewalk Disrepair Reveals Neighborhood Inequity in Boston
Sidewalks in some of Boston’s lowest-income neighborhoods are among the city’s most damaged, according to a recent analysis. Some residents report sidewalk and other types of neighborhood disrepair, but many don’t bother because they don’t believe the city will fix the problems. “They are not giving Roxbury…as much [improvements] as they are giving other neighborhoods,’’ said Jamie Mitchell, a barber in one of the lowest-income neighborhoods. The analysis was conducted after a report from the Mayor’s Office of Resilience and Racial Equity encouraged the city to think about sidewalk maintenance, repairs, and resource allocation.
Source: The Boston Globe
How Will a Judge's Recent Ruling Affect Seattle's Homelessness Crisis?
Steven Long has been homeless and living out of his truck since 2014 because it feels safer to him than sleeping in a shelter and warmer than sleeping outside. After returning from his job one day, he found the city of Seattle had towed his truck, saying he had violated a rule that requires vehicles to be moved every 72 hours. A judge ruled that the city’s impoundment violated an act that protects properties from forced sale because he was using it as a home and that the fees Long had to pay were too high. What implications could this have for other homeless people and the ways cities enforce similar regulations?
Source: Seattle Times
Sleeping in Cars Becomes a Solution for Low-Income Commuters Who Live Far from Work
Amid the housing crisis in Santa Barbara, California—a city with a 7- to 10-year waiting list for subsidized housing, high housing costs, and a 0.6 percent vacancy rate—Cassie Roach operates the Safe Parking Program, an initiative that provides a place to park overnight. It helps low-income workers who are tied to jobs in areas without affordable housing and have long commutes. Safe Parking has received inquiries from officials in Los Angeles, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania, and such programs may spread as the housing crisis continues.
Could Parks Be the Solution to Honolulu’s Housing and Homelessness Crisis?
Three parks in Honolulu that cover 40 acres of public space have been closed for safety reasons, according to the executive director of the Hawaii Community Development Authority. Homeless encampments, or tent cities, have spread all over the city’s parks, an issue that exists in municipalities across the country. But what will happen to the homeless people who lived there? A group of state legislators has proposed legal encampments, called “ohana zones,” where families can temporarily live in parks and have access to showers, social services, and security.
Report Finds Systematic Failures in Treatment of Minnesota Adults in Senior Facilities
A new report by the Office of the Minnesota Legislative Auditor found chronic failures in the ways the state health department’s Office of Health Facility Complaints investigates abuse allegations, thus failing to protect vulnerable adults in senior care facilities. The report found that regulatory protections for vulnerable adults are based on the facility, not residents’ needs. A Star Tribune investigation has documented hundreds of incidents of criminal abuse that were not investigated. The report’s findings are expected to fuel reform.
Source: Star Tribune