Housing News Roundup: May 11, 2017 | How Housing Matters

Housing News Roundup: May 11, 2017

ShareShare on Facebook0Share on LinkedIn0Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Federal Housing Policy Disproportionately Benefits the Wealthy

The Mortgage Interest Deduction (MID) perpetuates inequality, according to Matthew Desmond. Ohene Asare and his wife make approximately $290,000 a year and own their home. In 2015, they claimed $21,686 in home interest in 2015, and they saved $470 a month in housing costs. But Crisaliz Diaz, a renter who made $38,000 last year, must make ends meet for herself and two sons without federal housing assistance. Despite the lack of rental entitlements, the MID is entrenched in the country’s tax code, especially because the subsidies homeowners receive raise property values. But some propose reducing the maximum amount of deductible mortgage debt to $500,000 from the current cap of $1 million. This would save the federal government an estimated $87 billion over 10 years. Diane Yentel of the National Low Income Housing Coalition advocates using those savings to fund proven programs that could end homelessness and housing insecurity. According to Yentel, when it comes to reallocating money that funds the MID to programs for low-income residents, “The solution is so obvious.”

ShareShare on Facebook0Share on LinkedIn0Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Source: New York Times Magazine

Eviction Prevention Efforts Lack Funding, Despite Benefits to the City and Renters

The City of Baltimore’s eviction prevention efforts—despite the potential cost savings of keeping renters in their homes—lack necessary funding. Each year, 70,000 eviction notices are issued by Baltimore courts. Although the city offers eviction prevention grants to help renters pay past-due rent, the city only awarded 324 of these grants in 2014. This forced many renters who couldn’t afford rent to find alternative living arrangements, such as moving into hotels or staying with friends and family or in shelters. Nonprofits in the city are also working to prevent eviction for renters, but the state and federal funding that the mayor’s office allocates to them decreased 10.8 percent between 2014 and 2015. Other cities, such as Washington, DC, and New York City, have increased their eviction prevention efforts by providing funds to cover several months of rent and providing attorneys for residents facing eviction. Robert Strupp of Baltimore Neighborhoods Inc. explained the need for more eviction prevention funding in the city: “Evictions have a ripple effect into everything. It’s enormous. Evictions cause overcrowding, cause vacant and blighted properties, they cause kids not to be in school.”

ShareShare on Facebook0Share on LinkedIn0Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Source: The Baltimore Sun

Hot Rental Market and Discrimination Leaves Vouchers Unused

After many years waiting for assistance, a new set of households in Dallas received vouchers to help pay the rent. The program was designed to relieve high housing cost burdens among the poor while giving families a choice of where to live—potentially accessing stronger schools and more job options. New voucher recipients Farryn Giles and C’Artis Harris had hopes of leaving their housing struggles behind, moving closer to jobs, and making a better life for themselves and their children, but neither has found an apartment willing to take the voucher, despite hundreds of phone calls. Around 60 percent of voucher recipients in Dallas cannot use the voucher by the deadline. A planned development that would serve a mix of incomes, including voucher holders, in the city’s northern suburbs has faced repeated community opposition. “In this neighborhood, most of us are stay-at-home moms with young kids,” says Nicole Humphrey, an opponent of the development. “The lifestyle that goes with Section 8 is usually working, single moms or people who are struggling to keep their heads above water. I feel so bad saying that. It’s just not people who are the same class as us.”

ShareShare on Facebook0Share on LinkedIn0Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Source: NPR

Through Health Care Savings, Subsidized Housing Measure Could Pay for Itself

A new measure in California would provide an additional $90 million in state housing funds over five years to subsidize the rent of homeless patients in Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program. Aimmee Moulin of the University of California, Davis, Medical Center explained the impact of housing on a population that often struggles to stay healthy: “If you can start to address some of the underlying needs of patients, then you can actually make a better impact [on their health].” Sharon Rapport of the Corporation for Supportive Housing echoes this belief, saying, “We know it’s the right thing to do to improve the health of this population, while also saving costs.” The Corporation for Supportive Housing estimates that by housing homeless people, who, as research shows, are frequent users of emergency medical services, the program would pay for itself through savings to the Medi-Cal program, and it would create an additional $6 million to $12 million in savings for the program annually. The assembly appropriations committee will consider the bill in late May.

ShareShare on Facebook0Share on LinkedIn0Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Source: Kaiser Health News

The Low Line Will Attempt to Create Economic Growth without Displacement

Charleston is examining ways to construct its own version of New York City’s High Line without displacing residents of the low-income, mostly black, North Central neighborhood located along a section of the proposed development. The Low Line would repurpose a 1.6-mile railroad right of way that sits below an interstate, turning it into a nine-acre park that connects neighborhoods in the city for bikers and pedestrians. Bringing with it an estimated $1.1 billion in economic output, the city is considering policies to ensure that the neighborhoods next to the Low Line remain affordable and diverse in the rapidly gentrifying city. The city plans to allow builders to develop more units near the proposed park if a portion are affordable. Additionally, pending legislation at the state level, sponsored by the state senator representing the city, would ensure that new developments of a certain size would contain affordable units. But Loquita Bryant Jenkins of the North Central Neighborhood Association notes, “With the beautification comes a price tag for current and old residents in the area.”

ShareShare on Facebook0Share on LinkedIn0Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Source: Slate

Add a Comment

Add a Comment

Advanced Options

Filter Search:
Month
Day
Year
Events Calendar
Filter Search:
Month
Day
Year
S
M
T
W
T
F
S
Thursday, April 8, 2014
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday

Please select year

OK
X