Housing News Roundup: May 12, 2015
Competing S.F. Housing Proposals Could Boost the City’s Investment
San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors is expected to hear competing solutions to the city’s housing crisis today. Mayor Ed Lee will introduce a $250 million housing bond proposal to construct or renovate 30,000 units by 2020. However, Supervisor John Avalos says he’ll introduce a $500 million measure to accomplish even more along the same lines, which he freely admits is a gambit to increase the size of whatever bond measure ultimately finds its way to the city’s November ballot. “I’m interested in one measure going to the ballot, so I want to come to a consensus,” Avalos said. “One hundred million more than what (the mayor) is envisioning would go a long way to rebuilding neighborhoods that are in need of infrastructure support.” An average two-bedroom apartment in San Francisco rents for $4,580 per month, up 40% from just last year.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
‘Middle Class’ is Losing Meaning…and Mentions
As more and more people question exactly what it means to be “middle class” in the modern economy, fewer people are even using the term. At least that’s the case in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, which finds candidates using euphemisms such as “everyday Americans” and “ordinary Americans.” The rhetorical shift comes as people with middle incomes are no longer able to afford aspects of a traditional middle-class existence. “The cultural consensus around what it means to be ‘middle class’ — and that has very much been part of the national identity in the United States — is beginning to shift,” said Sarah Elwood, a professor at the University of Washington. “We have no collective language for talking about that condition.”
Source: New York Times
Homelessness: First, Give Them a Home
The most effective solution to homelessness hit upon so far by policymakers is surprisingly simple — give them homes. The “housing first” approach emphasizes getting a secure, safe roof over someone’s head, and then setting to work addressing the issues that drove them to homelessness. “Putting a person in housing as an early step in the intervention process actually creates a foundation for health and well-being and for them to actually begin to address the issues that they’ve struggled with over time,” said Lori Thomas, a professor of social work in the College of Health and Human Services at UNC-Charlotte. “It really upends the model that we’ve used for so long.”
Inclusionary Zoning Gives Birth to Largest NYC Housing Complex Yet
What will become the largest apartment building in New York City is now taking applications for 235 affordable units. The 70 studios will rent for $868 monthly, the 120 one-bedrooms will rent for $931 and the 45 two-bedrooms will rent for $1,124 to residents who earn between $31,132 and $51,780 annually. The Sky apartment complex — made possible in part because of inclusionary zoning bonuses — will include a total of 1,175 housing units.