Housing News Roundup: May 2, 2019
Low-Income DC Residents Experience Some of the Highest Displacement Rates in the Country
Nearly 40 percent of DC residents (including roughly 35 percent of low-income residents) live in economically growing census tracts, but low-income residents are at great risk for displacement, according to a new study by the Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity. Most people being displaced are black and low income. In some parts of the Capitol Hill and Kingman Park neighborhoods, about 75 percent of the low-income populations have been pushed out. Meanwhile, some low-income areas are not experiencing any economic growth—some of areas of Wards 7 and 8 are actually getting poorer.
Source: Washington Post
Cook County Combats Landlord Discrimination against Tenants with Criminal Histories
Late last week, the Cook County Board passed an amendment to the county’s housing ordinance that limits the ability of landlords to ask about potential tenants’ criminal histories. It aims to prevent discrimination against people who have been involved with the criminal justice system and who are trying to turn their lives around. “The ordinance we’ve just passed is in line with federal fair housing laws because it balances the need for inclusion with the need for safety…. This is the latest step in our mission to bring equity to Cook County,” said board president Toni Preckwinkle.
Source: Chicago Sun Times
Mobile Home Residents Face Rising Rents and Development Pressure
The average two-person household in Silver Palm Place, a mobile home community in Miami-Dade County for residents ages 55 and older, earns just over $15,000 a year. When the owners of the park raised the rent by $100 per month, residents struggled to pay and protested. Eventually, the owners sold the park, and the new owners raised the rent even more. Residents have joined forces to form a homeowners association and to seek legal services. “I think it’s important to recognize that manufactured houses are the last forms of nonsubsidized affordable housing in Florida,” said Nejla Calvo, a lawyer with the Mobile Home Park Advocacy Project.
Minority Neighborhoods Are Becoming Whiter in Many Cities across the US
In many cities across the US, from Chicago to Atlanta to Raleigh, predominantly minority neighborhoods are experiencing an influx of white residents—and the black, Hispanic, and Asian American populations of nearby suburban neighborhoods is also growing. These patterns affect more than the racial makeup of a region, says Kia E. Baker, who grew up in Raleigh and now directs a local nonprofit. “It’s not just the fact that the neighborhoods look different, that people behave differently. Our black bodies literally have less economic value than the body of a white person. As soon as a white body moves into the same space that I occupied, all of a sudden this place is more valuable.”
Source: New York Times
Atlanta Start-Up Develops Boarding House to Create Affordable Housing
PadSplit, an Atlanta-based start-up company, developed shared homes with private bedrooms and fixed utilities to provide affordable housing to residents who earn an average of $21,000 annually. Founder Atticus LeBlanc got the idea after working as an affordable housing developer and property manager. “As I talked to people earning minimum wage, I realized they couldn’t pay for anything that was available,” he said. PadSplit reportedly saves property owners more than 60 percent in net income.