Housing News Roundup: May 23, 2019
Carson Defends New HUD Policy to Evict Undocumented Immigrants from Public Housing
On Tuesday, Secretary Ben Carson testified on Capitol Hill in defense of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) proposed rule to prevent undocumented immigrants from accessing federally subsidized housing, which an agency analysis found could displace more than 55,000 children who are legal residents or citizens. “It seems only logical that taxpaying American citizens should be taken care of first,” Carson said. Legislation is being considered to block the proposed rule.
Source: Washington Post
Boston Housing Authority Will Be First to Voluntarily Set Housing Voucher Value by ZIP Code
The Boston Housing Authority will become the first in the nation to voluntarily adopt small area fair market rents. Doing so would link the value of a housing voucher to rent levels by ZIP code rather than to rent levels for the housing market overall, meaning that people with vouchers may have greater access to higher-cost neighborhoods. “We want [residents] to live where they want to live, but we’re also hoping they live throughout Boston and that we see income-integrated neighborhoods. And we want to see rents in all our neighborhoods stabilized,” said housing chief Sheila Dillon.
Source: Boston Globe
Zoning Can Further Environmental Justice
Communities of color and low-income communities disproportionately contain environmental hazards that pollute nearby areas. Zoning is one tool to fight these disparities, finds a new report by The New School’s Tishman Environment and Design Center. It states that land use and industrial policies in six cities—Baltimore, Chicago, Oakland, Oregon, Portland, and Seattle—and Whatcom County, Washington, are harmful to public health and the environment. The polices “take on a wholly different meaning in the context of structural racism, patterns of uneven development,” the authors write.
Source: Pacific Standard
Urban Planning Can Influence Health Disparity Patterns
Philadelphia ranks fourth-worst for asthma prevalence among US cities, and it affects 13 percent of the city’s children. Meanwhile, African Americans are roughly three times more likely to have and die from asthma than white people. To address the root causes of asthma, researchers, activists, and public health experts agree that both housing and air quality must be improved. “This conversation is going to end up being very cyclical in nature. Because one thing kind of affects another, which affects another, which affects another,” said nurse Christian Banchs.
HUD Pledges to Provide Carbon Monoxide Detectors in Public Housing
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development will dedicate $5 million to installing carbon monoxide detectors in public housing, the agency announced on Monday. It marks “the first time HUD is targeting grants specifically for the purchase and installation of carbon monoxide detectors,” according to a press release. The pledge comes after a NBC News investigation found that at least 13 public housing residents died from carbon monoxide poisoning since 2003.
Source: NBC News