Housing News Roundup: May 26, 2015
Editorial: De Blasio Facing a Big Challenge in Public Housing Problems
Fixing the New York City Housing Authority is perhaps the most significant task faced by Mayor Bill de Blasio, according to an editorial in the New York Times. The city’s 328 public housing developments face an operating deficit of $98 million this year alone, and are currently in need of more than $16 billion in maintenance and repairs. “Its apartments are high-rise, brick-and-mortar insults to the very idea of a city committed to equality and dignity for the working class and poor.”
Source: New York Times
Tiny Homes as a Big Solution in Bithlo, Fla.
The answer to homelessness in the small Central Florida town of Bithlo may come in the form of 465-square-foot, two-story homes. The idea is a product of the non-profit United Global Outreach, which helps low-income residents in the community and plans to build 43 units in what it’s calling Dignity Village. “Housing has been one of our biggest challenges, to say the least,” said CEO Time McKinney. “But we looked at a lot of options and found the perfect housing model for us, and it’s a great replacement for those decades-old trailers.”
Source: Houston Chronicle
SCOTUS to Decide Reach of the Fair Housing Act
Among the matters to be decided by the Supreme Court before its term ends in a month is the reach of the Fair Housing Act of 1968, which judges have interpreted as prohibiting both overt discrimination and actions with a disparate impact on racial minorities and other protected classes. The case involves a dispute between a Texas non-profit that helps lower-income African-American families secure affordable housing in majority-white areas of Dallas and the state agency in charge of allocating federal low-income housing tax credits.
Source: Los Angeles Times
Illinois County Housing Authority Giving Second Chances to People with Criminal Histories
Cook County, Ill. has reversed a long-standing and widely used one-strike policy that keeps people with criminal backgrounds out of public housing. Juanita Patton, who waited on the list for more than six years only to be turned away because of an arrest and history of drug use, became the first resident to benefit from the change in March when she moved into her own one-bedroom apartment. “We are trying to address this vulnerable population that has not historically had access to our housing programs because we realize we can’t just shut the door on people,” said Richard Monocchio, executive director of the Housing Authority of Cook County. “That just makes a vicious cycle worse.”
Source: Chicago Tribune
Affordable Housing and Good Jobs, All in One Place
Even the most “affordable” affordable community isn’t so if you can’t find a job. Taking this into account, employment website Glassdoor has combined cost of living analysis with data on available jobs to determine the best places to live if you want both good housing and good pay. Topping the list is Raleigh, N.C. “That’s no surprise,” according to Wonkblog. “Employers are attracted to the area because they can draw talented workers from three major universities, without paying the high costs of doing business in the Northeast or Silicon Valley.”
Source: Washington Post