Housing News Roundup: May 3, 2018
What the Secrecy around Limited Liability Companies Means for the Housing Market
The rise of limited liability companies has brought privacy to the country’s once-transparent housing market. This shift can facilitate money laundering, a lack of landlord accountability, and a lack of reliable data, experts say. “Should tenants have a right to know who they’re renting from? Should cities have a right to know who owns the property? The answer is a resounding yes,” said Susan Pace Hamill, a law professor at the University of Alabama.
Source: New York Times
Will Rent Control Fix the Bay Area’s Housing Crisis?
Housing advocates across the Bay Area suburbs are seeking to limit rent increases and achieve protection from eviction for renters. The housing crisis “is very much a renter crisis,” said Tony Roshan Samara, program director at Urban Habitat in Oakland, who added that rising housing costs force many low-income and working-class families to spend more than half their income on housing. A recent Stanford University study found that renters stay in rent-controlled properties longer, allowing them to save between $2,300 and $6,600 per person a year from 1995 to 2012, but also reducing the available rental supply.
Source: Mercury News
Thousands of Housing Discrimination Complaints Don’t Paint a Full Picture
In 2017, nearly 30,000 housing discrimination complaints were filed in America, according to a new report by the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA). But the problem is likely larger, as many cases of housing discrimination are not filed as formal complaints. “As the 2018 trends report shows, we must put an end to the many institutionalized barriers that prevent too many families in this country from fair access to housing,” said NFHA president and CEO Lisa Rice.
How Climate Change Is Displacing Low-Income Residents
After mobile homes were destroyed in Hurricane Irma, low-income residents of the Florida Keys found themselves with no place to live. The Keys’ building code prohibits the replacement or repair of damaged mobile homes, and many of these residents were forced inland. In many cases, their property has been replaced by more expensive homes built on higher ground that satisfy building codes. While common in the Keys, this “climate gentrification” is evident in the town where Hurricane Sandy hit and in other areas hit by natural disasters.
Source: SF Gate
Seattle Will Create Affordable Housing near Transit Stations
Seattle’s Sound Transit Agency announced it will offer up to 80 percent of surplus property near Link Light Rail stations to affordable housing projects and will require developers using surplus property around stations to allot 80 percent of residential units for residents earning 80 percent of the area median income or less. “If you look at the dynamics of the metropolitan region that we have become, transit-oriented development is one of the most critical opportunities that we have to allow people of all means to be able to thrive,” said Marty Kooistra, executive director of the Housing Development Consortium.
Source: Bellevue Reporter