Housing News Roundup: May 5, 2016
Gig Economy Participation More Likely for Upper-Income People
Individuals earning in the top 20 percent are more likely than those in the bottom 20 percent to have earned income from gig economy platforms such as Uber and Airbnb, according to new research by the JPMorgan Chase Institute. Between October 2014 and September 2015, approximately 150,000 more upper-income individuals participated in the gig economy compared with lower-income individuals. Lower-income participants in flexible online work were more likely to provide direct labor, while upper-income participants were more likely to use the platforms to rent their home or sell products.
Source: Wall Street Journal
Philadelphia Housing Authority Extends Focus to Schools and Main Streets
Through Choice Neighborhoods, the Philadelphia Housing Authority has included office, retail, and schools in its plan for redeveloping the Norman Blumberg Apartments in a high-crime and high-poverty section of the city. A portion of the public housing complex is being demolished, as well as other blighted housing in the area. “[In prior neighborhood revitalization work, we] never really came up with a comprehensive approach that went beyond housing,” says Kelvin Jeremiah, president of the Philadelphia Housing Authority. “If you only focus on housing, what about the crime issues? What about amenities? What about the education?” The housing authority and school district are working together to decide how to provide appropriate educational opportunities in the area.
Source: New York Times
California's Population Grows Despite Lack of Housing
Job growth in California has fueled statewide population growth of less than 1 percent from January 2015 to January 2016. Most of the state’s cities experienced rising populations over the course of the year, and the population of some suburban communities, including Eastvale and Lake Forest in southern California, has risen by 3.7 percent or more. “What should be alarming to leaders is that our housing is not keeping up with the growth,” says Hasan Ikhrata, executive director for the Southern California Association of Governments. “We have one of the worst housing affordability rates in the country.”
Source: San Jose Mercury News
$50 Million Investment from LISC near D.C. Bridge Project
Rising property values in lower-income neighborhoods near Washington, D.C.’s planned 11th Street Bridge Park have led the park organizers to release recommendations for preventing displacement of low-income residents. The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), a nonprofit organization that has been investing in community development activities in Washington, D.C., since 1982, has committed $50 million to support the recommendations. The funds will go to affordable housing, early childhood education, arts, nutrition, health care, and other services. “What we’re trying to do is first of all send a message that it does matter, that we have to be conscious and deliberate to improve our quality of life in these neighborhoods and make sure that people with modest incomes have a fighting chance to stay . . . ,” says Oramenta Newsome, president of LISC’s D.C. office.
Source: Washington Post
Study: States' Nonmedical Spending Boosts Health
New research has confirmed that residents are healthier in states that spend more on social services and public health programs than on Medicare and Medicaid. On average, states spend $3 on social services and public health for every $1 in Medicare and Medicaid spending. Places with a spending ratio of approximately 5:1, such as Colorado, Nevada, and the District of Columbia, had healthier residents. In states with lower relative spending on social services and public health, such as New York, Massachusetts, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Louisiana, residents were more likely to experience heart attacks, obesity, lung cancer, and mental illness. The release of the study comes on the heels of a proposed rule by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that would facilitate hospital involvement in home visitation, housing assistance, and other social service collaborations
Source: USA Today
The Legacy of Jane Jacobs
“Designing a dream city is easy. Rebuilding a living one takes imagination,” wrote Jane Jacobs in 1958. Jacobs, whose vision of livable cities remains influential, was born 100 years ago. In a retrospective on her life and work, Peter Dreier of Occidental College writes that Jacobs’s community activism inspired and influenced the community development field and led to advocate planners who worked together with residents of low-income neighborhoods to fight against redevelopment agencies’ engaged in top-down urban planning.
Source: Huffington Post