Housing News Roundup: May 9, 2019
Living Far from School Hurts Children’s Well-being, New Study Finds
Long school commutes negatively affect children’s sleep and exercise, according to new research that studied more than 2,700 high school students’ morning commutes. The authors suggest that school policies—such as rural districts consolidating schools into larger ones, districts locating schools on city margins where real estate is cheaper, and school choice options that allow students to travel farther to attend public schools—contribute to long commutes, in addition to people having to move farther into the suburbs for affordable housing.
How Will Austin Approach Competing Housing and Water Priorities?
Amid water quality and flooding issues in Austin, Texas, the city is developing rapidly, which dramatically increases spaces that don’t absorb rainfall, such as paved roads and sidewalks. The interior of some single-family neighborhoods, known as transition zones, may be replaced by or modified to include multiple units on single-family lots. “Currently, in the South Lamar neighborhood area, there’s been significant infill development, which is fine—that neighborhood has not objected to that—but at the same time, that has caused increased flooding, and there’s been no assessment of the impact on increased flooding in our site development process,” said Council Member Anne Kitchen.
Source: Austin Monitor
Clark-Fulton Neighborhood in Cleveland Will Receive Affordable Housing Investment
The Clark-Fulton neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio, will receive millions of federal dollars through the new FHA50 program to boost its affordable housing supply. The city will select developers and projects that will receive the tax credit and then construct equal numbers of affordable and market-rate units. The program could create up to $30 million in affordable housing investment in Cleveland alone—and another $30 million in Columbus and Cincinnati, the other cities selected for the program.
Source: Cleveland Scene
Los Angeles Agencies Struggle to Serve People Experiencing Homelessness
Los Angeles agencies are strained by the estimated 50,000 people experiencing homelessness in the area. Los Angeles Police Department chief Michel Moore says that over the past five years, the police department has experienced a steep increase in calls for service. “The homeless program in Los Angeles today at three in the morning is too oftentimes the fire department and the police department,” he said. Moore added, “What we really need is a tremendous, continued expansion of our mental health services, of shelter space, of safe parking locations.”
Minneapolis Program Will Promote “Missing Middle” Housing
The Missing Middle Housing Pilot Program will promote midsize housing complexes (with 3 to 20 units) in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to promote affordability and equity building. The program originated from the city’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan, which will rezone to allow for this form of housing on a single lot. Supporters hope the plan will combat the remnants of redlining still evident in the zoning code. “I think this is kind of in response to that, saying, ‘Let’s also focus on these smaller buildings… that may in some cases be actually more affordable to build and where the city’s financing might go a little bit further,’” said Robin Garwood, an aide to a city councilmember.
Source: Minnesota Daily