Housing News Roundup: November 2, 2017
Early Results Show That Denver’s Supportive Housing Social Impact Bond Is Paying Off
Denver’s supportive housing initiative, which aims to keep chronically homeless participants in housing and out of jail, has seen promising early results, according to Urban Institute evaluators. “I haven’t been in trouble lately, especially now that I have a roof over my head,” said 40-year-old participant Manuel Valdez. “They’re helping me a lot with my psoriatic arthritis and my psoriasis, which is just physical. But while I was on the streets, I wasn’t able to keep my medications and stuff because people kept stealing them.” City officials are already looking to expand the program.
Source: The Denver Post
Nearly 4 Million Renters Nationwide Have Experienced Eviction, Study Finds
A new report from Apartment List found that one in five renters recently struggled to or could not pay their rent, while 3.7 million renters have experienced eviction. Black households are most likely to face eviction. In the past year, 11.9 percent of black households faced an eviction threat, compared with 5.4 percent of white households. Additionally, the least-educated members of the population are most likely to face eviction. “Even looking at households that have a four-year degree, we found that 6 percent of black households faced eviction versus just 3 percent of white households—that rate is double,” said report author Chris Salviati.
Puerto Ricans Displaced by Hurricane Maria May Be Moved to the Mainland
Last week, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) began developing a plan to provide housing to some Puerto Ricans displaced by Hurricane Maria. HUD is considering evacuating part of the population to the mainland but is still in its brainstorming stages. Because of logistical challenges, it’s unclear whether evacuation will happen. Many residents who could evacuate have evacuated. Florida governor Rick Scott announced that since October 3, more than 73,000 Puerto Ricans have arrived in the state, which has opened disaster relief centers for the displaced.
Why Is FEMA Hesitant to Use Mobile Homes as Part of Its Post-Hurricane Strategy?
Years after mobile homes and trailers were criticized post–Hurricane Katrina for emitting toxic fumes, displacing residents far from their communities, and becoming eyesores, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has just spent nearly $300 million on mobile homes and trailers. After Hurricane Harvey’s destruction in Houston, FEMA had planned to use the structures as a last resort, but a week later, it had bought 4,500 units, most of which remain warehoused. Officials in Texas and Florida have been frustrated by FEMA’s delay in deploying mobile homes. What’s the reason for this delay?
Source: Washington Post
Nashville’s Homeless Suffer as the City Booms
Nashville’s economic prosperity is not extending to its homeless residents. The mayor’s office released a housing report saying that the city needs about 31,000 affordable rental units by 2025, but the current housing market caters to high-income earners and landlords. Meanwhile, Nashville’s homeless population increased 9.8 percent (homeless activists say there are thousands more unaccounted for), and the city lags behind Austin, Texas; Chattanooga, Tennessee; and others that have taken steps to address the problem. “What ends homelessness? Housing. That’s very simple, but it’s difficult to do,” said Judith Tackett, director of the Metro Nashville Homelessness Commission. She added, “With chronic homelessness, you see the community has broken down around them.”