Housing News Roundup: November 30, 2017
Boston Takes on the Region’s Housing Needs While Suburbs Lag Behind
Boston is bearing the brunt of the region’s housing needs, with the suburbs producing few units, the annual Greater Boston Housing Report Card reveals. Aging baby boomers looking to downsize from single-family homes have no place to go, preventing them from selling and keeping new housing off the market, and forcing some families out of the area. “We need people to realize this housing is not about the unwashed masses coming to their town,” said report author Barry Bluestone. “It’s for you, when you get old and want to stay in your community.”
Source: Boston Globe
New Initiative Aims to House the Homeless and Prevent Recidivism
Los Angeles County has launched a new effort to reduce chronic recidivism that plagues a segment of the homeless population. The strategy, called jail in-reach, provides interim housing that leads to permanent supportive housing for homeless people who are mentally ill or substance abusers. “Our jail should not be used to house people whose behavior arose out of an acute mental health crisis merely because it is believed—whether correctly or otherwise—that there is no place else to take that person to receive treatment instead,” said LA County district attorney Jackie Lacey’s 2015 report.
Source: LA Times
Rare Deal Will Help Affordable Housing Developers
In an unusual move, board members of Seattle’s metro public transit agency approved a motion for a “no-cost land transfer” for two connecting properties, valued at $8.6 million. Two affordable housing developers will work together to build a 13-story building with more than 200 units for people earning 60 percent or less of the area median income and formerly homeless seniors earning 30 percent or less of the area median income. This move in an expensive city in a centrally located area shows how publicly owned surplus land can help address affordable housing.
Mass Evictions Spark Urgent Affordable Housing Conversation
Earlier this month, every unit in the Emerald Tower Apartments received a notice dictating that tenants must leave so that the new building owner could make upgrades. The tenants, most of whom are seniors living on fixed incomes and who have lived there for an average of 10 years, have 60 days to find new homes. Displaced residents are feeling the effects of the region’s severe housing shortage—especially affordable housing—shortage. Will housing that’s being built be affordable for these displaced residents?
Source: Colorado Springs Independent
New Public-Private Fund Will Help DC Preserve Affordable Housing
DC’s affordable housing stock is disappearing fast. Between 2006 and 2014, the city lost at least 1,000 units of subsidized housing, another 1,750 units are at risk of being lost, and an additional 13,700 units have subsidies that will expire in 2020 and could be lost. The DC Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) just established a $10 million public-private fund to preserve affordable housing to address the problem and combat new ones. “A fund like this can move more quickly,” making it a strong tool in a rapidly changing real estate market, said Danilo Pelletiere, senior policy adviser at DHCD.
Source: Washington Post