Housing News Roundup: October 12, 2017
New Study Shows That High Assessments Could Have Contributed to Detroit's Foreclosure Crisis
High assessments contributed to the foreclosure crisis in Detroit after the 2007 housing market crash, according to a new study that found that from 2008 to 2015, between 55 and 85 percent of homes were assessed at higher rates than the state constitution allowed. A larger proportion of homes in the lowest price range were subject to these high assessments compared with more expensive housing stock. Author Bernadette Atuahene stated, “The poorest homeowners with the lowest-valued homes are bearing the burden of these unconstitutional assessments.”
Source: Washington Post
Struggling Town Could Face a Sharp Decline when Public Housing Closes
The struggling Cairo, Illinois, will soon experience further hardship. Unable to find a private developer as a partner, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development will not build new public housing to replace the two public housing developments it is closing, which will cause the population of 2,300 residents to decline by about one-fifth. “Closing public housing like this is the equivalent of losing the major employer in town and all the jobs and opportunity related to it,” said Jenny Schuetz, a fellow at the Brookings Institution. “We were worried about grades, worried about college, and now we have to worry about where we’re even going to live,” said 18-year-old high-school senior Uniqua Vaughn, who must move.
Source: Wall Street Journal
Housing Instability Is a Major Barrier to Reunifying Parents with Children in Foster Care
As the Los Angeles housing market stretches people thinner and thinner, especially families in the child welfare system, the county is expanding a program that provides short-term housing to help parents who could be reunited with their children in foster care and parents whose children are at risk of removal. “Housing remains one of the largest barriers to reunification,” said advocates in a letter to state legislators. The increased funding will help reunite the roughly 30 percent of children in the state’s foster care system because of housing instability with their parents.
Why Are Homeless Families Moving out of San Francisco?
After losing his job and living more than a year out of his car with his 8-year-old son, Jamahl Mackey reached out to Hamilton Families, a city-funded in organization in San Francisco that provides aid to the homeless. To his surprise, the organization helped Mackey and his son move to Sacramento as part of its rapid re-housing program. He is among many homeless families who are increasingly leaving San Francisco to find stable housing in other cities. “We are all placing people into areas where the funds can go further,” said Elaine de Coligny, executive director of EveryOne Home, the nonprofit group that coordinates homeless aid in Alameda County.
Source: SF Gate
What Does America’s Rental Housing Landscape Look Like?
A new report finds a decrease in the percentage of renters considered cost burdened (those who spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing) but details other housing challenges. The shift in cost burden isn’t entirely positive. The report details that a new group of wealthy Americans has entered the rental population and that the number of rent-burdened households is still above prerecession levels. In nearly every major metropolitan area, the median rent grew faster than inflation, and many renters are now paying premiums for newly available apartments. What does this mean for the current and future rental population?