Housing News Roundup: October 3, 2019
Los Angeles City Council Pushes for State-of-Emergency Declaration on Homelessness
Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and City Councilman Joe Buscaino have proposed that California Governor Gavin Newsom declare a state of emergency on homelessness in the state. Those who support the strategy hope a declaration will free up funding to suspend or streamline regulatory hurdles that often slow shelter and housing development. But some question whether such a declaration would be merely symbolic in light of Governor Newsom’s commitment of $1 billion for local homeless programs and President Trump’s rejections of more federal funding.
Source: Los Angeles Times
In Denver, Opportunity Zone Tax Breaks Not “Designed for the People There”
The Elyria-Swansea neighborhood has remained affordable despite Denver’s 75 percent increase in rents over the past decade. But the Opportunity Zone tax incentive for investment in low-income census tracts has some worried about gentrification. “A lot of what’s happening in our neighborhood hasn’t been designed for the people there,” said City Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca. Meanwhile, Ismael Guerrero, executive director of the Denver Housing Authority, has a mixed-income development planned for Sun Valley—Denver’s poorest neighborhood—but the deal needs more investors.
Source: Seattle Times
Sharp Increase in Housing Costs Raises Affordability Concerns in Inland California
In Fresno, California’s largest inland city, nearly 60 percent of renter households are rent burdened. In the past year, rent has increased 6.2 percent in Fresno, second only in the state to Oakland. Though rents in Central Valley cities may be less than those in Los Angeles and San Francisco, David Garcia, policy director at the Terner Center for Housing Innovation, says that his research shows that “renters in these communities are… just as cost-burdened as those in high-cost areas… due to the disparity in incomes.”
Could Cohousing Help Older Americans Age In Place?
Older Americans are exploring new ways to age in place that allow them to maintain independence, not experience isolation, and maintain or secure affordable housing. Recently, shared housing, cohousing communities, and village organizations have all become more popular. Barbara Hughes Sullivan, national director of the Village to Village Network, says these models allow seniors to age in place and still “be active and part of the community.” “Freda and I are family now,” said Tom Logan, who moved in with Freda Schaeffer after her husband died. However, these approaches alone can’t address the affordable housing shortage for older adults.
Source: The New York Times
Mobile Homeowners in Miami Face Displacement
Earlier this year, the city of Miami marked all 35 homes in a mobile home community on the south bank of the Miami River with serious code violations, citing illegal alterations and unsafe conditions, and recommended that 34 of the 35 homes be demolished. Many residents expressed that they want to continue to live in houses they can afford and protested the citations at a commission meeting. Miami Commissioner Wifredo “Willy” Gort is working to set up meetings between homeowners and city administrators to reach a resolution.
Source: Miami Herald