Housing News Roundup: September 13, 2018
Thousands of Children in Southeast Texas Spent Last School Year without a Home
As Hurricane Florence approaches, the nearly 69,000 students in Houston and surrounding areas who were still not back in their homes by the end of the school year reveal the persisting effects of major hurricanes. As displaced families sought shelter in the homes of family and friends, motels, and trailers, low-income school districts suffered the most—in part because a lack of affordable housing before the storm exacerbated its consequences. “When tragedies like that happen, you’re not really thinking about math, science, or social studies. You’re thinking about, ‘Where am I going to go? Is that a place where I can lay down and sleep?’” said Raff Saeed, the principal of Houston’s C. E. King Middle School.
Source: Washington Post
Housing Options for Patients Recovering from Opioid Addiction
Barbara Williamson, who for several years operated a sober living home in which patients with opioid addiction lived in the home soberly and received treatment, recently reversed her approach. After learning about the evidence behind medication-assisted treatment (MAT), in which recovering patients are prescribed a low dose of buprenorphine to stave off opioid cravings, Williamson opened several residential facilities allowing the treatment. Though researchers of addiction treatment say MAT reduces the risk of opioid overdose, there is still debate on the subject. Nationally, fewer than half of residential facilities allow people to be on opioid maintenance medications, but more are beginning to do so.
San Francisco Will Take Steps to Counter the Rise in HIV among Its Homeless Population
Though the number people diagnosed with HIV declined last year in San Francisco, the number of new cases among the homeless rose. “Fourteen percent of our new diagnoses are homeless, and the national guidelines say that that proportion should be no greater than 5 percent as our goal,” said Dr. Susan Buchbinder, director of the San Francisco Department of Health’s Bridge HIV program. In July, the city launched an effort to fight the problem with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the AIDS Foundation is helping people living with HIV secure housing and medical care. “We cannot get to zero transmissions and continue to have homelessness,” said Jennifer Friedenbach, executive director of the Coalition on Homelessness.
Source: San Francisco Examiner
Luxury Real Estate Booms in Boston, Housing Few Residents
A new study of 1,800 condominiums in 12 new luxury buildings in Boston, Massachusetts, found that more than a third of the units are owned by limited liability companies, trusts, and other such businesses. Signaling that their homeowners live elsewhere most of the time, only 36 percent requested the property tax exemption that Boston offers. “We have these glaring wealth gaps in our city, and we’re adding thousands of units for uber-rich people. The question becomes, who is Boston for?” said the study’s author, Chuck Collins.
Source: Boston Globe
Housing Vouchers Don’t Get People off the Streets If Landlords Won’t Accept Them
Sacramento, California, has a comprehensive plan to house thousands of homeless people over the next three years, which includes reserving 450 housing choice vouchers to help low-income residents pay rent to landlords in the private market. But despite applying to rent more than 60 units in Sacramento County for more than four months, Henry Butler has not found a place to live. “No one will rent to me. What good is a housing voucher when everyone tells you no?” he asked. Sacramento has a tight rental market and rents are rising quickly, making many landlords eager to rent to high-wage people. Advocates say they welcome the city’s help in tackling this problem.
Source: Sacramento Bee