Housing News Roundup: September 19, 2019
Trump Administration Proposes Increasing Police Role in Homelessness Directive
Ahead of President Trump’s visit to California, the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) released a report suggesting that police officers could be a component of the administration’s intensifying efforts to address homelessness in the state. CEA officials have not elaborated on the role law enforcement would play. Last week, the Washington Post reported that the administration is also considering razing tent camps, creating new temporary facilities, and more. Some housing experts suggest that the government should instead expand federal housing subsidies. “Deregulation, increased arrests, and further criminalization won’t end homelessness. Affordable homes—and the federal subsidies that make them possible—will,” said Diane Yentel, president and chief executive of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
Source: The Washington Post
Pittsburgh’s Citizen Scientists Work to Close the Life Expectancy Gap
A new partnership between a Homewood-based community group and researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Center for Health Equity aims to close the life expectancy gaps that exist based on where low-income people live. For example, in Highland Park, the life expectancy is 86 years, but just one neighborhood over, it’s 62. The project will engage the residents themselves and empower them to “put themselves in the role of researcher or scientist,” said Jim Fabisiak, a professor at the university. Efforts will focus on the effects of housing, employment, nutrition, and other factors on life expectancy.
Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Residents Displaced as Colorado’s Mobile Home Parks Shift Corporate
Over the past 20 years, an increasing focus on investing in mobile home parks by private-equity firms and out-of-state investors resulted in Coloradan mobile home communities, once owned by local landlords, becoming corporate owned. This year, Colorado enacted legislation to expand protections, including more time for the estimated 100,000 people living in mobile homes in the state to sell their home, move after eviction, and resolve late payments. “This bill will give more tools to help protect Coloradans who are being exploited by relatively loose regulatory structures,” said bill sponsor Rep. Edie Hooton (D-Boulder).
Source: The Denver Post
Repairs Needed for Low-Income US Households Total $50 Billion
A new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and Policymap found that the cumulative cost of needed repairs in low-income households nationwide totals $50.8 billion. Researchers found that the average low-income household needs about $1,500 in maintenance and repairs, with these needs being especially acute for renters in single-family homes. Single mothers were the most likely to report housing issues and costly repairs.
Mapping Los Angeles’s Proposed Homeless Sleeping Ban
In response to Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell’s proposal that would bar people from sleeping on streets and sidewalks near targeted facilities such as schools and parks, homeless advocacy groups have undertaken a participatory assessment of where homeless people could be barred from sleeping in Echo Park. Building off an earlier Los Angeles Times analysis that concluded that at least 26 percent of the city would be illegal for sleeping under the proposal, advocates showed that affected areas in Echo Park expanded beyond the 500-foot facilities boundary laid out in O’Farrell’s proposal. The final analysis from the coalition strengthened the groups’ concern that recent proposals would “all but banish unhoused people from the city.”
Source: Los Angeles Times