Housing News Roundup: September 28, 2017
Seattle Developers Partner with City to Build Affordable Housing
Amid its booming growth, Seattle created the Housing Affordability and Liability Agenda to secure affordable housing for low- and middle-income people in the future. The city has partnered with developers, allowing them to build taller buildings in exchange for building affordable housing or contributing to a special city fund. The city expects to create 6,000 affordable units over 10 years. Meanwhile, many residents worry about the effects rezoning and new land-use codes will have on current neighborhoods.
Study Shows That Schools and Housing in Richmond Are Separate and Unequal
A new report shows continued housing and school segregation in Richmond, Virginia, as the region becomes increasingly diverse. The study states that three in five black students would have to change schools for all schools to accurately reflect the region’s overall black student population. The average black student attends a school where two in three students are low income. “School segregation flows from residential segregation,” the report says. “When school officials draw attendance boundaries around the neighborhoods closest to a school, existing segregation in those neighborhoods will likely be replicated in schools.”
Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch
Wide Health, Housing, and Economic Disparities Exist among Native American Tribes
The Navajo Reservation and Cherokee Nation are similar in population and land size but starkly different in nearly every other respect. The Cherokee Nation maintains higher education levels and lower poverty rates than Native American averages, while in the Navajo Reservation, more than a quarter of people do not have a high school diploma, and unemployment and poverty rates are high. Housing remains the most drastic difference between the nations. “Housing needs are very extreme on tribal lands,” says US Department of Housing and Urban Development spokesperson Ed Cabrera. “They face a lot of challenges with sanitation, structural deficiencies, homelessness, and other things we take for granted. There’s been improvement in the past couple of decades, but there are still major problems.”
Source: US News & World Report
Los Angeles’s Transit Agency Will Help Build Affordable Housing
As part of a new public-private partnership, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is designating $9 million for a loan program to encourage developers to build affordable housing along its bus and transit lines. The program will help preserve affordable units and help build 1,800 new ones. “It’s a loan not a subsidy, so it’s leveraging existing dollars, and affordable housing near transit is one of the best ways to ensure that nearby development actually generates ridership,” said Ethan Elkind, director of the climate change and business program at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Source: Next City
Hurricane Irma Shrinks Affordable Housing Stock in Florida Keys
After Hurricane Irma ravaged the Florida Keys, residents of the Sea Horse RV Park evacuated their trailers. They returned shocked to find letters taped to their front doors telling them that crews would be clearing debris and damaged trailers that week and advising them to move. Residents were panicked and angry. In an area with an abundance of luxury hotels and fancy homes, Sea Horse is one of the last places working-class people could afford in the Keys. Property manager Matthew Strunk says the damaged and outdated electrical system makes the park unlivable, while residents suspect he is using the hurricane as an excuse to force them off the property and sell the land for profit.
Source: USA Today