Housing News Roundup: September 5, 2019
Climate Change Is Worsening the Affordable Housing Crisis
So far this year, the United States has experienced six extreme weather events that have resulted in more than $1 billion in losses each. Hurricane season is a stark reminder that climate change is reducing the supply of affordable housing across the country, especially in coastal areas, and research shows that low-income renters are among the most vulnerable to disasters. “We were already full when Harvey hit. We weren’t able to help all the people who were displaced from [the] housing authority, much less other people,” said Tory Gunsolley, president and CEO of the Houston Housing Authority.
Source: USA Today
New Deal Would Cap Rent Increases and Prevent Unfair Evictions
California governor Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers reached a deal that caps rent increases at 5 percent plus inflation per year for the next 10 years and would prevent some evictions without landlord justification. The California Association of Realtors originally opposed the deal, but after Friday, its senior vice president Dev Carlton said, “We applaud the governor for temporarily finding a solution for tenants. Now we must get serious about moving forward on production, which is the only way we address our housing crisis.” The legislature will vote on the deal in the next two weeks.
Source: LA Times
Prison Opens Pregnancy Wing for Expecting and New Mothers
A new wing in Logan Correctional Center, an Illinois prison, houses pregnant and postpartum women who are incarcerated. Acting warden Beatrice Calhoun says the unit aims to provide a safer and more humane environment for its residents. Women can stay in the unit until roughly eight weeks postpartum. “If you start the origin of that person’s life, if they come into this world to a mother who is incarcerated while she’s pregnant, the care she receives while she is pregnant can impact that baby’s life and the child’s life for the future,” said Carolyn Sufrin, a professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Source: Chicago Tribune
Affordable Housing Shortage Costs South Carolina $8.4 Billion a Year
A new report from the South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority says that “shelter poverty,” or the inability to pay for living essentials because the price of housing is too high, represents an $8.4 billion cost. The report finds that a third of renters are cost burdened, a quarter are severely cost burdened, and only one subsidized unit exists per five low-income South Carolina renters.
LA and Orange County Entry-Level Teachers Will Spend 85 Percent of Their Income on Median-Priced Rentals
A new Zillow analysis found that entry-level teachers in the Los Angeles and Orange counties area will spend 85.1 percent of their salary on median-priced apartment or home rentals this year. The analysis found that midcareer teachers will spend 52.2 percent of their income on rent and the highest-paid teachers will spend 39.6 percent on rent. Entry-level teachers in Northern California have to pay all their salaries or more to afford a median-priced rental, says the report.
Source: The Orange County Register