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Newsroom

  • NPR: Why Affordable Housing Could Become Harder To Find

    Poor families in the United States are having an increasingly difficult time finding an affordable place to live, due to high rents, static incomes and a shortage of housing aid. Tenant advocates worry that the new tax bill, as well as potential cuts in housing aid, will make the problem worse. An estimated 11 million families in the U.S. now pay more than half their income on rent, a number that has grown steadily as the supply of affordable housing shrinks. The result, say tenant advocates, is that some people are forced to choose between paying for rent or other necessities, such as food and medicine. But landlords says tenants’ failure to pay their rent only adds to the affordable housing shortage. Without rental income, it’s hard for landlords to pay their mortgages or other bills, says Heiner Giese, a Milwaukee landlord and an attorney for the Apartment Association of Southeastern Wisconsin.

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  • Affordable Housing Finance: Developers Complete Workforce Housing Community in Orange, Calif.

    Located in Orange, Calif., Lemon Grove Apartments features 82 apartments with rents affordable to working families earning 60% of the area median income and less. The community was built by the Orange Housing Development Corp. and C&C Development.A former industrial site has been transformed into the Lemon Grove Apartments, a workforce housing development, in Orange, Calif. Built by the Orange Housing Development Corp. and C&C Development, the community consists of 82 apartments for families earning between 30% and 60% of the area median income, starting at $537 a month for a family of four. Within walking distance of bus stops, retail stores, schools, and community parks, Lemon Grove was developed on the site of a 1965 industrial facility that was demolished for the new residential project. The development is adjacent to Citrus Grove, a 57-unit workforce housing property built by Orange Housing Development and C&C Development in 2010. The joint-venture partners say they are the largest providers and managers of affordable housing in the city of Orange. During the past two and a half decades, the partnership has built, and continues to own, 557 units of workforce housing in the city. Redevelopment of industrial and other nonresidential sites is a key provision in the city’s Housing Element.

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  • California Blog: San Francisco Tenants Turn To HomeShare As Housing Crisis Gets Worse

    Housing CrisisIt is getting harder to find affordable housing in San Franscisco. Many people are having such a hard time finding affordable housing that they are opting to live in converted living rooms for $1,125 per month. HomeShare is a program that allows people to rent out spaces in expensive buildings. The tenants can split up the spaces in order to save money on rent. HomeShare has been around since 2016. It allows people to get homes that they otherwise would not be able to afford. It also has a program that allows people to find roommates. Jeff Pang is the CEO and founder of HomeShare. He has not shared any specifics about his program. However, he did state that 30,000 people in the Bay area sent in an application to HomeShare. Jeff worked for Uber in the past. He shares an opinion that is different from many others’ opinion. Many people believe that San Francisco’s housing crisis is caused by a lack of housing. However, Jeff says that this is not true. There is plenty of housing in San Francisco. He said that most of the housing is located in the luxury segment.

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  • East Bay Times: Oakland earmarks millions for affordable housing

    A red tag has been posted on the front door of the Empyrean Towers residential hotel on 13th Street in downtown Oakland, Calif., on Friday, May 8, 2015.  The hotel's residents have been evacuated due to contaminated water. (Laura A. Oda/Bay Area News Group)About $48 million of city and county funds were set aside for the construction of new affordable housing in Oakland before the end of 2017, as well as $9.5 million in bond money toward renovating existing affordable housing. The City Council, during its last meeting of the year Dec. 18, authorized $13.5 million in funds from the city’s affordable housing trust fund to be used as affordable housing loans for up to 10 new developments in Oakland, and allocated $34.4 million of Alameda County housing bond funds set aside for Oakland projects to help pay for some of those developments. “I’m thrilled that we’re actually spending this money on these important projects,” Councilman Dan Kalb said at the meeting. The projects include the Camino 23 mixed-use development in Fruitvale, Coliseum Place in East Oakland, MacArthur Apartments at 9800 MacArthur Blvd., a five-story building at 3268 San Pablo Ave., the second phase of the Fruitvale Transit Village, a mixed use-building at Seventh and Campbell streets in West Oakland, family housing at 3801 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, a development expected to have more than 150 units at Brush Street and West Grand Avenue, and family housing at 34th Street and San Pablo Avenue.

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  • DS News: Exploring Tax Reform’s Impact on Housing Assistance

    A recently released report by the Urban Institute addresses what they believe are issues with Federal housing assistance programs under new proposals and the recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act—reporting only one in five renter households who qualify for housing assistance actually receive any. According to the research, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and the administration’s proposed fiscal year 2018 budget are expected to hinder access to housing assistance, which is a safety net for low-income households. With millions of American households facing some type of housing instability, the report reveals that in 2015, 8.3 million renter households with low incomes lacked housing assistance and paid over 50 percent of their income for housing costs or lived in “severely inadequate” housing. In addition, 7 million people in low-income households were doubled up with family and friends—with another 1.5 million people experiencing homelessness.

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  • SacBee: Last year was a big year for housing in California. Lawmakers aren’t done yet.

    A construction worker uses a hammer on a Lane Homes model being built at The Mill on Broadway on Monday, October 25, 2017 in Sacramento, Calif.California lawmakers are preparing new housing legislation this week, just months after Democrats in both houses pushed through the biggest legislative package on housing in decades. As the Legislature returns for session, state Sen. Scott Wiener, a San Francisco Democrat, will unveil his 2018 proposals. Wiener, author of a new law passed last year that allows developers to fast-track construction projects, is planning to announce a trio of bills Thursday aimed at requiring cities to build taller, denser housing near transit, boosting the supply of farmworker housing and ensuring cities and counties are planning for their fair share of housing to meet demand associated with jobs and population. “We are desperately in need of housing – there are just too many delays,” Wiener said in an interview. “We need to do more to hold communities accountable for producing enough housing to meet the actual need.”

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  • Cal Matters: 5 things a Californian should know now about rent control

    5 things a Californian should know now about rent controlOne way or another, two words are likely to dominate the complicated politics of California’s housing crisis in 2018: rent control. Next week state lawmakers will hear a proposal from Assemblyman Richard Bloom, Democrat from Santa Monica, that would allow cities to dramatically restrict what landlords can charge tenants year-over-year. The bill couldn’t even get a hearing last year amid intense opposition from landlords. But looming over legislators’ heads this time around is a potential ballot initiative supported by tenants’ rights groups that would do much of the same. If the bill stalls, experts say there’s a good chance you’ll see rent control on your November ballot. What should your average Californian know about a rent control debate poised to gobble up so much political oxygen? Here are five key points.

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  • San Diego Union Tribune: San Diego issues $54M in bonds to boost affordable housing

    Aiming to boost San Diego’s scarce supply of subsidized housing for low-income residents, the City Council issued $54 million in tax-exempt bonds this month to developers building or renovating hundreds of such housing units across the city. The bonds will help finance projects with rents below market rates in Otay Mesa, Southeastern San Diego, City Heights, Carmel Valley and Torrey Highlands. Significantly fewer subsidized housing projects have been built in California since the elimination in 2011 of redevelopment agencies, which were required to spend 20 percent of the revenue they generated on affordable housing. San Diego officials have declared the region’s shortage of affordable housing a crisis, and have approved several pieces of legislation this year that aim to accelerate construction of units low- and middle-income people can afford.

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  • NOVOCO: NCSHA’s Recommended Practices for LIHTC Administration

    The National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) today released its updated and revised “Recommended Practices in Housing Credit Administration” (RPs). Although technically not binding, the RPs are influential because they represent near consensus among allocators on low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) policy. Allocating agencies generally align their qualified allocation plans (QAPs) with the RPs wherever possible.

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  • Bloomberg: Rent for the Poor Really Is Too High

    Are poor Americans doing better than they used to, or worse? It’s hard to know, because so many important things in life — social status, emotional health, human relationships — can’t be measured. But in purely material terms, many things have improved. Homelessness is down. Government assistance to families with children has lowered the official child poverty rate. Hunger has fallen as well. Though the country doesn’t do a great job at providing the poor with health care, things have improved marginally since the Affordable Care Act went into effect. What’s more, most of the poor now possess items that you would find in most middle-class households; according to a 2011 Census report, 53 percent of households in the lowest income quintile have a computer, 65 percent have a clothes dryer, and 38 percent have a washer, dryer, refrigerator, stove, dishwasher and a telephone. However, there is at least one way in which poor American families are being increasingly squeezed — the rent. A new research note from the Federal Reserve Board’s Jeff Larrimore and Jenny Schuetz of the Brookings Institution shows a combination of rising rents and falling incomes among the poorest fifth of households.

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