• August 2016

Affordable Housing News for August 2016


HUD Expands Family Self-Sufficiency Program to Privately Owned Multifamily Properties

Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Press Release

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today that owners of privately owned apartment buildings under Section 8 contract can now offer Family Self-Sufficiency programs to the more than one million households living in their properties. HUD will now allow owners of multifamily properties to use funding from residual receipt accounts to hire service coordinators for their own Family Self-Sufficiency program. Read HUD’s notice to multifamily property owners. Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) is a HUD program that provides incentives and supports to help families living in multifamily assisted housing to increase their earned income and reduce their dependence on public assistance programs. FSS promotes the development of local strategies to coordinate the use of HUD rental assistance programs with public and private resources, to enable eligible families to make progress toward economic independence and self-sufficiency. More...


How Cities Are Preserving Affordable Housing

Source: Next City/Jen Kinney

The U.S. needs more affordable housing. A lot more. Between 2001 and 2013 the country lost 2.4 million rental housing units (both market-rate and subsidized) that were affordable to people making less than 50 percent of area median income. Building more units will help, but preserving existing affordable housing is critical too: It’s generally cheaper than new construction, prevents displacement, takes advantage of existing land use patterns and allows people to remain where they already live. But preservation also presents challenges of its own, often necessitating the blending of multiple federal, state and local funding sources and greater collaboration between developers, policymakers and other stakeholders. More...


Affordable Housing + Art = Stronger Communities

Source: Center for Community Change – Housing Trust Fund Project/Katy Heins

ArtPlace America released research in April 2016 called “Exploring the Ways Arts and Culture Intersects with Housing” that is worth a read for advocates and developers of affordable housing. ArtPlace commissioned the field scan as a first step to better understand the outcomes of creative placemaking work as it relates housing, particularly to affordable housing. ArtPlace, in partnership with the Kresge Foundation and Enterprise Community Partners, is using the field scan as a jumping off point for a working group digging further into the intersection of housing with arts and culture. For housing practitioners and advocates, this research will spur more thinking about how to intentionally engage arts and culture practitioners to help the development of sustainable and engaged communities. The field scan identifies innovative community-based practices at the intersection of arts and housing. More...


Put an End to Senior Homelessness

Source: US News/Mel Martinez, Allyson Schwartz

Among the most heartbreaking sights in our country today is that of older adults living on the streets. Sadly, the problem of senior homelessness is expected to worsen in the coming years, driven in part by the rapid growth in the number of seniors. Neither the United States government nor its citizens should be willing to accept that so many of its older citizens are forced to live without adequate shelter and appropriate care. To solve this problem, we need to make ending senior homelessness a national priority; engage the public and private sectors at all levels; understand that the causes of senior homelessness are often unique to their demographic; and commit to treating the problem with targeted responses.  More...


Franklin Park Estates Welcomes Eighteen New Homeowners

Source: Broward County Press Release

Eighteen happy families were officially welcomed to their new homes in Franklin Park Estates today. The three bedroom, two bath, two car garage homes were made possible through the efforts of Broward County, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Broward Housing Finance Authority. "This is a big step forward as we transform Central Broward County and the unincorporated area. Not only are we building housing, we're providing funding to assist small businesses in our community. Our goal is to build quality homes, provide job opportunities and training and work together to bring a better quality of life for those who live here," said Commissioner Dale V.C. Holness at a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the new development. More...


Why the Middle Class Can't Afford Rents

Source: CNN/Robert Hickey

A decent, safe and affordable home is something all Americans need to thrive. While the lowest-income households continue to lack access to affordable rental homes, increasingly, middle-income households are also shut out. A new analysis by Zillow finds that the typical renter can no longer afford the median rent in 90 cities across the United States. Many Americans are severely cost-burdened: 4 million working renter households pay more than half of pre-tax income on rent. Rents are consuming large shares of income. In Boston, for example, the median rent hit $2,458 in March, up 24% from three years ago. A household would need to earn at least $96,000 annually to afford this, based on the standard definition of affordability, in which one should pay no more than 30% of income for housing. Consider that in Boston an elementary school teacher makes approximately $58,000 per year and a registered nurse $73,000, and you get the picture that the middle class is getting squeezed. More...


Can pro-development and anti-demolition factions find common ground on affordable housing?

Source: Los Angeles Times/Shane Phillips

In Los Angeles’ battle for affordable housing, two philosophies are facing off. On one side are those pushing to build more units, who argue that a growing population and a static housing supply are a sure-fire recipe for rising rents. On the other side are those trying to save affordable units, especially rent-stabilized apartments. Progress on L.A.’s affordability crisis depends on turning these warring factions into allies — and you can see why at the intersection of Yucca Street and Argyle Avenue in Hollywood. More...


Obama Administration Announces Clean Energy Savings for All Americans Initiative

Source: The White House Press Release

President Obama is committed to ensuring that every American family can choose to go solar and to cut their energy bills – and that every American community has the tools they need to tackle local air pollution and global climate change. Since President Obama took office, solar electricity generation has increased 30 fold and solar jobs are growing 12 times faster than the rest of the economy. Last year, we announced a set of actions to increase access to solar and create a more inclusive workforce, but there is still more work to do. That is why, today, the Obama Administration is announcing a new cross government partnership – the Clean Energy Savings For All Initiative – between the Departments of Energy (DOE), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Agriculture (USDA), Health and Human Services (HHS), Veteran’s Affairs (VA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to increase access to solar energy and promote energy efficiency across the United States and, in particular in low- and moderate- income communities.




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