Subject: Affordable Housing

  • Tents dot a Skid Row street in Los Angeles in 2015.

    To Save On Medi-Cal Costs, a Bid to Help Homeless Patients With Rent Money

    California lawmakers consider devoting an additional $90 million to subsidize rent for homeless patients.  · 

  • A Shelterforce Roundtable on Regulation and Housing Supply: Where the Left and Right Agree (Sort Of)

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    Last year, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI)—a right-leaning libertarian think-tank—issued a report on how to encourage more development of affordable housing. One of the paper’s authors is a longtime Shelterforce reader, and he forwarded the report to us with a note that started: “While you probably are not a fan of the American Enterprise Institute, I expect you’ll find this paper interesting.” He was right on both counts.

    The question of regulation and permitting of development is one that crosses usual political lines. In the current political climate, we should be very clear that regulation is not inherently bad, and many regulations have been responsible for our country having breathable air, drinkable water (in some places), and basic levels of safety and equal opportunity. But regulation is also not inherently good—Shelterforce readers are well aware of the effects of redlining and exclusionary zoning, for example.

    We gathered some people who have done a lot of thinking and studying of these issues (including Charles Wilkins, the co-author of the aforementioned report) to discuss what it might look like to actually remove obstacles that get in the way of developing less expensive housing options responsibly. What’s possible? What are the trade-offs?

    Joining us were Ingrid Gould Ellen of the Furman Center at New York University; Jamaal Green of Portland State University; Rosanne Haggerty of Community Solutions; Rick Jacobus of Street Level Advisors; Greg Maher of the Leviticus Alternative Fund; Alan Mallach of the Center for Community Progress and a National Housing Institute senior fellow; and Charles Wilkins, a consultant and co-author of the AEI paper.


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  • Think Scattered Site Rehab Is Too Expensive? Think Again.

    Vacant properties are so persistent in part because it’s too expensive to do anything with them. At least that’s the assumption. It’s much simpler, goes this reasoning, and more cost-effective, to construct and manage a new multifamily building than to try to rehab and manage single-family homes spread over a wide area. But what if that’s just not true?  · 

  • Shelterforce Exclusive: Interview with HUD Secretary Julián Castro

    In September 2015, on the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson’s signing of the bill that created HUD, Julián Castro, the agency’s 16th secretary, spoke at the University of Texas. In his speech he noted how the agency was formed partially in response to the Watts Rebellion in Los Angeles a month prior, situating the agency’s mission firmly in a social justice context, and he praised President Johnson as someone who believed in the potential for government to be a force for good. On September 3rd, Shelterforce got a chance to speak with Secretary Castro about some of the current ways in which he’s working to make HUD a force for good in people’s lives, and what steps there are left to be taken.

  • When development started on Fall Creek Place, Indianapolis, no one imagined affordability would ever be an issue there.

    Have We Been Wasting Affordable Housing Money?

    It might seem like 10, or even 30, years is a long time to require affordability—until it’s over and your public investment is lost.  · 

  • El Paso, Texas, July 22, 2010. A Marine Corps staff sergeant helps perform military honors for Harold Lee Gibson at the Fort Bliss National Cemetery. Gibson, who served as a lance corporal during the Vietnam War, died in Las Cruces, N.M., without anybody to claim his remains. With the help of the Dignity Memorial Homeless Veterans Program of El Paso, Texas, and many members of the El Paso and Las Cruces, N.M., communities, Gibson and Dana Carr, an Army sergeant who served during the same era, were laid to rest at the national cemetery with full military honors.

    Without More Affordable Housing, Veteran Homelessness Will Return

    Federal funding to end veteran homelessness has had a real impact, but a nationwide shortage of affordable housing could make its success temporary.  · 

  • Lane County HPRP subgrantee, ShelterCare, used its Family Housing Program location as the main site for connecting HPRP services to local residents in need.

    Short-Term Funds With Long-Term Impact

    The changes that stimulus funding made in Lane County, Oregon’s homelessness prevention will last past the funds themselves—but they could have a lot more effect, especially for veterans, if federal funding continued.  · 

  • Brett and Isis Henderson jump for joy outside their new home, made possible by a community land trust and a VA-backed mortgage.

    Vets Get Access to Land Trust Homeownership

    VA home loan guaranties and community land trusts are perfect partners—but not everyone knows that yet.  · 

  • Norris Fletcher struggled with medical problems and bills after leaving the Air Force, but a HUD-VASH voucher got him back on his feet.

    Implementing Vouchers for Veterans

    A look at what HUD-VASH supportive housing vouchers can do, from the perspective of one of the agencies administering them.  · 

  • Q: Are manufactured homes a bad form of affordable housing?

    A: Not any more!

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