August 7, 2018

Community Developments: A Podcast on Resiliency and Rebuilding in Puerto Rico, Federal Declaration for Shasta County in California

Community Developments

A daily roundup of news impacting housing and communities. Not receiving the Community Developments daily email yet? Sign up here. 

  • In a recent episode of the Power Station Podcast, Enterprise’s Vice President for Public Policy Marion McFadden and the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s Senior Director of Policy Sarah Mickelson discuss Puerto Rico’s recovery from Hurricanes Irma and Maria and the broader role of the federal government in disaster recovery. McFadden points out that Enterprise, in partnership with other organizations and stakeholders, has been emphasizing the importance of mitigation, as well as advocating for permanently authorizing federal disaster recovery and resiliency programs to avoid significant delays in the arrival of critical recovery funds. McFadden and Mickelson urge the federal government not to shift responsibility for long-term recovery onto states and local jurisdictions, explaining that many hurricane survivors evacuated their homes in Puerto Rico to resettle in over 40 states nationwide -- which shows the need for federal assistance in helping natural disaster survivors rebuild their lives. (Power Station, August 6) 
     
  • Earlier this week, the White House approved a disaster declaration for Shasta County, California, which has seen the state’s sixth most destructive wildfire. In a statement announcing the White House's approval, Governor Jerry Brown noted that the state had submitted the request for a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration to address the impact of wildfires across the state. The statement points out that the Carr Fire has destroyed more than 131,000 acres at the time of writing, more than 1,000 homes have been razed and 9,000 residents remain evacuated from their homes. The declaration for Shasta County will increase residents' eligibility for programs and support in areas such as housing, employment and medical services, as well as provide financial assistance to affected governments dealing with emergency response and recovery costs. (CNN, August 5) 
     
  • An article in The Washington Post Wonkblog looks at a study that shows a correlation between increases in college attendance and rising foreclosure rates. The study, which looked at 305 American metro areas covering as much as 85 percent of the population, finds that nationwide, a one-percent increase in college attendance could lead to between 11,200 and 27,400 additional foreclosures. The research indicates the extent to which rising tuitions are a burden on American families and have serious implications for economic mobility. This study points out that foreclosure risk spiked most when students came from middle-income households, but it also explains that even an increase in college attendance among top-earning households would lead to elevated foreclosures. (The Washington Post Wonkblog, August 6)

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  • A study published by JAMA Internal Medicine, which explores the mortality patterns for adults experiencing homelessness who primarily sleep outdoors, finds that people sleeping on the street in Boston were 10 times more likely to die than the general public of Massachusetts. The 10-year cohort study of 445 adults experiencing homelessness revealed that the most common causes of death were noncommunicable diseases (cancer and heart disease), alcohol use disorder and chronic liver disease. Altogether, the findings underscore not only the need for a wide array of housing solutions for the unsheltered population, but also for robust wrap-around support services to meet their complex needs, including access to behavioral health services and street outreach.

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