September 12, 2018

Disaster Preparedness, Mismatch between Low Paying Jobs and Cost of Living

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Community Developments

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  • In a blog post, Laurie Schoeman, national senior program director for resilience at Enterprise, emphasizes the importance of having protocols and mitigation and emergency plans in place to mitigate the risks of natural disasters to residents and their homes as well as manage the expectations of financial sponsors. Schoeman also highlights challenges facing housing owners and investors after natural disasters. These challenges include complexities in regaining Housing Credit compliance after disasters, slow mobilization and repair efforts due to low reserves, and spikes in unemployment and declines in residents’ incomes, especially for those who are dependent on the retail and services sector for jobs. Enterprise works with partners around the nation to increase the resilience of affordable housing before and after natural disasters. Learn more about our Ready to Respond toolkit to see how you can prepare and protect your community. 

  • In The New York Times, Matthew Desmond, author of Evicted, has released an extensive profile zeroing in on the challenges facing workers without much education, such as low wages, housing instability and lack of healthcare access. The piece highlights that in 2016, there were nearly 7.6 million “working poor” Americans -- that is, they earned incomes below the poverty line despite spending at least half the year either working or searching for jobs. (A recent report by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) reported that 72 percent of households making less than $15,000 paid more than 50 percent of their income toward rent in 2016.) It also notes that while American productivity has increased by 77 percent over the past 40 years, hourly pay has grown by only 12 percent. Desmond emphasizes the importance of protecting and boosting sources for safety-net programs that help families confront food insecurity, housing unaffordability and unemployment spells, lifting tens of millions of people above the poverty line each year. (The New York Times, September 11) 
  • An article in ImpactAlpha looks at ways to attract capital and shape the future of Opportunity Zone investing. Rachel Reilly, director of impact investing at Enterprise Community Loan Fund, points out that lack of federal guidance on issues like structuring funds is stalling Opportunity Zone activity across the nation and may mean communities will miss out on attracting capital to local businesses and projects. Reilly explains that this “clarity gap opens a door for first movers to model best practices around state and local leadership, fund structures, investment activity and transparency for others to follow.” Enterprise, in partnership with Rivermont Capital and Beekman Advisors, has launched its first Opportunity Zone fund, Emergent Communities Fund, which will invest in main streets across small cities and towns in the Southeast with an initial focus on North Carolina and Virginia. (ImpactAlpha, September 12) 
  • An analysis by CoreLogic shows that 4.3 percent of home mortgages in June were delinquent by 30 days or more, down from 4.6 percent a year earlier and the lowest for the month of June since 2006. Between June 2017 and June 2018, the national foreclosure inventory rate – the share of mortgages in some stage of the foreclosure process – declined slightly to 0.5 percent. The analysis also shows that that Mississippi had the highest rate of mortgages in some stage of delinquency, at 8 percent, and Colorado had the lowest, at 2 percent. (CoreLogic, September 11)

Upcoming Webinar 

  • On Friday, September 21, Enterprise Community Partners will host a webinar on “Creative Placemaking: Working Through Conflicting Priorities" to discuss how community development organizations are responding to immediate stressors while building long-term resilience. This webinar will be moderated by Mia Scharphie, founder of Creative Agency, and will feature Marilyn Wrenn, chief development officer at Coalfield Development, and Taykhoom Biviji, program officer at North Lawndale at School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Register here for the webinar

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