October 9, 2018

Enterprise Releases a New Paper that Looks at the Definitions of Gentrification

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Community Developments

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  • In a new paper, Gentrification: Framing Our Perceptions, Rachel Drew of the Policy Development and Research team at Enterprise looks at the issues around defining and measuring gentrification. In a first-of-its-kind review, this paper summarizes several approaches used in recent studies of gentrification and details the complications these create for identifying where it occurs. It describes how different definitions can lead to different findings about the consequences of gentrification, and the implications of these inconsistencies for effective policymaking. This report includes a letter from Enterprise Community Partners’ President Laurel Blatchford, which notes that “this work is a first step in a larger effort by Enterprise’s Policy Development and Research team to better understand gentrification and its implications for policy… Future reports will also review the intersections of gentrification and education policy – specifically, how each impact the other, and with what results.” Through this work, Enterprise seeks to ensure that neighborhood change positively impact lower-income households.
  • The ACTION Campaign, a national grassroots coalition of more than 2,200 organizations and businesses advocating in support of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit), has updated its state fact sheets with the most recent data to show the impact of the Housing Credit and the affordable housing needs that still remain in every state. New to the state fact sheets this year is data demonstrating the impact that a 50 percent increase in Housing Credit allocation authority would have in each state. The Cantwell-Hatch Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (S. 548), bipartisan legislation to strengthen and expand the Housing Credit, includes a 50 percent increase in allocation authority. Enterprise urges all Housing Credit stakeholders to join the ACTION Campaign and share these state fact sheets with your elected officials. 
  • The New York Times looks at the connection between local recovery efforts that typically focus on rebuilding in place and rising federal expenditure on disaster recovery. As climate change alters weather patterns, hurricanes and flooding that may previously have been considered “once in a lifetime” are happening with increasing regularity. The New York Times explains that the rise in extreme weather events, local control over rebuilding efforts, and misaligned incentives often direct federal disaster recovery funds toward rebuilding in hazard prone areas, creating repetitive cycles of damage and repair. To spend this money more effectively, Congress must change some of the rules governing disaster recovery to provide guidance to localities that would encourage them to rebuild with an eye towards mitigating future disaster. (The New York Times, October 8)
  • An article in the Denver Post highlights efforts to bring modular housing to Colorado. As development costs continue to increase rapidly across the state, prefabricated and modular housing provide an opportunity to increase the supply of affordable and workforce housing. The article notes that the American prefabricated housing industry is still in its infancy, with fewer than 20 manufacturers currently operating. However, it is starting to reach viability in several expensive metro areas and the appeal of lowering costs and decreasing construction time means that more developers will probably consider modular housing for new projects going forward. (The Denver Post, October 9)
  • A blog post by the Harvard Joint Center of Housing Studies (JCHS) notes that older adults living in federally subsidized units have greater access to safety and accessibility features than those who do not receive assistance. The blog explains that federally subsidized units are governed by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which specifies that federally subsidized housing providers are required to cover reasonable modifications for persons with disabilities. In contrast, owners of rental housing without federal subsidy are not required to pay for those modifications. While these protections do not apply to recipients of HUD’s Housing Choice Vouchers, they do apply to units subsidized by HUD’s Project Based Rental Assistance, where 38 percent of assisted older adults live. (JCHS, October 5)

In Case You Missed It

  • Applications are now open for host organizations to join the fall 2019-2020 class of Rose Fellows. The Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellowship partners emerging architectural designers with local community development organizations to facilitate an inclusive approach to development that results in green, sustainable, and affordable communities. Enterprise partners with the host organization to select the fellow and provides mentorship and training to the fellow over the two-year period. The fellowship requires participating hosts to support their fellows by providing a comprehensive workplan, day-to-day supervision, a stimulating work environment, and fringe benefits. Applications are due on Friday, November 9, 2018.

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