November 1, 2018

Analysis Highlights Challenges Facing Renters, Drop in Veterans’ Homelessness

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  • A new analysis by the Urban Institute finds that by 46 to 30 percent, renters are more likely than owners to struggle with paying for basic needs like food and health care. Based on data from the 2017 Well-Being and Basic Needs Survey and counts for key socioeconomic differences, it shows that 30 percent of renters reported food insecurity, with 13 percent reporting trouble meeting rent payments. Although low-income homeowners generally fare better than renters, nearly half of homeowners earning less than 200 percent of the federal poverty line reported difficulties meeting basic needs. The analysis points out that these findings add to growing evidence that “resource-strapped families face impossible decisions and trade-offs when paying for housing and basic needs like food and medical care every month.” (Urban Institute, November 1)
  • Today HUD Secretary Ben Carson and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert Wilkie announced that the total number of veterans experiencing homelessness in 2018 decreased 5.4 percent since last year, falling to nearly half of the number of homeless veterans reported in 2010. HUD’s Annual Homeless Assessment Report finds that 37,878 veterans experienced homelessness in January 2018, compared to 40,020 reported in January 2017. According to HUD, the decrease in veteran homelessness can largely be attributed to the effectiveness of the HUD-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program, which combines permanent HUD rental assistance with case management and clinical services provided by the VA. (HUD, November 1)
  • The Texas Tribune held roundtables with 40 stakeholders earlier this week to discuss the state’s housing affordability challenge and its impact on economic mobility and quality of life. The participants discussed strategies that include identifying the early signs of gentrification to mitigate displacement and allowing homeowners to generate some sort of profit from their homes through short-term rentals and renting accessory dwelling units. (The Texas Tribune, October 31) As previously reported in Community Developments, the Texas Tribune has released an affordable housing toolkit that aims to help Texans build a dialogue about housing issues in their communities. 
  • Applications for host organizations to join the fall 2019-2020 class of Rose Fellows are due on Friday, November 9. 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. 

Upcoming Event

  • On Tuesday, November 27, Enterprise New York, in partnership with the Fair Housing Justice Center and with support from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, is hosting the Regional Affordable and Fair Housing Summit. This full-day convening will feature a keynote address by Isabel Wilkerson, the author of The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, as well as a discussion on the Affordable and Fair Housing Roundtable’s policy platform. The summit will be held at the CUNY Graduate Center. Register here for the summit.     

In Case You Missed It

  • The Los Angeles Times, Sacramento Bee and San Francisco Chronicle have endorsed California’s Proposition 1 and Proposition 2, two important ballot measures that aim to address the state’s affordability and homelessness challenges. Proposition 1 would authorize a $4 billion bond issuance for affordable housing, including $1.5 billion for the Multifamily Housing Program, which supports rental housing for low-income Californians, and $1 billion to help veterans purchase farms and homes. The measure is expected to create 137,000 jobs and generate $23.4 billion in economic activity in California. Proposition 2 would authorize an additional $2 billion, which would be repaid using existing funds generated from the Mental Health Services Act, for supportive housing services for people living with chronic mental illness who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Enterprise urges California voters, whether they intend to vote via mail-in ballot, at early voting sites or in the voting booth on Election Day, to vote yes on Propositions 1 and 2 to help the state address its biggest affordability challenges.

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