February 6, 2019
Enterprise Launches Nonprofit Network in Puerto Rico
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- Enterprise, along with NeighborWorks and the Puerto Rico Community Foundation, has launched a new network to provide training and funding for Puerto Rican nonprofits working to increase access to healthcare, education, and housing. The Puerto Rico Nonprofit Capacity Building Network will support local nonprofits that understand residents’ needs and how to leverage available resources to improve key social outcomes and resilience on the island. Enterprise Community Partners President Laurel Blatchford said that the partnership will “significantly increase nonprofits’ ability to advance affordable housing and other avenues to opportunity for Puerto Ricans.” (Affordable Housing Finance, February 5) Read more about the network on Enterprise’s blog.
- Richard Florida argues in CityLab that building more affordable homes in metropolitan areas that are centers of innovation will increase productivity and improve the American economy. He points out that currently there is not enough affordable housing in the most productive and expensive locations that drive the nation’s economic growth. As a result of unaffordable housing in these locations, many unskilled, low-wage workers are unable to access jobs in those places, which costs the economy significantly in terms of lost productivity. (CityLab, February 5)
- A new report from Urban Land Institute and Hetiman highlights the pressing need for greater understanding throughout the real estate industry of the investment risks posed by climate change impacts. The report Climate Risk and Real Estate Investment Decision-Making details advanced strategies and tools that can help investment managers protect existing assets and make informed decisions. Some of these tools include annual and quarterly climate risk reports, factoring climate change into due diligence, and exploring mitigation strategies such as resilient building and portfolio diversification. (Urban Land Institute, February 5)
- Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and State Senator Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) are leading a charge to repeal Article 34 of California’s constitution. The provision, enacted in 1950, requires local voter approval before any affordable housing can be built in a given community. The law is a contributing factor to California’s severe shortage of affordable housing, decades in the making. Senator Allen has introduced legislation that would put a measure to repeal Article 34 to the voters as soon as the 2020 elections. (Los Angeles Times, February 3)
- In Austin, Texas, City Council Member Greg Caser introduced a resolution that would ease building restrictions on affordable housing in order to incentivize new construction. Under the resolution, buildings that set aside at least half of their units for households making less than 60 percent of area median income (AMI) would be allowed to build higher than the code currently allows. Additionally, developments could waive parking requirements, certain setback standards, and allow for increased density. (KXAN, February 5)
- An op-ed in CityLab makes an argument about the importance of upzoning as a necessary first step towards increasing the supply of affordable housing and reducing market rate rents. Responding to an Urban Affairs Review study on Chicago that argued upzoning raised prices, the authors contend that while easing zoning restrictions is not in itself a silver bullet to increase housing supply and affordability, the suite of policies that can be implemented at the state and federal level are often impossible unless zoning is loosened. (CityLab, February 5)
- The latest data from CoreLogic shows a 4.7 percent increase in home prices year over year from December 2017 to December 2018. The data show the lowest reported 12-month increase in the Housing Price Index (HPI) since August 2012, when the 12-month HPI increase was also 4.7%.