October 24, 2018

Mold Challenges Grow with Increasingly Frequent Residential Flooding


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Community Developments: Mold Challenges Grow with Increasingly Frequent Flooding

  • An article in CityLab examines the underappreciated challenge of mold remediation after residential flooding, which is expensive and difficult to manage, especially for low-income households. When a home has water damage, mold starts to grow within 24 to 48 hours of water exposure and presents health risks if not removed. If a homeowner does not hold a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policy, there are limited government resources available for the necessary, expensive repairs to remove mold. When mold problems go ignored, they can often render other repairs useless as the growth spreads throughout the house. Hurricane Harvey last year flooded over 300,000 structures in Texas, and many households are still living with mold. More frequent In 2006, Enterprise released step-by-step instructions to prevent mold-related health problems and speed disaster recovery in flood prone regions. (CityLab, October 23).
  • The DC Policy Center has released a brief history of racially discriminatory housing practices in the District of Columbia from the 20th century to the present. The essay shows how the city has been shaped by discriminatory zoning practices, with middle-class wards with large white populations zoned almost exclusively for low-density, single-family homes, while multifamily units made up the majority of residential land in poorer wards with high concentrations of people of color. Understanding how these policies, implemented decades ago, continue to impact people’s lives today is a key to addressing persisting racial inequality. (DC Policy Center).
  • A new book from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University (JCHS) aims to advance the discussion around what policies could be enacted to meaningfully reduce residential segregation in the United States. The book is a collection of essays originally presented at a symposium hosted by JCHS last year and works to identify policy changes that could foster residential and school integration, reduce affordability barriers in exclusive neighborhoods, and ensure that gentrification and new construction do not lead to displacement for historically disadvantaged communities. (JCHS, October 22).
  • On Tuesday, the San Diego City Council announced it would build 1,260 units of transitional housing by 2021. The plan would spread the units evenly, calling for 140 units in each of the city’s nine districts, a fair-share plan modeled off a similar plan recently implemented in Los Angeles. The city is funding this initiative with a mix of existing federal funds and at least $32 million in new state money designated for homelessness relief programs. (San Diego Tribune, October 23).

In Case You Missed It

  • In an op-ed this week, Columbus State (OH) Community College President David Harrison announced a new partnership designed to keep students in school by reducing barriers that would otherwise prevent them from achieving a higher education. Nationwide, 46 percent of community college students have trouble paying for housing, and 14 percent experience homelessness. Harrison argues that increasing affordable housing production will enable more students to graduate college, giving them access to better economic opportunity and increasing the quality of the workforce. (The Columbus Dispatch, October 21).


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