“Julie Holzhauer stands among her family’s possessions after being evicted from her home in Centennial, Colo., in 2011. – John Moore/Getty Images”
by Terry Gross
“For many poor families in America, eviction is a real and ongoing threat. Sociologist Matthew Desmond estimates that 2.3 million evictions were filed in the U.S. in 2016 — a rate of four every minute.
“‘Eviction isn’t just a condition of poverty; it’s a cause of poverty,’ Desmond says. ‘Eviction is a direct cause of homelessness, but it also is a cause of residential instability, school instability [and] community instability.’”
“In 83 Million Eviction Records, a Sweeping and Intimate New Look at Housing in America” – The New York Times
“RICHMOND, Va. — Before the first hearings on the morning docket, the line starts to clog the lobby of the John Marshall Courthouse. No cellphones are allowed inside, but many of the people who’ve been summoned don’t learn that until they arrive. ‘Put it in your car,’ the sheriff’s deputies suggest at the metal detector. That advice is no help to renters who have come by bus. To make it inside, some tuck their phones in the bushes nearby.
“This courthouse handles every eviction in Richmond, a city with one of the highest eviction rates in the country, according to new data covering dozens of states and compiled by a team led by the Princeton sociologist Matthew Desmond.
Two years ago, Mr. Desmond turned eviction into a national topic of conversation with ‘Evicted,’ a book that chronicled how poor families who lost their homes in Milwaukee sank ever deeper into poverty. It became a favorite among civic groups and on college campuses, some here in Richmond. Bill Gates and former President Obama named it among the best books they had read in 2017, and it was awarded a Pulitzer Prize.
But for all the attention the problem began to draw, even Mr. Desmond could not say how widespread it was.”
Continue reading this New York Times article, click here.
“PHILADELPHIA – Jonathan Jacobs had almost no savings, a modest income and a credit report marred by a disputed cellphone bill. But he easily bought a newly renovated row house in Point Breeze, a South Philadelphia neighborhood that’s historically African American.
“‘It took about 15 minutes’ to fill out the paperwork, the career counselor said. ‘Now I pay less to own a house than I did to rent an apartment. That’s the American dream.’
“Jacobs, who is white, got a special home loan from New Jersey-based TD Bank that is designed to help low-income people and blighted neighborhoods, where banks are required to lend under the landmark Community Reinvestment Act of 1977. The law was designed to correct the damage of redlining, a now-illegal practice in which the government warned banks away from neighborhoods with high concentrations of immigrants and African Americans.
“But the law didn’t anticipate a day when historically black neighborhoods would be sought out by young white homebuyers.”
Read this article at Reveal News in its entirety, click here.
In November 2016, the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released a final rule requiring local public housing agencies (PHAs) to adopt smoke-free policies for federally-owned housing by July 2018. This aligns with HUD’s mission to provide safe, sanitary housing for vulnerable populations and improve the health outcomes of public housing residents.
Download the Smoke-Free Policy guidance, click here or on the graphic.
“A pioneering doctor tries to upend the nursing home industry — and give seniors back their independence” – STATnews
“KING FERRY, N.Y. — It’s an unlikely place to launch a war against the nursing home industry.
“But here on the black-stone edge of a gloomy Cayuga Lake stood the pioneering geriatrician Dr. Bill Thomas, a few feet away from his weapon of choice in this battle: a 330-square-foot, plywood-boned home he calls a Minka.
“‘I spent my career trying to change the nursing home industry,’ he said. ‘But I’ve come to realize it’s not really going to change. So now what I’ve got to do is make it so people don’t need nursing homes in the first place. That what this is about.’
“The idea sounds, in one sense, simple: create and market small, senior-friendly houses like this one and sell them for around $75,000, clustered like mushrooms in tight groups or tucked onto a homeowner’s existing property so caregivers or children can occupy the larger house and help when needed.
“Thomas wants to help people grow older on their own turf and terms, while helping spare them the fiscal and physical stress of maintaining bigger homes.”
If you have a physical disability, the Attendant Care Waiver and state funded Act 150 program may be available to you to continue to live in your home and community with support and services.
To download the above graphic as a .pdf format for enlarging, printing or sharing, click on the graphic or here: Act 150.
LEARN MORE HERE | Eligibility details, application forms and other information are available here.
Credit Bryan Anselm for The New York Times”
by Paula Spahn
“Lots of things look different when you step into a small Green House nursing home.
“The bright living and dining space, filled with holiday baubles at this season. The adjacent open kitchen, where the staff is making lunch. The private bedrooms and baths. The lack of long stark corridors, medication carts and other reminders of hospital wards.
“I was visiting the Green House Homes at Green Hill, a continuing care facility in West Orange, N.J. Dorothy Bagli, who’s 91, showed me her room, looking out onto the garden and filled with artwork from home and photos of her grandchildren.”
Read this New York Times article in its entirety, click here.
“Temporary Assistance for Needy Families | The Rapid Re-housing demonstration has completed its first year – 22 families who experienced homelessness were rapidly re-housed.”
Rapid re-housing is a promising intervention designed to quickly connect families and pregnant women temporarily experiencing homelessness to permanent housing and services. Studies show significant gains in long-term success and housing stability when a family is able to quickly leave homeless shelters and get stabilized immediately.
A YEAR AGO, the Department of Human Services partnered with the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Homeless Services to administer this demonstration over a two-year period in West Philadelphia. The first participating families were rapidly re-housed and connected to needed services and employment with the goal of helping them attain self-sufficiency and ultimately reduce or eliminate their need for assistance in the future. In addition to receiving permanent housing, all 22 families from Year One received housing stabilization services, which included the completion of a stabilization plan. All of the families also received job development services, and as a result, 33 percent of families exiting the program also increased their income. As more families exit the program, we anticipate the growth of increased-income families to reach to 50 percent. All families who have exited the program thus far have remained in stable housing.
YEAR TWO OF THIS DEMONSTRATION started July 1, 2017, and will rapidly re-house 28 TANF-eligible families experiencing homelessness. Upon exiting the program, additional emphasis will be placed on securing employment and increasing income to better ensure families can maintain housing. Program evaluation and data collection will continue for 12 months. The demonstration is evaluated on a variety of performance measures to inform future efforts and explore best practices to better serve vulnerable TANF-eligible families experiencing homelessness.
Ms. W entered the TANF Program as a single female with a child. Ms. W’s highest grade of education is 11th grade and her monthly entry income was $316. Ms. W obtained employment but had to resign when she became pregnant. After giving birth, Ms. W obtained full-time employment and increased her income from $316 to more than $1,000 a month, contingent upon an increase in hours. When the subsidy ended, she was able to maintain her rent without assistance. She also receives SNAP benefits to supplement food for her family. The Housing Stabilization Specialist negotiated a reduction in the rent from $900 to $800. Ms. W is still in the same apartment and is paying her rent independently.
Ms. J entered the TANF Program as a single female with an adopted child. Ms. J’s income at the beginning of the program was $480 a month adoption assistance. Ms. J is also partially disabled, but was not receiving disability payments when she entered the program. Ms. J did not have full use of her left arm which caused her to lose her job and, consequently, become homeless. The Housing Stabilization Specialist requested a rent reduction from $900 to $800 a month. Ms. J is currently employed through her church making $50 to $75 plus tips, varying by engagement. Due to her partial disability, she is in the process of getting her SSI/SSDI benefits. Ms. J also receives SNAP benefits to supplement food for the family. Ms. J is still in her apartment and is paying her rent independently.
SOURCES: Pennsylvania Department of Human Services / City of Philadelphia
“Five things that might surprise you about the fastest-growing segment of the housing market” – The Urban Institute
“One of the most pronounced shifts in the housing market since the financial crisis has been the evolution of the single-family rental (SFR) market. Today, single-family rentals (one-unit, attached and detached) account for 35 percent of the country’s 44 million rental units, compared with 31 percent in 2006. More than half of renters live in structures with less than four units.
“The Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center recently hosted a panel discussion with three single-family rental experts: Douglas Bendt from Investability, Sandeep Bordia from Amherst Capital Management, and Calvin Schnure from the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT). Their conversation illuminated five important facts everyone should know about this growing market:
“1. Single-family rental is the fastest-growing segment of the housing market.
“Growth in SFRs has outpaced growth of single-family owner and all multifamily housing in recent years. Data from NAREIT shows the SFR sector has seen growth every year since the crisis and has lingered around a 30 percent growth rate for the past three years, compared with less than a 15 percent growth rate for the multifamily market during that same period. The single-family owner market began to grow again in 2016, after declining for seven years.
“The number of households in the US is continuously increasing, but …”
by Greg Perlman
“It’s no secret that we’re getting older. Over 76 million Americans are either at or approaching retirement age, and for some of us, getting older and retiring means getting poorer. More than 25 million Americans over 60 are economically insecure.
When you’re living on a fixed income, it can be a struggle to keep up with rising costs of living, and especially housing. Affordable housing programs exist, but how do you find the right program? And what does that process look like?