by Maya Brennan
“Are there any steps? How wide are the doorways? Any narrow corners to navigate? How high are the counters and light switches? Searching for an accessible home to buy or rent can be like looking for a needle in a haystack, but it’s something that a growing number of people need to do.
“The ease of movement that many people take for granted is far from universal. Around 1 out of every 14 people in the United States has mobility challenges. The likelihood of mobility impairments rises to 1 in 6 among people ages 65 to 74, and then 1 in 3 among people ages 75 and older. Already, more than 17 million US households include a person with a mobility impairment. With an expected doubling of the senior population by 2060, more homes will need to be accessible to ensure disabled residents’ independence and to accommodate mobility-impaired visitors.”
“Many homeless shelters are designed to house as many people as possible—not to empower them while they’re there.”
by Jill Pable
“Some 544,000 people in the United States have no shelter every night, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Families make up more than one-third of this total.
“Beyond exposing them to weather, crime, and unsanitary conditions, homelessness can also damage people’s self-esteem, making them feel helpless or hopeless. Being homeless is a traumatic experience, in part because of the associated stigma.
“Recovering from homelessness may therefore involve not just finding a job and permanent home but also rebuilding one’s self-esteem.”
“The high cost of housing seemed to sap Americans’ taste for coastal cities last year as cities in Texas and Arizona gained more population than New York City or Los Angeles for the first time in a decade, according to census population estimates released today.
“‘What started as a promising decade for big cities is starting to crumble a little bit for them,’ said William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, in an email. “The Great Recession put the brakes on dispersal to small metro areas, suburbs and the Sun Belt; but those trends are beginning to resume again.’
“San Antonio’s population grew by 24,200 between 2016 and 2017, the largest gain among cities, with Phoenix not far behind at 24,000.”
“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.