Category Archives: housing

News Article: “How Zoning Restrictions Make Segregation Worse”

News Article: Richard Florida, “How Zoning Restrictions Make Segregation Worse,” Citylab, Jan. 4, 2016.

New Book: “The Politics of Staying Put: Condo Conversion and Tenant Right-to-Buy in Washington, DC”

New Book: Carolyn Gallaher, The Politics of Staying Put: Condo Conversion and Tenant Right-to-Buy in Washington, DC (Temple Univ. Press, 2016).

News Article: “What Happens When a Homeless Shelter Opens in a Gentrifying Neighborhood?”

News Article: Allegra Kirkland, “What Happens When a Homeless Shelter Opens in a Gentrifying Neighborhood?,” The Nation, Sept. 1, 2016 [despite protests from local Brooklynites, there are still plans for developing new businesses alongside the proposed homeless shelter].

New Article: “Separate and Unequal: The Dimensions and Consequences of Safety Net Decentralization in the U.S. 1994-2014”

New Article: Sarah K. Bruch, Marcia K. Meyers, Janet C. Gornick, “Separate and Unequal: The Dimensions and Consequences of Safety Net Decentralization in the U.S. 1994-2014,” Institute for Research on Poverty (Aug. 2016).

In this paper, we examine the dimensions and consequences of decentralized social safety net policies. We consider the adequacy of benefits and inclusiveness of receipt for eleven federal-state programs that constitute the core of safety net provision for working age adults and families: cash assistance, food assistance, health insurance, child support, child care, preschool/early education, unemployment insurance, state income taxes, cash assistance work assistance, disability assistance, and housing assistance. In the first part of the paper we examine the extent of cross-state inequality in social provision. We find substantial variation across states; variation that is consistent with policy design differences in state discretion; and at levels equal to or greater than variation across the European countries that have been recognized as having different welfare regimes. In the second section, we turn to an analysis of change over time (1994 to 2014) examining four dimensions of convergence: degree, location of change, direction of change, and scope. We find both decreases (retrenchment) and increases (expansions) of provision, a handful of cases of convergence (decreasing inequality) and divergence (increasing inequality), and a great deal of synchronous change and persistence in the magnitude of cross state inequalities.

News Article: “The Failure to Talk Frankly About Poverty”

News Article: New York Times Editorial Board, “The Failure to Talk Frankly About Poverty,” New York Times, Sept. 13, 2016.

New Article: “Conflation, Intractability and Affordable Housing”

New Article: Steven J. Eagle, Conflation, Intractability and Affordable Housing, forthcoming Fordham Urb. L.J. Abstract below:

This Article examines the varying and often-conflicting views of “affordable housing” of different social and economic groups. It asserts that attempts to deal with affordable housing issues must take into account the shelter, cultural, and economic needs of those populations, and also the effects of housing decisions on economic prosperity. The article focuses on affordable housing goals such as making available an ample supply of housing in different price ranges; attracting and retaining residents who contribute to the growth and economic prosperity of cities; ensuring that neighborhood housing remains available for existing residents, while preserving their cultural values; and providing adequate housing in high-cost cities for low- and moderate-income persons and the overlapping concern for “fair housing” for families of all races and backgrounds.

Thereafter, the Article examines the benefits and detriments of various means of providing more affordable housing, including fair-share mandates, rent control, and inclusionary zoning (including whether that leads to impermissible government takings of private property). It then briefly considers the merits and demerits of federal subsidy programs.

The Article briefly considers conceptual and practical problems in implementing the Supreme Court’s 2015 Inclusive Communities disparate impact holding, and HUD’s 2015 regulations on “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing.” Finally, it discusses how the concept of “affordable housing” conflates the separate issues of high housing prices and poverty, and how housing prices might be reduced through removal of regulatory barriers to new construction.

Throughout, the Article stresses that advancing affordable housing goals have both explicit and implicit costs, and that goals often are conflicting. To those ends, it employs economic and sociological as well as legal perspectives.

News Coverage: “Affluent and Black, and Still Trapped by Segregation”

News Coverage: John Eligon & Robert Gebeloff, Affluent and Black, and Still Trapped by Segregation, N.Y. Times, Aug. 20, 2016.

 

New Article: “Equitably Housing (Almost) Half a Nation of Renters”

New Article: Andrea J. Boyack, Equitably Housing (Almost) Half a Nation of Renters (forthcoming Buffalo L. Rev. 2016).  Abstract below:

America’s population of renters is growing faster than the supply of available rental units. Rental vacancies are reaching new lows, and rental rates are reaching new highs. Millions of former homeowners have lost their homes in foreclosure and, due to today’s much tighter mortgage underwriting realities, will not realistically re-enter the ranks of owner-occupants. For a number of reasons – variety of incomes, different stages in life, and a range of personal preferences and lifestyles – homeownership is not for everyone. And yet federal government housing policy has consistently prioritized homeownership over renter-specific issues, such as affordability and rental supply and distribution. State and local housing assistance programs are shockingly insufficient to meet ballooning needs. Reallocation of focus and funds at the federal level, however, could help grow the supply of rental housing and provide renters at all income levels a realistic chance of occupying quality and affordable rental housing, even in a “high opportunity” neighborhood.

The government must first reorient its myopic housing policy focus away from an over-emphasis on building homeownership. It must free up government funds for use in support of affordable rental housing. In addition, government funds and agency efforts should be carefully allocated to increase the availability of housing assistance and government gap funding of affordable housing as well as to encourage private investment in the supply of affordable rental housing.

News Coverage: “Rent-to-Own Homes: A Win-Win for Landlords, a Risk for Struggling Tenants”

News Coverage: Alexandra Stevenson & Matthew Goldstein, Rent-to-Own Homes: A Win-Win for Landlords, a Risk for Struggling Tenants, N.Y. Times, Aug. 21, 2016.

 

News Coverage: “As the nation’s capital booms, poor tenants face eviction over as little as $25”

News Coverage:  Terrence McCoy, As the nation’s capital booms, poor tenants face eviction over as little as $25, Wash. Post, Aug. 8, 2016.