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Category Archives: Housing

Rent Debt in America: Stabilizing Renters Is Key to Equitable Recovery

National Equity Atlas: “Our rent debt dashboard, produced in partnership with the Right to the City Alliance, equips policymakers and advocates with data on the extent and nature of rent debt in their communities to inform policies to eliminate debt and prevent the looming crisis of mass eviction. Mounting rent debt and the potential for mass eviction is one of the most pressing equity issues created by the Covid-19 pandemic. The vast majority of the millions of renters who are in debt are low-wage workers — disproportionately people of color — who’ve suffered job and income losses due to the pandemic. With the Supreme Court’s invalidation of the federal emergency eviction moratorium on August 26, 2021, these renters are at imminent risk of eviction and homelessness. Allowing an eviction tsunami to take place would be a moral travesty and a policy failure that would deepen inequities at a moment when the federal government has prioritized addressing systemic racism and ensuring an equitable recovery. To inform policymaking and advocacy to prevent eviction and eliminate rent debt, the National Equity Atlas and the Right to the City Alliance — a network of community-based organizations working in 45 cities and 26 states to prevent displacement, expand affordable housing, and build just, sustainable cities for all — launched this rent debt dashboard in April 2021. The dashboard provides current data on the number and characteristics of renters behind on rent for the US, states, and 15 metro areas, as well as estimates of the amount of back rent owed. With this release, we’ve added a new “Relief Map” to the dashboard tracking the distribution of federal emergency rental assistance in states, counties, and cities. We’ve also expanded our rent debt estimates to cover all states and counties in the US as well as 562 cities. To provide disaggregated data for sub-national geographies, we combine the two most recent waves of the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey and use the individual-level microdata in the Pulse public-use file, which is released two weeks after the tabular data. The dashboard data is refreshed approximately every two weeks. Find our full methodology here…”

How You Can Leverage Census Bureau’s New Building Permit Visualization Tool

Census Bureau: “Building permits are one of the earliest indicators of economic activity. For decades, building permit data has been available online in a very unusable, clunky format. The Census Bureau’s new visualization and extraction tool empowers users to engage this rich, sub county-level source of information about the critical first step in construction –… Continue Reading

Why we should build for wildlife as well as people

BBC Future – “From green roofs to bee bricks and hedgehog drawers, there are plenty of ways to make sterile buildings more accommodating to nature….Part of the problem is that human civilisation, so dependent on built infrastructure, has colonised swathes of land once home to wildlife. While just 1% of the planet’s habitable land is… Continue Reading

Redfin Will Now Tell You How At-Risk Your Dream Home Is to Climate Change

Gizmodo: “It hard enough to buy a home, but the climate crisis is making it even more challenging. Will a prospective house be underwater? Catch on fire? Real estate brokerage firm Redfin is offering a new tool to assess those and other climate risks. Anyone who visits the site will soon be able to see… Continue Reading

Federal housing protections have ended – Learn how to avoid foreclosure and eviction

CFPB: “Some important federal protections put in place to protect homeowners from foreclosure and renters from eviction during the COVID-19 pandemic ended on July 31. If you are having trouble making your rent or mortgage payments, it’s important to take action to prevent foreclosure or eviction. Help for renters – As a renter—or a landlord—you… Continue Reading

Senate Bill Aims to Create National Database of Restrictive Property Covenants

WSJ (paywall – see alternative full text): “A new bill backed by a slate of Senate Democrats would allocate competitive grants to colleges and universities to analyze, digitize and map historic housing discrimination records, creating the first national database of its kind. The focus of the effort is to research covenants attached to housing deeds,… Continue Reading

New Eviction Laws Database Reveals Striking Differences in Eviction Processes Around the Country

“The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) launched the LSC Eviction Laws Database today, a new online tool that will aid users in better understanding the significant variation in eviction laws across the country and the effect these differences have on eviction outcomes. LSC produced the database in partnership with the Center for Public Health Law Research at Temple University’s Beasley School… Continue Reading

Join NYT Today for Netting Zero Virtual Event Series on Climate Change

“Each episode of Netting Zero brings together New York Times journalists with climate experts from business, policy, government, and civil society. Join us on July 1 to discuss our built environment – The New York Times  Thursday, July 11:30 p.m. E.T. | 10:30 a.m. P.T. | 6:30 p.m. B.S.T.  In the past year, as cities… Continue Reading

The State of the Nation’s Housing 2020

Joint Center for Housing Studies Harvard University, The State of the Nation’s Housing 2020: “For most of 2020, the country has been beset by the COVID-19 pandemic, social unrest sparked by longstanding racial injustice, and the devastating impacts of climate change. Although low interest rates and continued growth in some sectors have bolstered homebuying and… Continue Reading

Where Millennials Are Moving – 2021 Edition

Smart Asset: “Young professionals have long looked to New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and other bustling cities as places of opportunity. But in the last few years, migration patterns have shifted to show that a smaller share of Americans are moving to these cities. And after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, another study also… Continue Reading