Trending Housing News

November 15, 2022

Renters experiencing eviction rates above pre-pandemic levels nationwide 

Evictions are returning to and in some locations surpassing pre-pandemic rates as federal assistance for rent is running out amidst an uncertain economic forecast. According to an October census survey, approximately 7.8 million reported themselves behind on the same month’s rent. Even in relatively smaller markets like the Oklahoma City region, rent prices were up 24% while evictions eclipsed 40% above pre-pandemic levels in just the month of September.  (NBC News) 

Mobile homes are becoming less affordable as investors purchase parks  

Once a consistent option for affordable housing, mobile home parks are becoming increasingly more expensive as investors continue purchasing parks across the country. As many residents in these parks are seniors living on fixed incomes, increases in lot rents are becoming less affordable while the cost of moving or changing parks is even less feasible. One mobile home community in Mead, WA has formed a successful cooperative, an option of park ownership that leaves the property and financial decision making up to its residents.  (The Spokesman-Review) 

Sacramento passes measure banning encampments as area experiences record homelessness 

California’s capital city has recently passed the Emergency Shelter and Enforcement Act of 2022, or Measure O, that will ban encampments on private and public property. Advocates say the measure only further criminalizes Sacramento’s unhoused population, one that has grown to more than 9,000 people in the midst of soaring housing costs, and does little to address the root issue – lack of affordable housing. Under the new law, residents will now be permitted legal recourse against the city where they can prove they are being “harmed by unlawful camping”. While the measure does call for the city to add new shelter beds, the requirement is contingent upon a surplus in the city’s budget. (The Guardian) 

‘Grandfamilies’ are experiencing food insecurity at higher rates 

According to a recent report from Generations United, approximately one-quarter of grandparent-headed households raising grandchildren are experiencing food insecurity. Referred to as “grandfamilies”, many of these households either do not qualify for assistance or are unaware of their eligibility. While many have voiced concerns related to their grandchildren’s custody, the USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, is one federal program that does not require custody to qualify for aid. Data from 2019 reveals only 42% of qualifying households obtained SNAP benefits. (The Washington Post) 

Report finds home appraisals are rife with racial bias  

Researchers have found evidence of widespread racial basis following the recent first-ever release of approximately 47 million appraisal reports from the Federal Housing Finance Agency conducted between 2013 and 2021. Published by Washington University alongside the nonprofit Eruka, the report indicates higher appraisal values in communities with higher proportions of white residents where racial composition is the only discernible difference. Where previous studies have focused primarily on Black homeowners, the recent report also found homes in white neighborhoods appraised at three times the value of comparable homes in communities comprised of American Indians, Alaska Natives, Southeast Asians, and Pacific Islanders.  (New York Times) 

California cities are capping rent increases as residents continue to fight for improvements 

Renters in California cities have recently succeeded in demanding local rent caps from their municipal governments but have reason to remain cautiously optimistic. In an effort to thwart excessive rents hikes amidst record inflation and a worsening housing crisis, communities showed strength in numbers as residents in cities like Antioch were met by sympathetic local leaders after taking their grievances to city halls. In addition to spikes in rent, residents voiced their experiences with neglectful property owners that has resulted in deferred maintenance and at times unlivable conditions. (AP News) 

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