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Housing Homelessness 11 13 2013 Lee Price Spratlen and Kanan Determinants of Homelessness in Metropolitan Area Goal Understand the factor that affect variations in the level of homelessness across American cities Theoretical Expectations Economic conditions unemployment underemployment Social safety net welfare mental health spending Climate av Temperature precipitation Demographic composition racial age family type composition Transience population turnover Housing market rent costs ownership vacancy rate Key Findings Climate cities with a lot of rain tend to have less homeless Demographic characteristics of single member households increases homelessness Housing market areas with a higher average cost of rent has a much higher number of homeless Most Important Housing Affordability area The extent to which housing is affordable to the population of an Units available at 30 of a particular income level are considered affordable for households at that income level Affordability is a function of o Housing Costs o Income level Defining Affordability Burden Affordability burden is defined by the relationship of income to housing expenditures o Spending 30 50 of income on housing is consider a moderate housing cost burden o Spending more than 50 of income on housing is considered a severe housing cost burden o 41 of all households pay more than 30 of their income on housing o ELI are the most burdened group o HI are the least burdened group Income Group definitions Area of median income AMI income level in the middle of the distribution of incomes for the county Income categories measured in terms of a percentage Area Median Income AMI o Extremely low income ELI below 30 of AMI o Very low income VLI 30 1 50 AMI o Low income LI 50 80 AMI o Lower income less than 80 AMI o Moderate income MI 80 120 AMI o High income HI above 120 AMI Factors affecting the affordability of housing Growing demand for housing o US pop up 53 since 1970 but number of households up by o More smaller independent households later age at marriage 109 higher divorce rate Rising construction costs o Cost per square foot up 107 since 1980 o Reflects higher land and material costs o In some metros Higher costs of meeting in city building infrastructure environmental requirements Rising energy costs Resistance to high density housing o Zoning laws and subdivision regulations High personal priority on private space o High density housing concentrated in the worst neighborhoods Federal housing policy funding o Reliance on private market to supply housing Low income housing tax credit o Funding priorities for new construction over rehabilitation o Housing assistance has not kept pace with demand Funding priorities for mortgage subsidies for middle and upper income over rental assistance for lower income o Deterioration and closing of large housing projects Loss of low cost housing housing market o 1973 to 2012 estimated 4 million low rent units gone from the o Decay abandonment and burning for profit o Slum clearance Housing Act of 1949 o Condo conversions 1500 per year in Seattle between 1999 and 2007 o Gentrification areas Movement of higher income residents into lower income Reduces number of units raises rents raises taxes Common in some metropolitan areas Housing costs leave little left for other basic needs especially for families with kids What kinds of policies are in place to deal with the affordability crisis Policies for addressing housing affordability Housing Vouchers o Main federal housing assistance program o Recipient free to locate housing within cost and safety o Provides voucher paid directly to landlord for cost of rent minus 30 of the family s monthly income standards o Problems Number of landlords willing to accept section 8 vouchers fluctuates with demand for rental units Section 8 units tend to be concentrated in high poverty areas Overall section 8 funding not kept pace with demand Incentives to private builders to produce more affordable housing o Low income housing tax credit o Will low income units serve the poorest families o Will low income units remain low income Private and public ventures o Mixed income developments built with combination of federal funds and private investment o Will low income units house all those displaced to build new developments The number of precariously housed remains large Precariously Housed Individuals with housing currently but earning less than current expenses or with insufficient financial cushion to absorb unexpected costs Growing number of precariously housed resulting from o Stagnant wages o Increasing rent cost o Insufficient subsidies Programs to address homelessness Focus of programs varies from city to city local plans with federal backing o Homelessness prevention Charlotte s ShelterNet gives low interest rate loans for homeless crisis situations o Collaborative holistic programs o Housing first programs Portland s JOIN project Providing people with housing getting them off the streets and giving them the help needed to get them back on their feet o Increase the stock of affordable housing relatively rare Washington s 2005 End Homelessness Act Puts a tax on all real estate transactions that go into a pool of money that is put towards affordable housing Most of our policies are dealing with the daily living conditions of the homeless They very rarely effect the permanent reasons for homelessness in the long run Residential Segregation 11 13 2013 Residential Segregation The distribution of different social groups or populations into separate and distinct residential areas or neighborhoods of the city Residential segregation by race and ethnicity The distribution of racial and ethnic groups into separate and distinct residential areas of the city Hypersegregated Highly segregated on multiple dimensions Unevenly spread across the neighborhoods of the city Concentrated in a small number of neighborhoods Black neighborhoods are clustered Centralized in disinvested core Isolated from other groups o The combination of these multiple dimensions create unique structural barriers for African Americans in many cities Measuring segregation Index of dissimilarity Di o Measure of segregation indicating how evenly the members of two groups are distributed among the neighborhoods in a city or metro Interpretation Minimum Di 0 o The percentage of a group s population that would have to move a different neighborhood to achieve an even distribution of the group

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UW SOC 201 - Housing & Homelessness

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