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The St Louis Contrarian

Providing Independent and Intelligent Insight on St. Louis Public Policy Issues

Archive for the category “rental housing”

Gentrification?

Professor Todd Swanstrom wrote a wonderful article that I read in Urban Observatory. In that article he very intelligently took apart much of the misinformation in St. Louis. Advocates have decried any effort at city development that does not specifically address poor people. They complain that gentrification is moving poor people out of the central corridor and the Tower Grove area. Professor Swanstrom points out the data does not support this assumption. True gentrification requires a substantial increase in housing costs that drive out poor people. This is not happening in St. Louis. The contrary problem has taken place; depopulation of many areas of the city.

You would think we would welcome development with open arms. Oh well!

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The Biggest Cause of Housing Unaffordability

I run into issues affecting housing affordability every day. The simplest and also most difficult problems are the land use and zoning restrictions that unnecessarily drive up the cost of housing and or limit or ban the construction of apartments. Some of these decisions are things such as:

1. Banning of small houses

2. Minimum lot sizes that require a large expenditure on land.

3. Banning of manufactured housing.

4. Excessive road widths and sidewalk requirements

5. Inefficient inspection processes.

6. Banning of apartments

These are not sexy issues and are often overlooked. Each one of them makes housing less affordable. Written by Paul Dribin

More Bad McKee Stuff

The Post had some thoroughly documented stories about Mr. McKee over the weekend. These stories which were quite difficult to follow seemed to say that once again McKee scammed the tax credit system to derive funds for projects that never materialized. Bad stuff. Written by Paul Dribin

Trump administration doing nothing to increase affordable housing

nyti.ms/2K3DFN3

an excellent article from New York Times

MO Supreme Court issues landmark ruling for tenants’ rights | Local News | stlamerican.com

A Missouri Supreme Court case between a tenant and her landlord was decided in favor of the tenant, in a development advocates are hoping may be a sign that the
— Read on www.stlamerican.com/content/tncms/live/

This case represents a major tenant rights breakthrough. Reprinted from St. Louis American

Prohibit and enforce bans on income discrimination | Business News | stlamerican.com

“Your money is no good here.” It may sound like a line spoken by the barkeeper in an old-timey Western movie.
— Read on www.stlamerican.com/content/tncms/live/

A great article by leadership of Empower Missouri about housing discrimination based upon source of income. If people can pay rent, have decent credit, and are good tenants, that is all that should matter. Written by Paul Dribin

A Good Article Defending McKee

A good article from River City Ramblings with which I agree. https://stlpolitical.blog/2018/06/26/why-paul-mckee-has-unfairly-become-a-scapegoat-for-the-city-of-st-louis

Children Living in HUD Assisted Housing Have Worse Health Care Outcomes Than Average

The finding comes from research commissioned by HUD. The results to me are discouraging for the following reasons:1. Public health advocates have said that better housing will result in better health care outcomes. That is not the case in this study.2. There must be something in the lifestyle of poor people that results in poorer health. What are the dietary, smoking issues.Here is a synopsis of the report:Does HUD Assistance Affect Child Health Outcomes?July 11, 2018    About 4 million of the 10 million Americans who receive US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) assistance are children. How healthy are these children? Housing policymakers and public health professionals increasingly recognize that housing is an important social determinant of health, particularly among children, as research shows that housing can significantly shape their emotional, psychological, and behavioral health and development. To fill the gap in research that previously relied on anecdotal evidence and case studies, a recent HUD study sought to identify the prevalence of health conditions and health care use among HUD-assisted children.The study provided prevalence estimates of the health of children ages 17 and younger in HUD-assisted households with those living in eligible but unassisted households and the general population. HUD assistance was defined as participation in one of HUD’s three primary subsidy programs: public housing, housing choice vouchers, and assisted multifamily housing. The authors linked responses from the National Health Interview Survey and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey over 14 years (1999–2012) to longitudinal HUD administrative data. The study explored differences in demographics, health status, health care use, and learning-related health status among the three groups, but the differences were not tested for statistical significance. The findings have important policy implications that suggest aligning housing assistance programs with health policy to potentially improve cost-effectiveness and health outcomes.Key findings • Most HUD-assisted children were black (52.2 percent) and lived in a single-parent, female-headed household (74.6 percent); 31.9 percent lived in large metropolitan centers. • Although 86.8 percent of HUD-assisted children had insurance coverage through public health insurance programs, they appear to have worse health status than the general population of children. • Most HUD-assisted children (84.4 percent) had a well-child checkup in the past year. Lower rates were reported for unassisted low-income households (80.2 percent) and the general population (76.8 percent). • The percentage of children with unmet medical needs because of unaffordability was similar among HUD-assisted children (3.5 percent) and children in the general population (4.4 percent). • HUD-assisted children (21.2 percent) are more likely to have asthma than children in unassisted, low-income renter households (17.7 percent). • 5 percent of HUD-assisted children had been told by a school or health professional that they had a learning disability.Photo by Alena Ozerova/Shutterstock

A New Structure for Housing Finance

www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/congress-needs-to-come-up-with-a-permanent-fix-for-its-temporary-housing-finance-takeover/2018/06/24/fc28921a-636d-11e8-a768-ed043e33f1dc_story.html

An editorial from the Washington Post. It is interesting that responsibility for affordable housing will be placed in a revamped FHA.

Housing Affordability

www.brookings.edu/research/housing-in-the-u-s-is-too-expensive-too-cheap-and-just-right-it-depends-on-where-you-live/

This article sees the problem as largely regional, on the coasts. I tend to agree. The National Low Income Housing Coalition uses the housing you can afford on the minimum wage. That is unrealistic. The minimum wage was not intended to be a living wage, people can double up, there are usually two income earners in a household, and most people who start out on minimum wage do not stay on it for long. Written by Paul Dribin

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