Coronavirus and its Impacts on the Affordable Housing Crisis



The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting health equity in many ways, including homelessness, evictions, and affordable housing options. Low-income workers, the uninsured, those with unstable housing, and immigrant communities will bear the brunt of this crisis. Many U.S. cities were dealing with a homelessness crisis long before this outbreak. Now, the escalating pandemic has created a catastrophe threatening thousands of lives. Affordable Housing Crisis during COVID-19 Millions of Americans face housing cost burdens. Over half a million sleep on the streets any given night, according to a recent report. Worse, countless people and families pay more than they can afford to keep a roof over their heads every month. The coronavirus outbreak is a public health emergency that will ...

Read More

Comment Now: Stop the Return of Redlining & Speak Up for Transit!


Latino family home

Proposed changes to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) could bring back redlining, relax affordable housing definitions, and reduce the number of bank loans, investments, and services in low- and moderate-income communities and those of color, experts say. The CRA was developed in 1977 to curb redlining—discriminatory lending—and push banks to better serve communities. Now, federal agencies are proposing changes to modernize the complex law. But housing advocate Miriam Axel-Lute and others worry it weakens the CRA and is a “clear invitation to return to redlining.” “In addition, some investments in infrastructure and sports stadiums in low- and moderate-income communities would now qualify for CRA credit without any requirement that they primarily benefit low- and ...

Read More

How Vital is Affordable Housing for Single Latino Parents and Kids


Sad mother no affordable housing evicted eviction home

The number of children living in single-parent households has grown significantly over the past 50 years. In fact, it has actually doubled — jumping from 13% to 32% in 2017, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of US Census Bureau data. High cost-of-living, including necessities such as food and transportation, can significantly impact single parents. Worse, it can prohibit their ability to break cycles of poverty or build substantial wealth. Single Latino Parents In the US, there about half of each sing-parent race group are white, roughly 15% are Black, about one-fourth are Latino/Hispanic, and a small share are Asian. "These gaps are driven largely by racial differences among the large share of solo parents who are mothers," Gretchen Livingston with PEW ...

Read More

Can Ending Single-Family Zones Help the Affordable Housing Crisis?


dallas land bank affordable housing

Throughout the modern era, single-family zoning and redlining practices institutionalized economic as well as racial segregation in America. Although redlining is now illegal, single-family zoning—which still occurs to this day—reinforces both racial and economic segregation. Moreover, it contributes to the racial wealth gap seen across the country. "The practice of zoning most residential land exclusively for single-family detached homes is a major cause of affordable housing shortages and long commute times," Eric Kober, an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute and former director of housing, economic, and infrastructure planning at the New York City Department of City Planning, writes in a recent CNN Business editorial. "In expensive cities, this policy makes it ...

Read More

Planners, Here’s How to Unlock Health Equity in Your Community


health equity planning from ChangeLab Solutions

Local planners have the power to help create healthy, fair communities. Unfortunately, common planning practices have contributed to the high percentage of poor people and people of color who live in unhealthy places, widening disparities in health and wealth. That's why our friends at ChangeLab Solutions created Long Range-Planning for Health, Equity & Prosperity: A Primer for Local Governments. This can help planners prioritize health and equity in their work. "By integrating health and equity considerations into planning practices, planners have the power to revise past planning decisions and create healthy, equitable, and prosperous communities," ChangeLab reports. Place Matters for Health Equity Where you live matters for your health. Inequitable city planning, ...

Read More

En Español: The State of Latino Housing, Transportation, and Green Space


en espanol - housing transportation green spaces among latinos

Check out these new Spanish-language research materials on the alarming state of Latino housing, transportation, and green space from our team at Salud America! UT Health San Antonio. The new Spanish materials are based on an English research review earlier in 2019. The research found that, sadly, U.S. Latino communities face unaffordable housing, unreliable public transportation, and a lack of green space and parks. This limits Latinos’ access to health-promoting assets─medical care, good schools, healthy food, and physical activity. This also contributes to health inequities. Fortunately, community leaders can adopt dynamic land-use methods, public-private partnerships, and community involvement to build and revitalize Latino neighborhoods. This can create affordable ...

Read More

Elaine Hartle: Helping Foster Youth Prepare for Life’s Challenges


Elaine Hartle with foster care youth in San Antonio (via Express-News) 2

The foster care system aims to support children whose parents can't support them. But what happens when those children grow up and leave the system at age 18, and are not prepared for life on their own? Within a year, 40% of foster youth are homeless. Others are pregnant or in jail. Elaine Andries Hartle hates to see it. That's why Hartle, leader of the THRU Project, works to bridge the gap between foster care and a life of health and independence for youth as they age out of the foster care system in San Antonio (63% Latino). "It's really hard to improve your life if you don't know where you're staying tonight and, unfortunately, there are just very few transitional living programs in San Antonio that can teach these kids to live independently," Hartle told KSAT News. ...

Read More

#SaludTues Tweetchat 11/12: Health Begins With Home


Health begins with home affordable housing healthy homes

Having a quality, affordable home can unlock good health for people. The problem is that quality housing is far from the reach of many populations, including Latinos and those living in poverty or homelessness. In fact, low-quality housing can lead to asthma, lead poisoning, mental health issues, and hospitalizations. Let’s use #SaludTues on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, to tweet how to promote health as a top priority in the development and preservation of affordable homes and to elevate homes as a tool for improving resident and community health! WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: Health Begins With Home TIME/DATE: 1-2 p.m. ET (Noon-1 p.m. CT), Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019 WHERE: On Twitter with hashtag #SaludTues HOST: @SaludAmerica CO-HOST: Enterprise Community Partners ...

Read More

Facebook Commits $1 Billion to Ease California Housing Crisis


facebook California housing crisis big tech san francisco (via New York Times)

Facebook has announced a $1 billion pledge for grants, loans, and land to address the California housing crisis that it and other tech giants helped create. The $1 billion commitment will be distributed for five projects: $250 million for mixed-income housing on excess state-owned land where housing is scarce. $225 million in land that Facebook recently purchased in Menlo Park, home of Facebook’s headquarters, where real estate prices have skyrocketed. The plan is for over 1,500 units of mixed-income housing. $150 million to build affordable housing in the San Francisco Bay Area, including housing for the homeless. $25 million to build housing for teachers and essential workers in San Mateo and Santa Clara, enabling them to live near the schools where they work. ...

Read More