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JUNE 23, 2016



The realities of the changing economic landscape make Washington, D.C.—a city that long seemed to be a national exception—increasingly relevant. The District’s advanced service sector economy is becoming the norm in other major cities in the United States and around the world. How Housing Matters spoke with Derek Hyra, the founding director of the Metropolitan Policy Center at American University, about the economic revival of D.C., gentrification, and policies for stimulating equitable economic growth.   

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The State of the Nation's Housing 2016

Despite signs that the housing market is recovering, homeownership rates remain depressed and rental demand is high, according to research from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. Other housing challenges and consequences documented in The State of the Nation's Housing 2016 include a rise in cost-burdened renters, high rates of overcrowding among low-income families, trade-offs between housing and other essentials, and a doubling of the number of Americans living in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty. 

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Housing Recovery Leaves Many American Families Behind

The number of American households with unaffordable housing costs has risen after three years of downward trends. By 2014, nearly 40 million U.S. households spent more than 30 percent of their income on housing. Middle-income households increasingly face affordability challenges. In the ten most expensive U.S. housing markets, half of renter households with incomes between $45,000 and $75,000 paid at least a third of income for rent. Housing costs are also leading more young adults to delay household formation. Around 22 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds lived with their parents in 2014 compared with 17 percent in 2008.

Wall Street Journal (6/22)

Santa Clara to Vote on $950 Million Housing Bond

Santa Clara County, California, supervisors have put a $950 million affordable and workforce housing bond on the ballot for November. There would be $700,000 earmarked for extremely low-income households and/or permanent supportive housing; housing for very low-income households and workforce housing would each receive $100,000 from the bond; and the remaining $50,000 would assist first-time homebuyers. The bond would be paid through a property tax assessment at a cost of $1.9 billion inclusive of debt service. The expected cost for a typical homeowner is less than $100, while businesses and commercial property owners can expect higher bills.

Silicon Valley Business Journal (6/21)

Pediatricians Recommend Stricter Lead Laws

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a policy statement in the journal Pediatrics calling for stricter rules to eliminate the sources of childhood lead poisoning. “We now know that there is no safe level of blood lead concentration for children, and the best 'treatment' for lead poisoning is to prevent any exposure before it happens,” says Dr. Jennifer Lowry, chair of the AAP Council on Environmental Health. The recommendations stem from evidence that even low levels of lead exposure cause mental and behavioral problems. The AAP calculates that every dollar spent on lead reduction in the home would yield $17 to $221 in societal benefits.

Medical News Today (6/21)

Connecticut Studies Sex Offender Laws

As Connecticut addresses chronic homelessness, the challenge of housing people on the state’s sex offender registry remains. As ex-offenders reenter society with little family support and unstable housing, it can foster an environment that increases recidivism. “In an effort to make things more safe, we are making things more dangerous,” says Cathleen Meaden, senior manager of housing services at Columbus House in New Haven. The Connecticut Sentencing Commission is studying the state’s sex offender laws at the governor’s behest. A similar study of parole access for juveniles sentenced as adults took three years before legislators enacted any changes, “and that was nothing as controversial as this,” says Thomas Ullmann, a public defender and cochair of the subcommittee on sex offender sentencing.

WNPR (6/21)

New Kids Count Data Rank States on Child Well-being

Minnesota, Massachusetts, Iowa, New Hampshire, and Connecticut ranked best for child well-being according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2016 Kids Count Data Book. The scores are based on economic well-being, education, health, family, and community trends from 2008 to 2014. Compared with prior data, the 2016 study shows improvements in reading proficiency and health insurance access, but “unacceptable levels of childhood poverty” and other risk factors. The lowest-ranked states were Mississippi, New Mexico, Louisiana, Nevada, and Alabama.

USA Today (6/21)
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Divergence in American Life Expectancy

July 29, 2016 | Washington, DC | Brookings Institution

Intersections 2016

September 26-29, 2016 | Park City, UT | Grounded Solutions Network

How Housing Matters conference

December 13, 2016 | Washington, DC | National Housing Conference
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About How Housing Matters

The How Housing Matters online portal and email newsletter are efforts of the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation through its How Housing Matters to Families and Communities Initiative. How Housing Matters provides news, research, and practical information on how a high-quality, stable, affordable home in a vibrant community contributes to individual and community success.


Executive Editor: Stockton Williams 
Managing Editor: Maya Brennan
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