VICE News Daily: The Residents of Nigeria’s “Dustbin Estate” – Vice News Published on Aug 27, 2015


The VICE News Capsule is a news roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: Nigeria’s most populous city has a housing problem, Indian veterans continue their hunger strike, prominent Iranians support the nuclear deal, and dog is man’s newest ally in the fight against cancer.

NIGERIA
Lagos Residents Build Homes in Garbage Dumps
A lack of affordable housing has pushed some people into the landfills.

INDIA
Army Veterans on Hunger Strike Over Pension Plan
Three ex-servicemen protest the government’s delay in starting a new retirement program.

IRAN
Prominent Activists Launch Campaign Supporting Nuclear Deal`More than 40 high-profile Iranians have posted videos on YouTube and Facebook.

UNITED KINGDOM
Cancer-Sniffing Dogs Assist Doctors
Canines have three hundred million sensory receptors compared with five million in humans.

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Every single county in America is facing the same crisis – KRISTEN CAPPS, THE ATLANTIC CITIES JUN. 20, 2015, 5:25 PM


Map

Atlantic Cities

From Portland, Oregon, to Portland, Maine. From Jacksonville to Juneau. No matter where you look, there isn’t enough affordable housing.

Without exception, there is no county in the U.S. that has enough affordable housing. The crisis is national and it is growing. Since 2000, rents across the nation have increased. So has the number of of families who desperately need affordable housing.

New research from the Urban Institute shows that the supply of housing for extremely low-income families, which was already in short supply, is only declining. In 2013, just 28 of every 100 extremely low-income families could afford their rental homes. Than figure is down from 37 of 100 in 2000—a 25 percent decline over a little more than a decade.

Using data from the Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, researchers built an interactive map to illustrate the nationwide reach of the problem. In no county in the U.S. does the supply of affordable housing meet the demand among extremely low-income households. (Families who made no more than 30 percent of an area’s median household income were considered “extremely low income.”)

Map 2Atlantic Cities

In Travis County, Texas, for example, the extremely low-income cutoff for a family of four is $21,950. There are about 7,000 safe, affordable rental units to meet the needs of these poor Austin families. But there are more than 48,000 extremely low-income families living there.

The Urban Institute’s research shows how the number of extremely low-income households around the nation has grown since 2000. At the same time, federal housing-assistance programs have grown, but not nearly enough to keep up with need. The difference in the availability of affordable housing between 2000 and 2013 is immediately apparent from the maps, especially in states in the South (namely Alabama, Kentucky, and South Carolina), the Midwest (Ohio and Illinois), and the West (Nevada).

Map 3

Atlantic Cities

Strike federal support from the map—as many members of Congress might like to do—and the picture grows considerably bleaker. Extremely low-income households increasingly rely on assistance from HUD: More than 80 percent of affordable rental homes for extremely low-income families are provided through assistance from HUD. (This figure is surging: It was 57 percent of households in 2000.)

The Urban Institute’s interactive map shows just what a dire situation the nation would face without federal housing assistance. In Pulaski County, Arkansas, for example, some 15,000 families met the criteria for extremely low income in 2013 (earning no more than $18,650 for a family of four). Without federal assistance, none of these poor families in Little Rock would have access to affordable housing: zero. As it stands, only 24 extremely low-income families out of every 100 can find safe, affordable rental housing in Little Rock.

Article continues:

http://www.businessinsider.com/every-single-county-in-america-is-facing-the-same-crisis-2015-6

Nashville’s boom prices out low-income, middle class residents – by Peter Moskowitz March 29, 2015 5:00AM ET


Screen Shot 2015-03-29 at Mar 29, 2015 1.13

NASHVILLE — Raydhira Abreu, a middle-class Nashvillian who works as a leasing agent for an affordable housing developer in the city, says that without being able to live in one of her company’s units, she would be forced to leave the city.

“Even with the money I’m making now, I don’t think I could afford to live here,” she said. “We have zero apartments, and every day there’s more and more demand.”

Nashville is rising in national profile and quite literally: 30-story condominium towers are popping up downtown, modest homes are being torn down and replaced with 3,000-square-foot modern houses in East Nashville, and new restaurants, bars and clubs are opening seemingly every week.

While the city is booming, incomes haven’t kept pace with costs. A city studyfound that the median family income in the Nashville area rose 6 percent from 2000 to 2013 but rents rose 21 percent for four-bedroom apartments and 39 percent for one-bedrooms.

About 19 percent of city residents live below the poverty line — a rate slightly higher than for the rest of the nation — but that doesn’t take into account the higher cost of living in the city. Activists and experts say the boom is pricing out low- and middle-income Nashvillians and that the city needs to seriously ramp up its affordable housing programs if it hopes to avoid displacement.

The city is one of the fastest-growing rental markets in the nation, according to housing website Zillow, and occupancy rates were 98 percent in 2014. And unlike some other fast-growing cities like New York and Washington, Nashville doesn’t require developers to set aside units for affordable housing in new buildings that receive tax or other subsidies.

Nashville’s economic rise can be traced at least in part to cooperation between the city and the Chamber of Commerce to draw a slew of companies of all kinds downtown. Their plan, called Partnership 2020, has the goal of attracting about 120,000 new people to the region, creating 50,000 jobs and getting at least 150 companies to relocate from other parts of the country and state by 2016. Nashville’s current population is about 635,000.

So far, it seems to be working. The city has gone from having a median household income 5 percent below the U.S. average to 7 percent above it since 2011, according to the Chamber. And major companies have been moving to Nashville in droves.

Nashville’s bids to boost economic growth have been largely successful but have come at a price. One of the biggest efforts was the 350,000-square-foot Music City Center, a convention center downtown that cost Nashville $623 million. The city has given out hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks, including to the  ABC TV series “Nashville” and most recently a $50 million break to tire manufacturer Bridgestone to woo the company downtown from its suburban headquarters.

But in some places — a dilapidated apartment building for seniors downtown, an overcrowded Section 8 apartment in the east or at Operation Stand Down, a veterans’ assistance nonprofit in the southern section of the city, things seem to be moving in the opposite direction.

Article continues:

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/3/29/nashvilles-boom-pricing-out-middle-and-lower-class.html

Who gets to live where?: The battle over affordable housing – by Lawrence Lanahan January 18, 2015 5:00AM ET


The Supreme Court is to hear a case involving the low-income housing tax credit as state and local opposition simmers

Lauren Wilusz and her son, Tommy, outside their home in Severna Park, Maryland. Wilusz’ property is near a proposed affordable housing development.Lawrence Lanahan

SEVERNA PARK, M.D. — Lauren Wilusz leans down to help her 22-month-old son, Tommy, out of his coat and snow-spattered boots.

“Dat!” he says, pointing to the tall Christmas tree in the den.

“Christmas tree!” Wilusz responds.

Lauren and her husband, Joe, allowed themselves the tree as a treat. “First Christmas in the new house,” she says. “It’s the biggest tree I’ve ever had in my life.”

Last January, after several years of strict budgeting and hard work — Lauren in university administration, Joe as an aerospace engineer — the couple bought a home in Severna Park. In this suburban neighborhood of single-family homes in Anne Arundel County, the Wiluszes have 2,000 square feet with a community playground and pond right outside their back door. Lauren recently quit her job to stay home with Tommy. Their second child is due in March.

But before the Wiluszes were in the house a year, neighbors told them about plans for an apartment complex a mile away on Ritchie Highway, a busy, four-lane stretch connecting Baltimore and Annapolis. Enterprise Homes, an affordable-housing developer, planned 84 units on five acres, with reduced rents for low-income earners.

Nearby residents opposing the development dominated two public meetings this fall, complaining about potential effects on traffic, school crowding, crime, infrastructure and home values, according to local newspaper coverage. On Dec. 1, County Council member Derek Fink submitted a bill that would stop the project. A public hearing and council vote was scheduled for Jan. 5. Wilusz felt the development would change the feel of the neighborhood she had worked so hard to afford. She made plans to attend.

Article continues:

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/1/18/fair-housing-battle.html

LA residents need to make $33 an hour to afford the average apartment – Ben Bergman January 15, 03:28 PM


 You need to earn at least $33 an hour — $68,640 a year — to be able to afford the average apartment in Los Angeles County, according to Matt Schwartz, president and chief executive of the California Housing Partnership, which advocates for affordable housing.

Finding affordable apartments is especially tough in Los Angeles, where 52 percent of people are renters, according to a new study. JUSTIN SULLIVAN/GETTY IMAGES

You need to earn at least $33 an hour — $68,640 a year — to be able to afford the average apartment in Los Angeles County, according to Matt Schwartz, president and chief executive of the California Housing Partnership, which advocates for affordable housing.

That’s more than double the level of the highest minimum wage being proposed by Mayor Eric Garcetti, which he argued would make it easier for workers to afford to live here. “If we pass this, this will allow more people to live their American Dream here in L.A.,” Garcetti proclaimed when he announced his plan to raise the minimum wage to $13.25 by 2017.

The $33 an hour figure is based on the average L.A. County apartment rental price of $1,716 a month, from USC’s 2014 Casden Multifamily Forecast. An apartment is considered affordable when you spend no more than 30 percent of your paycheck on rent.

To earn $33 an hour or more, you’d need to have a Los Angeles job like one of the following occupations:

But many occupations typically earn far below that $33 an hour threshold in L.A. County, according to the California Housing Partnership:

  • Secretaries: $36,000 ($17 an hour)
  • EMT Paramedics: $25,00 ($12 an hour)
  • Preschool teachers: $29,000 ($14 an hour)

That’s why L.A. residents wind up spending an average of 47 percent of their income on rent, which is the highest percentage in the nation, according to UCLA’s Ziman Center for Real Estate.

Naturally, people who earn the current California minimum wage of $9 an hour ($18,720 a year) would fare even worse in trying to afford an average apartment.

http://www.scpr.org/blogs/economy/2015/01/15/17806/la-residents-need-to-make-34-an-hour-to-afford-ave/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=FBKPCC4694