Below is our weekly review of news and publications related to housing law and equity. This week — July 17-23, 2017 — included news about zoning, segregation and lead poisoning:
- Dr. Herbert L. Needleman died on July 18. Dr. Needleman was a pioneer in the study of the impacts of lead on children’s cognitive ability. Dr. Needleman’s research was a catalyst for wide ranging safety regulations. His obituary appeared in the Washington Post.
- Jake Blumgart of PlanPhilly writes for Slate on the neighborhood that he grew up in, the persistence of microsegregation, and the importance of continuing to push for diversity in neighborhoods.
- ThinkProgress published a series of articles about lead poisoning.
- Toledo considers Rochester, NY and its success in reducing the incidence of lead poisoning as a model, via the Toledo Blade.
- The National Apartment Association and the National Multifamily Housing Council released a new report on the need of affordable housing units to meet demand in US metro areas by 2030.
- After a long battle between the Westchester, NY, and HUD, the department decided that zoning in Westchester is not exclusionary, although similar data was rejected multiple times in the past. Story via the Journal News.
Our latest round-up of the biggest stories in housing law and equity, for the week of June 12-18, 2017:
- The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University released the yearly State of the Nation Housing report. The report encourages a renewed national commitment to expand the range of housing options available.
- A NY State Appellate Court struck down a chronic nuisance ordinance in Groton, NY, because of provisions that led to the eviction of those who seek emergency services. Story via Ithaca.com
- The Out of Reach report and tool that was published a couple of weeks ago by the National Low Income Housing Coalition is getting press around the country for showing the gap between current wages and rents in most US cities. This article, from CNBC highlights the lack of affordable housing for minimum wage workers.
- An opinion piece in The Hill makes, again, the case for investment in housing as an investment in childhood development and health.
- 79 people are presumed dead in the fire at Grenfell Tower in London. Some argue that the tragedy should be a red light for distressed public housing in the US.
- The Philadelphia Inquirer posted its second article in its Toxic City series. This most recent article investigates lead-poisoned soil in the city’s River Wards neighborhoods. While lead paint is often considered the biggest danger to children, in these areas and others, the soil may be a great danger.
We’re back this week with more news from the field of housing law and equity. Here’s the latest for the week of May 22-29, 2017:
- The Atlantic ran an investigative piece on one of the largest lead crises in the history of the US – New Orleans in the 1990s.
- The Mayor of Denver revealed an action plan of 30 short-term items to address housing affordability in the city using a holistic approach. The plan spans renter eviction assistance, employment opportunities, guidance for LIHTC, mental health counseling, and many more. Coverage via the Denver Post.
- The New York Times’ Editorial Board confronts the proposed 15 percent cut to HUD’s budget, saying it “cuts the poor.”
- Allowing land banks to be established is a legal lever to handle blight properties. However, having a land bank is not enough by itself. The experience of different cities can teach us plenty! NextCity covers the New York land banks.
- There is an ongoing debate in Ohio about the state government’s role in lead poisoning prevention. After Cleveland announced a rental inspection program and Toledo passed a lead inspection ordinance, Ohio republicans are attempting to preempt local efforts to address the issue. Cleveland.com has the story.
Some interesting local-level developments in housing, equity and law last week. Here’s our round-up of the news from last week, February 6-12, 2017:
- What would happen if we stopped thinking about our home as an investment? Conor Dougherty of the New York Times argues that if we treated houses like we treat microwaves, the economy will improve and inequality will reduce.
- Cleveland shared its timeline for first citywide housing inspection for lead
- New York City will devote $90 million to offer legal representation for low income tenants in housing courts. This is a big victory for the “civil Gideon” right-to-council movement, via Gothamist.
- The US Treasury and the Tennessee Housing Development Agency come together to provide funds for first time homebuyers down payments in Nashville, via NextCity
Did we miss any big housing, law and equity stories this week? Let us know!