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Challenges of the small rental property sector
Most rental housing in America is found in small multifamily buildings and this sector provides most of the options for low- and moderate-income (LMI) renters. With a growing wave of investors buying distressed properties in LMI neighborhoods, there are concerns about the ability of investors to properly maintain their investments. The author explores the small multifamily sector and suggests ways that policymakers can move beyond code enforcement and provide a combination of carrots and sticks to incentivize and increase the presence of ?good actors."
Massachusetts’ efforts to address foreclosed properties
Massachusetts has been ahead of the curve in combating neighborhood deterioration as real-estate-owned (lender-owned) foreclosed properties increase. Affordable housing developers, community groups, municipal and state officials, and nonprofits have created a Foreclosed Property Task Force and an online database that is accessible by all the partners. The database is already improving decision making about where resources would have the most impact.
Maintaining diversity in America's transit-rich neighborhoods: tools for equitable neighborhood change
In some newly transit-rich neighborhoods (TRNs), a new station can set in motion a cycle of unintended consequences in which core transit users?such as renters and low-income households?are priced out of the neighborhood in favor of higher-income, car-owning residents who are less likely to use public transit. The authors describe these patterns and present policy tools for shaping equitable neighborhood change.
Using new markets tax credits to mitigate the impact of foreclosures on communities
The author presents an overview of what is being done and offers community development practitioners? ideas about how to refine and strengthen the federal program. One example: change the program to allow a separate, additional allocation of tax credits for the purchase and resale of foreclosed property in low-income areas.
Research review: spillover effects of foreclosures on communities
A house is not just a physical shelter, but also a stitch in the fabric of society, integrating its residents into the life of the larger community. That is why foreclosures may hurt neighborhoods as much as they hurt those who lose their homes. Foreclosures may negatively impact a community when they depress the values of nearby properties, reduce the property tax base, increase blight and crime, and disrupt local social ties. We summarize some of the research that examines foreclosures? effects on the prices of nearby properties.
New arguments for employer-assisted housing
In some parts of the country, innovation and experimentation have helped employer-assisted housing (EAH) programs gain momentum, providing New Englanders additional rationale for implementing these programs. This article describes how EAH works, its potential benefits, how it is being implemented around the country, and how our region can make better use of these programs to promote competitiveness and affordable housing.
Data corner: remittances
Recent data on remittances to Latin America, including remittances from New England.
Use of alternative credit data offers promise, raises issues
Companies are beginning to use alternative credit data in a variety of ways for the purposes of making credit decisions. This article looks at the prospective benefits of using the new data, examines the potential usefulness of various sources of alternative data, and offers some considerations for lenders, consumers, and policymakers when these data are used.
Foreclosure prevention and intervention efforts in New England
As foreclosure rates have risen across New England, many have been asking for clarification about the full range of resources available to borrowers. This article describes the foreclosure prevention and intervention efforts currently underway in New England. We highlight the region?s largest initiatives as well as discuss the challenges these programs are facing as they work to provide assistance to consumers.
The marriage of green and affordable
Developers are beginning to apply green design to affordable housing. The budding practice has the potential to provide significant benefits to lower-income families, who pay proportionately more for energy and are disproportionately affected by poor air quality. This article discusses the case for uniting green and affordable and highlights the first national design and construction criteria for green affordable homes.