Rental Housing news for tenants, advocates, planners, providers and program managers. Tools for social service providers to help solve rental housing problems

News about Rental Housing & Inclusive Communities

July 25, 2018. Columbus Dispatch. "Minority, Appalachian kids at greater risk of remaining poor for life, report says"

No news here, but a reminder about segregation and social mobility. From the article: "Groundwork Ohio released the Ohio Early Childhood Race & Rural Equity Report 2018 on Wednesday. Shannon Jones, executive director of the nonpartisan child-advocacy organization, said it was the most-comprehensive early childhood report in the state’s history."

Practice Area: IncludeHot issue:  AFFHKeywords:  social mobility, segregationPosted:  July 25, 2018

July 23, 2018. Plain Dealer. "East Cleveland loses fight over rental occupancy fees; judge calls it an 'illegal tax' "

 " 'The fees are in fact a tax disguised as a fee and charged solely to raise general revenues for the city,' the judge wrote, pointing to case law that shows license fees should reflect public spending on whatever is being licensed." No big surprise here...this is already "settled" law.

Practice Area: StabilizeHot issue: Keywords:  code enforcementPosted:  July 24, 2018

July 23, 2018. Canton Repository. How to flip a house in Stark County for profit

 "Berry said he decided to go into real estate investing about five years ago. His business, Global Real Estate Solutions, is based in North Canton. Often through word-of-mouth but also through online listings, Berry looks for situations where people are eager to unload their homes with minimal hassle. 'We step in, and we can usually buy a house for cash in seven to 14 days,' said Berry. 'We’re an option for someone looking for a quick cash sale, whether they’re moving or going into assisted living.' ” [later in the story] "Berry said he bought about 35 residential units last year, of which he kept 15 as rentals and sold 20. This year, he anticipates he will buy about 50 homes."

Practice Area: StabilizeHot issue:  Keywords:  flipping, investor ownedPosted:  July 24, 2018

July 23, 2018. Pittsburgh Post Gazette. ‘Where are these folks supposed to go?’ Hazelwood renewal comes with fears of displacement."

"On Hazelwood Green, the foundations expect to host a mixed-income residential neighborhood with light manufacturing and tech-centric jobs, as well as jogging trails and other amenities. In the community, they are attempting an ambitious experiment in urban renewal that seeks to defy the tragic narratives left by many of Pittsburgh’s revitalization efforts over the past 70 years: to revive the neighborhood without displacing long-term, low-income renters." Displaced by nonprofit development!

Practice Area: IncludeHot issue:  Keywords:  Displacement, gentrification, relocationPosted:  July 24, 2018

JULY 23, 2018, CityLab. "Minneapolis Council Members Want to Tie Density to Affordability"

"Minneapolis officials need to show more clearly how density equals affordability. That, at least, appears to be one takeaway of a spirited, at times ugly and, no doubt (as these things usually are) racially-charged debate about Minneapolis’ long-range housing development plan — for which the public comment period ended Sunday. One of the main points of contention: Fourplexes. The city initially proposed allowing fourplexes in single-family neighborhoods in March, when the first draft of the plan was released, as Next City reported at the time. Backlash was swift, and aimed particularly at Mayor Jacob Frey — opponents of the idea dubbed the units 'freyplexes.' ”

Practice Area: Preserve and DevelopHot issue: AffordableKeywords:  density, rental NIMBY, Posted:  July 24, 2018

July 20, 2018. Toledo Blade. "Lucas Co. judge calls Toledo lead law discriminatory and unconstitutional. 

"Among her findings, Judge Jennings wrote that the law violates the equal protection clauses of the Ohio and United States constitutions because the ordinance “applies to and burdens only owners of rental properties having four or less units, naturally giving the owners of larger rental properties a competitive advantage,” while the law’s objectives state that all residential units built before 1978 are presumed to contain lead-based paint, a serious health threat to children and adults." 

Practice Area: AdvocateHot issue: leadsafe housingKeywords:  lead poison, Toledo, leadsafe housingPosted:  July 23, 2018Thanks to: Toledo Lead Ordinance Compliance Fbook pag

Update: July 24, 2018. WTOL.  "City leaders plan to file appeal after lead law struck down. 

July 22, 2018. Columbus Dispatch. "City council to consider law allowing charitable collections in roads"

If you're an establishment begger you get a "bye"? What ever happened to subsidies for the private sector entrepreneurs? What next--exemptions for red kettlers?

Practice Area:  SatireHot issue: hypocrisy, Keywords:  panhandling, playgrounds for the rich.Posted:  July 23, 2018meanwhile: "Franklin County set to hire anti-poverty consultant"  Maybe tax panhanders to fund shelters

more here: "Columbus Council Could Ease Restrictions On Street Fundraisers"

July 18, 2018. Cleveland Scene. "Cleveland Area Mortgage Lenders Are Perpetuating Redlining With Current Lending Patterns, According to Study"

"Broadly speaking, Lepley said that Cuyahoga County lending patterns of today are ''strikingly similar' to the region's redlining maps of the 1940s and 1950s. Those maps, officially called "residential security maps" were created by the Home Owner's Loan Corporation (HOLC) and shaded red those areas with (or near) African-American populations, excluding them from the loan program."

Practice Area: IncludeHot issue: Keywords:  mortgage lending, redlining, segregationPosted:  July 22. 2018maybe related: July 16, 2018. Zillow. "A Greater Share of Rentals Are out of Reach for Blacks, Hispanics

July 20, 2018, Repository. "Canton proposes crackdown on ‘set outs’ "

" 'Landlords are businessmen, and we don’t want to cause headaches for them....' 'But they’re causing headaches for us when they’re setting these people out, and we have to send out city services to clean up the mess.' ”

Should business people be subsidized by municipal services? Many municipalities distinguish between 1-4 unit properties and "multifamily" properties when it comes to waste collection. Important to note that Ohio Landlord Tenant Law makes waste disposal a landlord duty when there are more than four units in the same structure." ORC 5321.05 (A) (5)

Practice Area: StabilizeHot issue: Keywords:  set out, eviction, code enforcementPosted: July 21, 2018

July 9, 2018. Columbus Free Press. "Success for the Columbus Community Bill of Rights"

"Our initiative petition, for which the City Clerk just reported the number of valid signatures, is the result of our third campaign for a Community Bill of Rights ordinance that asserts our inalienable rights to clean water, clean air, safe soil, and our right of local self-governance, especially the right to say NO to the dumping of harmful Frack Waste in our community. This has been an amazing all-volunteer, grass-roots effort in democracy in which more than 18,400 signatures were collected and submitted to City Hall! In fact, in our three campaigns we have collected more than 43,000 signatures!"

Practice Area: OrganizeHot issue: Keywords:  community bill of rights, civic engagement, initiative, citizen actionPosted:  July 20, 2018

July 21, 2018. Vindy.com Councilman's bad bill paying habits are because of his tenants?

You need to dig a little to get to the issue of shifting landlord duties to a tenant via lease agreement. Here's the key takeaway: "The District 1 councilman said he at times allows bills to go unpaid in order to keep tenants responsible for covering their water fees, which he said is part of their lease-agreement obligations. The utility is in his name, but the bill is sent to each rental property. 'In some cases, in order to get the tenant’s attention, in order to get the tenant to pay his obligation, sometimes you can’t pay the bill,' Mr. Riley said. 'If they fail to pay, then it becomes my obligation.'"

Practice Area: StabilizeHot issue:  Rental rightsKeywords:  landlord dutiesPosted:  July 22, 2018

July 21, 2018, Treehugger. "Amazing things happened when 206 ugly vacant lots in Philly were landscaped"

"They found that those living within a quarter of a mile radius of the 206 newly landscaped lots had an average 41.5 percent decrease in feelings of depression and a nearly 63 percent decrease in self-reported poor mental health compared to those who lived near the lots that had not been cleaned. For areas below the poverty line, feelings of depression among residents who lived near the newly green lots decreased by more than 68 percent."

Practice Area: stabilizeHot issue:  Healthy homesKeywords:  mental health, beautification, blightPosted:  July 22, 2018

July 19, 2018, Wapo Wonkblog. " ‘Housing for All’: Democrats push for big government response to soaring rents"

"[Senator Kamala] Harris’s bill, which expands on a measure that Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) has introduced in the House, calls for the federal government to give tax credits to renters who earn less than $100,000 a year and spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent (which includes utilities) — a widely used gauge of housing affordability. (The credit would be refundable, meaning taxpayers can receive payments even if their tax liability is $0, and those in particularly expensive areas could earn up to $125,000 and still receive the credit.) The size of the benefit increases for poorer families and decreases higher up the income distribution."

Practice Area: AdvocateHot issue:  Renter Tax CreditKeywords:  affordablePosted:  July 20, 2018

more here: "Can a federal tax credit help rent-burdened Americans?

July 19, 2018, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "Pa. Attorney General sues housing lender for 'deceptive' practices"

 "The state attorney general’s office has filed a complaint against a “contract for deed” company in Allegheny County. The suit, filed against Harbour Portfolio on Wednesday in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court, accuses the Texas-based company of “unfairly and deceptively” targeting consumers who incorrectly believed they were purchasing a home, charging high interest rates and misrepresenting both the nature of the transaction and the poor condition of the homes. Court documents allege the homes were marketed to low-income people and were generally in poor condition. The homes were sold as 'land contracts,' an arrangement that was much less favorable to the buyer than a traditional mortgage."

Practice Area: StabilizeHot issue: Rent to ownKeywords:  land contract, scam, affordablePosted:  July 20, 2018

July 19, 2018, NextCity. "A Family Dispute: Who Counts As Homeless?"

"Now a bill is before Congress, the Homeless Children and Youth Act, that would seek to address this problem. Introduced by Senators Diane Feinstein and Rob Portman, and Representatives Steve Stivers and Dave Loebsack, the legislation would amend HUD’s definition of homelessness to align it with other federal agencies, thereby allowing more families to qualify for HUD’s services. Qualifying doesn’t mean necessarily receiving assistance, but it means eligible children and parents could be assessed for HUD services based on a variety of “vulnerability” measures."

Practice Area:  AdvocacyHot issue:  HomelessKeywords:  Affordable, Point in Time countPosted:  July 20, 2018

July 19, 2018, NextCity. "Everything Is a Lie, But Especially That Cheap Apartment Listing"

"Tenant beware: Some cities are hotbeds of rental fraud, and Millennials are the most vulnerable targets."

Practice Area: StabilizeHot issue: Rent scamKeywords:  rental rightsPosted:  July 20, 2018

July 17, 2018, Curbed. "Single-family rental units have never been easier to buy"

From the article: "Online platforms like Roofstock, OwnAmerica bring institutional tools to mom and pop landlords." RHINO asks: "McLandlords?" Here's the pitch for SFR investment platforms like Roofstock:  "Aside from ease and convenience, these platforms allow investors to buy and own rental homes in multiple parts of the country at once, whereas before it was almost certain that investors would buy in the city in which they live. Even today, about 70 percent of SFR properties are owned by someone whose primary residence is within 10 miles of the rental property...."

Practice Area:  NewsHot issue:  SFR housingKeywords:  McLandlord? absentee ownership.Posted:  July 19, 2018

July 16, 2018, Cincinnati Enquirer. "City permanently clearing out homeless camp under I-71 overpass"

" 'This is the first step to ensure that homelessness is humanized, not criminalized,' [Police Captain] Neville said."

Practice Area:  AffordableHot issue:  CriminalizationKeywords:  homelessnessPosted:  July 19, 2018

July 20, 2018, RHINO. Wait...there's more. Advocates and homeless persons met with Cincinnati City Council yesterday to negotiate a resolution to the homeless encampment displacement. Cincinnati Enquirer has two updates on Cincy homeless camp

July 19, 2018. CityBeat. "A Tent City in Downtown Cincinnati will Stay up Another Week "

"But the dynamics underlying the battle over the camp at Third and Plum streets will likely linger much longer"

Profile of the action behind the scenes in Cincinnati's battle over homeless encampment 

July 18, 2018. NextCity. "Mobile Home Owners Find a Lifeline Against Displacement"

"But by 2012, everything changed. Once again, there was concern that the landlord was going to sell, but this time Wallace and the other members of the 25-home community had a plan. For years, the residents had wrestled with the fact that they have little to no say in the park’s long-term future. So in July, they wrote a letter to the landlord, expressing their concern. “We wanted assurance that our homes would be safe for us to enjoy in the future,” said Katy Bowen, president of the Duvall Riverside Village’s board of directors and one of its residents. The next month, the landlord sent them a letter offering to sell them the property."

Practice Area:  Preserve and DevelopHot issue:  Manufactured home parksKeywords:  Co op, affordablePosted:  July 19, 2018

More here: "Resident-Owned Co-ops Stabilize Growing Numbers of Mobile Home Parks"

July 17, 2018, WOSU. "Columbus Prepares To Change How It Gives Out Tax Abatements"

"To help grow affordable housing stock, city leaders are revamping their tax abatement strategy. Under the plan, Columbus’ 12 community reinvestment areas, or CRAs, will be split into three tiers. Developers' tax breaks in neighborhoods from the highest tier will carry greater requirements for affordable housing."

Practice Area:  PreserveHot issue: AffordableKeywords:  Municipal incentivesPosted:  July 18, 2018More here: "Columbus City Council considers changes to tax-incentive rules"

July 17, 2018, WOSU. "HUD Secretary Ben Carson Visits Cleveland To Push Changes In Housing Funds"

"Carson stressed the value of partnerships with organizations like Family Promise and other faith-based groups over traditional programs like rental subsidies known as Section 8."

Practice Area:  AdvocateHot issue:  HUD Housing policyKeywords:  affordable, faith based Posted:  July 18, 2018More here:  To Save a Town ‘By the Grace of God’

July 18, 2018, Wapo. "Housing values may fall as baby boomers die off or sell off, two studies say"

"Will baby boomers turn into party poopers when they unload their homes in large numbers starting in the next decade? Could they create an indigestible oversupply in the market that lowers home prices and frustrates sales? That’s a sobering scenario outlined by two new, provocative studies."

Practice Area:  NewsHot issue: AffordableKeywords:  Demographics, homeownershipPosted:  July 18, 2018
July 18, 2018, Wapo. "Today’s 20- and 30-somethings need more help renting and buying a home than previous generationsStudies focus on cities with high percentage of Millennials and high rent, home price profiles. Prolly not most of Ohio (except maybe Columbus).Practice Area:  NewsHot issue: AffordableKeywords:  Demographics, homeownershipPosted:  July 18, 2018
July 17, 2018, Wapo. "Should you build rainy day savings or pay off debt?""It’s hard to see money just sitting there in the bank barely earning any interest. But your emergency pot is there for a purpose. You always need a rainy-day fund, because it always rains. It could be a drizzle or a severe downpour."Practice Area: StabilizeHot issue: Rainy dayKeywords:  financial literacyPosted:  July 18, 2018

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