Enterprise: Community Developments: Strategies to Boost Housing Affordability, Campaign to Address Housing-related Sexual Harassment

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  • An article in CNN Politics looks at federal strategies that could boost housing affordability across the nation. The article points out that the adoption of the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (S. 548), bipartisan legislation proposed by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) that would expand the Housing Credit by 50 percent, would help create an additional 400,000 units of affordable housing over 10 years. The article also notes that the federal government can discourage local over-regulation by awarding competitive grants to cities that relax their land use and zoning codes with the goal of expanding their supply of housing. Finally, the article suggests that lifting tariffs imposed on lumber and steel and supporting training programs and better provisions for income security would bring more workers into the profession of construction and potentially decrease the cost of home building. Ali Solis, the president of Make Room, explains that "there needs to be a full commitment from the president down to the city council level to come together and make housing a national priority." (CNN Politics, July 24)
  • Yesterday HUD and the Department of Justice released a public service announcement to “raise awareness of housing-related sexual harassment and to reach persons who are victimized by it.”The 60-second public service announcement features three victims of housing-related sexual harassment who challenged their mistreatment by filing lawsuits brought by HUD under the Fair Housing Act. Anna María Farías, HUD's Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, noted that "this campaign will let the public know that they have help should they find themselves a victim of this type of behavior. The Justice Department and HUD are committed to working together to address the problem and protect their housing rights." Earlier this year, HUD and DOJ launched a campaign to combat sexual harassment in housing. (HUD, July 23)
  • A new study by the Research Institute for Housing America documents the substantial amount of space taken up by parking in American cities and the high costs it represents. The study, which looks in detail at parking in five cities, finds that Philadelphia has 25 parking spaces per acre, almost four times its density of 6.8 households per acre, and Seattle has roughly 30 parking spaces per acre, more than five times its residential density of 5.7 households per acre. New York is the only city in the study that has fewer parking spaces per acre than households, with slightly more than half a parking space (0.6) for each household. The study also notes that in terms of replacement, parking costs more than $35 billion in Seattle, $20 billion in New York, and $17.5 billion in Philadelphia. (City Lab, July 24)

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Courtesy of Enterprise

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