News Round-Up: Support for Solutions

Often, housing news seems bleak. Low income tenants are subjected to deplorable living conditions, victims of domestic violence often find themselves choosing between staying in a violent home or becoming homeless, and renters whose landlords are in foreclosure don’t realize their right to stay in their homes. But a recent poll shows the American people are supportive of real solutions to our country’s housing challenges.

Nearly half the renters in the area of which Victoria, Texas is a part cannot afford to rent a modest two-bedroom apartment there at the Fair Market Rent. The Victoria Advcoate tells the story of how one woman and her granddaughter live on a low fixed income in a cheap apartment, where weak landlord-tenant laws and lax regulation can mean suffering for families who can’t afford better.

The shrinking supply of affordable housing means victims of domestic violence have fewer places to go when leaving unsafe relationships, according to RH Reality Check. The author says that “a national increase in the availability of both short-term shelters as well as long-term housing options” is essential to ensure that domestic violence survivors do not become homeless.

A British magazine for housers investigates the homelessness crisis in San Francisco and the work advocates are doing to solve it. Noting that NLIHC found San Francisco to be the most expensive metro area in the country to rent, the article points out that the shortage of affordable housing is the greatest impediment to ending homelessness for that city.

Multifamily Executive reports on new NLIHC research showing that renters still make up at least 40% of households impacted by foreclosure. Renters in low income and minority neighborhoods are disproportionately impacted by the foreclosure problem.

And now for the good news: Affordable Housing Finance, DSNews and Multifamily Executive all report on the poll released by NLIHC on October 9 that shows that the majority of Americans support modifying the mortgage interest deduction to make it more targeted to helping middle and low income households, and that 69% of Americans support federal government programs to support rental housing. NLIHC seeks to use the savings from mortgage interest tax reform to capitalize the National Housing Trust Fund, which, once funded, would build, rehabilitate and preserve affordable rental housing for the lowest income Americans.

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