Issues and Reports

Accessibility
Affordability
Affordable Housing and Crime
Affordable Housing Policy
Community Land Trusts
Economic Value and Impact
Homelessness
Housing and Health
Housing Discrimination
Housing Supply
Inclusionary Housing/Zoning
Housing, Schools and Educational Achievement
Transit Oriented Development

Accessibility

Affordable, accessible, and appropriate housing is a critical and integral part of making any community more livable for people with disabilities.

The State of Housing in America in the 21st Century:  A Disability Perspective looks at the state of housing for people with disabilities with the intent to provide recommendations that can improve housing opportunities.

Disability.gov provides online resources for finding homes accessible to those with disabilities.

Priced Out 2010: The Housing Crisis for People with Disabilities is a study that compares the federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments of people with significant and long-term disabilities to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Fair Market Rents for modestly priced rental units.

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Affordability

Housing Affordability Challenges of America’s Working Households focuses on housing affordability for working households. It notes that nearly one in four working households spends more than half of its income on housing costs and that situation is worsening. This increase was driven largely by eroding affordability for working renters whose incomes have eroded while rents increased.

Out of Reach 2014. San Diegans must earn $26.04 an hour or $54,160 a year to afford a typical two-bedroom apartment rental in San Diego County, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s 2014 Out of Reach report.  However, typical wages in San Diego County are far lower than these levels. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 27% of office building occupations pay an average annual income of $37,600 and 33% of retail building occupations pay an average annual income of $23,200. A study by SANDAG notes that the Entertainment and Hospitality industry, the largest employer in the region by far, pays on average a salary of $21,800.

Priced Out 2010: The Housing Crisis for People with Disabilities demonstrates that the national average rent for a modestly priced one-bedroom apartment is greater than the entire Supplemental Security Income of a person living with a disability. Data for the San Diego region shows that with an average Supplemental Security Income payment of $845, a person would have to pay 136% of his or her total income in order to afford a one-bedroom apartment, or 119% for a studio rental, in San Diego County.

Poverty and Income in San Diego County 2010 by the Center on Policy Initiatives shows that in the San Diego region, a growing number of individuals and families are falling into poverty, with children and ethnic minorities particularly hard hit.

Paycheck to Paycheck is an interactive database from the Center for Housing Policy that presents wage information for more than 70 occupations and home prices and rents for more than 200 metropolitan areas. The data reveals the gap between wages and the costs of housing, both rental and owned. 

The State of Housing in California 2012: This recession worsened the effect of long term inadequate supply and affordability problems and has not been offset by vacant units resulting from foreclosures, or from depressed market conditions.  While the housing market is stabilizing, its recovery may be different from previous crises and is being shaped by new market conditions and shifting trends.  Without fail, the supply and affordability issues are present more that ever.

Worst Case Housing Needs. The U.S. Department of Urban Development report Worst Case Housing Needs 2009—A Report to Congress released in February 2011 measures the scale of critical housing problems facing low-income un-assisted American renting households. Data are from the U.S. Department of Urban Development’s American Housing Survey.

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Affordable Housing & Crime

Effects of Affordable Housing on Crime.In Memphis Murder Mystery Revisited: Do Housing Voucher Households Cause Crime? Researchers at New York University’s Furman Center tracked voucher holders and their impact on neighborhood crime.

Affordable Doesn’t Cause Crime Increases. An examination of crime displacement and potential diffusion of benefits in and around three public housing developments in Washington, DC and Milwaukee, WI was completed by the Urban Institute. The report, Movin’ Out: Crime Displacement and HUD’s HOPE VI Initiative, evaluated address-level police data during four stages of redevelopment. They found minimal evidence of crime displacement in adjacent neighborhoods to the HOPE VI developments.

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Affordable Housing Policy

Affordable Housing Dilemma: Preservation vs. Mobility Debate from the National Low Income Housing Coalition researches the history and academic research on this topic. It concludes that after two decades of a clear bias in both academia and policy toward poverty dispersal, the pendulum has moved to where there is an attempt to balance the approaches. The two-part report focuses on the literature and conclusions from interviews with informants of the various perspectives.

Are We There Yet?  a report by Reconnecting America, tracks access to opportunity in metropolitan areas across the country addressing questions like how can we ensure that every child – regardless of what zip code they are born into or the color of their skin has access to opportunities to improve their lives and contribute to America’s prosperity?

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Community Land Trusts

The purposes of a Community Land Trust are to provide access to land and housing to people who are otherwise denied access; to increase long-term community control of neighborhood resources; to empower residents through involvement and participation in the organization; and to preserve the affordability of housing permanently. Though the program specifics vary among different CLTs, the basic model is the same. CLTs offer a balanced approach to ownership: the nonprofit trust owns the land and leases it for a nominal fee to individuals who own the buildings on the land. As the home is truly their own, it provides the homeowners with the same permanence and security as a conventional buyer, and they can use the land in the same way as any other homeowner.

Investing in Community Land Trusts: A Conversation With CLT Funders: The philanthropic community has played a particularly important role in advancing CLT’s, providing ongoing support making much of the growth possible. In this report The National Housing Institute interviewed 15 funders from 13 foundations whose scope ranges from local, to state, to regional and national.

San Diego Community Land Trust exists to create permanently affordable home ownership opportunities for low-income households by fostering stewardship of land as a community asset.

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Economic Value and Impact

2012 San Diego Economic Forecast Conference A report by Beacon Economics

Building California’s Future. Despite the economic downturn, new housing construction still has positive economic and fiscal effects in California as documented in Building California’s Future: An Economic and Fiscal Analysis of Housing Construction in the Golden State.

Creating Jobs and Stimulating Economic Development.Research shows that affordable housing development also drives local economic growth according to the Center on Housing Policy. A fact sheet The Role of Affordable Housing in Creating Jobs and Stimulating Local Economic Development summarizes the different ways in which affordable housing can contribute to rising employment and economic recovery.

Economic Impact Study from the National Association of Home Builders. The Local Economic Impact of Typical Housing Tax Credit Developments presents estimates of the economic impacts of building 100 apartments in both a typical family housing tax credit development, and a typical elderly tax credit development. Ultimately the National Association of Home Builders model produces impacts on income and employment in 16 industries and local government, as well as detailed information about taxes and other forms of local government revenue.

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Homelessness

Cost Analysis of Permanent Supportive Housing vs. Homelessness, A study of the San Diego County REACH program proved that it was more cost effective to provide permanent supportive housing than to leave someone on the streets or in shelters. The cost analysis of a housing-first program for homeless persons in San Diego County found that the net cost of services, $417 over two years, was substantially lower than the total cost of services ($20,241).

Evidence Matters issue examines several key topics in the fight to end homelessness. The lead story, “Tackling Veteran Homelessness With HUDStat,” focuses on the critical problem of homelessness among U.S. veterans. Other articles discuss the importance of data collection and the role that housing and supportive services play in improving health outcomes for chronically homeless individuals.

Federal Funding Essential to Finding and Aiding Homeless Students, A report from the Institute for Children, Poverty and Homelessness illustrates successful strategies funded through the federal stimulus dollars to deal with growing numbers of homeless students.

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Housing and Health

Housing and Health: New Opportunities for Dialog and Action: was developed by the National Center for Healthy Housing for improving those aspects of housing that impact health. This dialogue could help ensure that housing policy and neighborhood design make the maximum possible contribution to the health of children, older adults, and other community members. The framework includes a number of recommendations and policies.

Housing Discrimination

In the Sale and Rental of Housing, no one may take any of the following actions based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or handicap:

  • Refuse to rent or sell housing
  • Refuse to negotiate for housing
  • Make housing unavailable
  • Deny a dwelling
  • Set different terms, conditions or privileges for sale or rental of a dwelling
  • Provide different housing services or facilities
  • Falsely deny that housing is available for inspection, sale, or rental
  • For profit, persuade owners to sell or rent (blockbusting) or
  • Deny anyone access to or membership in a facility or service (such as a multiple listing service) related to the sale or rental of housing.

See HUD’s 2010 report on the status of fair housing and incidence of fair housing complaints.

Fair Housing Act of 1968: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has played a lead role in administering the Fair Housing Act since its adoption in 1968. The Fair Housing Act describes prohibited actions and provides guidance in real estate/home-related advertising, leasing and sales. Amendments passed in 1988 greatly increased the Department’s enforcement role.

CA Department of Fair Employment and Housing

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Housing Supply

State of the Nations Housing 2013.  The Joint Center on Housing Studies at Harvard University annually releases its State of the Nation’s HousingAssessment of the nation’s housing outlook and summarizes important trends in the economics and demographics of housing.

Stretched Thin.  Drawing on the Consumer Expenditure Survey and other reports, the National Housing Conference’s Stretched Thin: The Impact of Rising Housing Expenses on America’s Owners and Renters finds that housing expenses have increased faster than any other category of expenses for both homeowners and renters and exceed increases in income.

2011 Rental Housing Report.  The Joint Center on Housing Studies at Harvard University’s America’s Rental Housing: Meeting Challenges, Building Opportunities provides a 2011 perspective on the impact the housing recession is having on the rental housing market.  It points to pivotal changes in the market affecting both market rate and affordable rental housing.

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Inclusionary Housing/Zoning

The inclusion of affordable units in a residential or mixed-use project has been proven to add diversity and social value without compromising the quality or the market appeal of development.

Inclusionary zoning is a mandatory approach that requires developers to make a portion of the housing units in their project affordable to low- and moderate-income households. Inclusionary housing is a market-based policy and its success depends a great deal on market conditions. If a community is experiencing little growth or new development, adoption of an inclusionary zoning policy will not result in the creation of many new affordable homes.

Inclusionary Housing Publications is a compendium of reports and research on inclusionary housing.  Communities that anticipate future growth may wish to begin the process of designing an inclusionary zoning policy that can be implemented when the market picks up.

The Effects of Inclusionary Zoning on Local Housing Markets: Lessons from the San Francisco, Washington DC and Suburban Boston Areas helps to advance the current understanding of inclusionary zoning by answering the following questions about programs in three metropolitan areas: what kinds of jurisdictions have adopted inclusionary zoning programs; how much affordable housing has been produced by these programs, and what factors have influenced production levels; what effects have inclusionary zoning programs had on the price and production of market-rate housing in these markets?

Home Sweet Home? Legal Challenges to Inclusionary Ordinances and Housing Elements examines recent legal challenges to local inclusionary ordinances in California. Building Industry Ass’n of Cent. California v. City of Patterson (“Patterson”) and Palmer/Sixth Street Properties L.P. v. City of Los Angeles (“Palmer”) have together upended previous understandings about the validity of, and appropriate analysis applied to, inclusionary housing ordinances.  Complying with Patterson and Palmer while still producing affordable housing has become more difficult in the state.

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Housing, Schools and Educational Achievement

Do Federally Assisted Households Have Access to High Performing Public Schools?, a PRRAC report, examines the lack of coordinated efforts between housing and education policymakers.  It also explores the lack of study of the schools that voucher holders or other assisted households actually reach.  The report describes the elementary schools nearest to households receiving four different forms of housing assistance in the country as a whole, in each of the 50 states, and in the 100 largest metropolitan areas. The report cites San Diego as being amongst the metropolitan areas with the highest rankings for locating assisted households near quality schools.

Housing Instability and Mobility.  The Center on Housing Policy explores the relationship between changing a family’s residence and its effect on school outcomes in Should I Stay or Should I Go? Exploring the Effects of Housing Instability and Mobility on Children.

Positive Impacts of Affordable Housing.  In The Positive Impacts of Affordable Housing on Education: A Research Summary the Center on Housing Policy reviewed the academic literature on the various ways in which production, rehabilitation or other provisions of affordable housing may lead to improved education for children.

Housing Costs Less than Transporting Children to School.  A report by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, Beds Not Buses: Housing vs. Transportation for Homeless, underscores the value of providing permanent affordable housing as a strategy to counter homelessness, particularly among families with school-age children. The report compares the estimated costs of transporting homeless students to their schools with the costs of providing housing vouchers.

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Transit Oriented Development

A Model Housing Transportation Plan from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development tackles the challenge of how to build affordable housing in an underdeveloped inner-city neighborhood within walking distance of an underutilized public rail station. The recommended strategy is to create a coordinated public/private – national/local partnership for an affordable housing trust fund to attract local private development.

Linking Transit Oriented Development, Families, Schools.  The Center for Cities & Schools at the University of California, Berkeley is currently exploring ways of making more equitable, “family-friendly” transit-oriented development a reality.  Linking Transit-Oriented Development, Families and Schools includes San Francisco Bay Area case studies that examine the relationships between, families, and schools—with special consideration of the increasing educational opportunities available for children.

Community Investment in Transit Oriented Development. Weaving Together Vibrant Communities through Transit-Oriented Developmentpresents strategies for implementing successful transit oriented development initiatives, especially those that benefit low and moderate-income individuals and communities.

Transportation Impact on Housing Affordability.   In How Transportation Reform Could Increase the Availability of Housing Affordable to Families with a Mix of Incomes near Public Transit, Job Centers, and Other Essential Destinations, the Center on Housing Policy authors argue that to make substantial progress in addressing these difficult challenges, the housing community needs to look beyond the normal housing policy levers to seek reform of the federal transportation funding system.

Public Transit’s Impact On Housing Costs.  The Center on Housing Policy published Public Transit’s Impact on Housing Costs: A Review of the Literature to examine housing costs before and after transit and the impact on ridership of various forms of housing.

Maintaining Diversity In America’s Transit Rich Neighborhoods: Tools for Equitable Neighborhood Change. Transit investment frequently changes the surrounding neighborhood. While patterns of neighborhood change vary, housing often becomes more expensive, neighborhood residents become wealthier and vehicle ownership becomes more common. And in some of the newly transit-rich neighborhoods, a new transit 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 in favor of higher-income, car-owning residents who are less likely to use public transit for commuting. 

Families and Transit Oriented Development: Creating Complete Communities for All TOD focused on accommodating families can both attract new populations to live near transit and help retain existing residents in these locations, making neighborhoods and regions both more competitive globally and attractive locally. In order to meet these goals, TOD must be planned as part of a “complete community,” a place where all households have convenient access to quality housing, education, employment opportunities, open space and recreation, retail, places of worship, health care and transportation.

Locating Affordable Housing Near Transit: A Strategic Economic Decision: makes the economic case for locating affordable housing near transit. The brief explores the economic benefits of affordable housing and transit, the benefits of living near transit, and the efficiencies that come from bringing the two together.

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