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Enterprise Community Partners: Community Developments: Fair Housing Funds, Airbnb + Rent Increases

Published on August 3, 2017

  • HUD announced yesterday that it is making $38 million available to organizations to fight housing discrimination through the agency’s Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP). The grants will be offered through three FHIP notices to support a variety of fair housing activities, including fair housing testing in the rental and sales markets, public education efforts, capacity building, and education and outreach. HUD must receive all applications for the grants by September 18, 2017. (HousingWire, August 2)
  • A new study finds that spikes in Airbnb listings are strongly linked to rent increases in the largest U.S. metro areas. The study analyzes the impact of Airbnb listings by ZIP code in 100 of the largest metro areas and finds that for every 10 percent growth in Airbnb listings, average rent in that ZIP code increases 0.4 percent. In addition, the study shows that ZIP codes where the majority of Airbnb landlords are owner-occupants experience minimal increases in housing costs compared to ZIP codes with more absentee Airbnb landlords, suggesting that the effect of Airbnb listings is smaller in ZIP codes with a larger share of owner-occupants. (CityLab, August 2)
  • New research by Zillow explores the connection between rising rents and homelessness in major metropolitan areas. According to Zillow, Los Angeles, New York City, Seattle and Washington, D.C., show the strongest relationships between rising rents and increased homeless populations. A 5 percent increase in average rent would lead to 3,000 more people falling into homelessness in New York and an additional 2,000 people in Los Angeles. (Zillow, August 3)
  • Zillow also released several articles this week that focus on the challenges low-income renters face in finding affordable housing and that result from frequent eviction. In an interview with Zillow, Matthew Desmond, author of “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City,” discusses the frequency and hardship of eviction in the U.S. and explores potential policy solutions, such as a universal housing voucher program. In a separate analysis, Zillow examines possible adjustments to the existing housing choice voucher program that aim to strengthen its efficiency and effectiveness. (Zillow, August 3)
  • Citing an example from Maryland, an article in The Washington Post looks at the “housing first” model, which provides homes and supportive services to chronically homeless individuals, with the goal of addressing their problems and reducing public costs. The article emphasizes the importance of providing homes and supportive services to the chronically homeless to help them integrate into their communities and improve their lives. (The Washington Post, August 3)