Does the 30 percent standard work?

Tuesday, July 18, 2017
In This Issue: 7 Policies to Keep Homeless Families Off the Streets ● The 30 Percent Standard's Blinders ● In Defense of the 30 Percent Standard ● Also: Events ● You Said It! ● In Case You Missed It ● Jobs ● More
Judi Kende, Enterprise Community Partners; Jennifer March, Citizens' Committee for Children of New York; and Carol Corden, New Destiny Housing Corporation


New York City’s homelessness crisis has surpassed previous crisis levels, with nearly 70 percent of New York City’s shelter population composed of children and their families who remain in them for more than 430 days on average. 

To address the crisis, over 40 advocacy groups and service organizations have created a list of recommendations of what local government and other stakeholders can do. Their recommendations include:
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Daniel Kay Hertz, City Observatory

Given how much time media outlets, policy shops, and community groups have spent talking about America’s affordable housing crisis over the last few years, you might think that we’ve at least settled on a pretty good way to define what housing affordability actually is. After all, how can we talk about solving a problem if we don’t have a reliable way of determining who’s suffering, where, and why?

Unfortunately, you’d be wrong . . .
Christopher Herbert, Alexander Hermann, and Daniel McCue, Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University
The number of people who pay more than 30 percent of their income on housing is a key metric the Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) and many others use to measure the extent of our housing affordability problem. For example, JCHS’s most recent State of the Nation’s Housing Report noted that the number of cost-burdened renters—those paying more than 30 percent of their income for housing—reached a record high of 21.3 million in 2014.

Such findings often lead to two questions. Where did this metric come from? And is it useful?

The first question is easy to answer. The metrics’ roots date back to at least the late 1800s. The latter question is more challenging . . .
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Events
Connecting Communities® — Scaling the Use of Guarantees. July 27, 3 p.m. EDT. Federal Reserve Board webinar showing how guarantees have been used to effectively motivate capital to finance projects such as healthcare centers, affordable housing development and preservation, energy efficiency retrofits, and neighborhood revitalization. 
You Said It!

People must have a vision that is worth whatever sacrifices are required or they will drop out emotionally and either participate in negativity or tolerate it. Thus talking about a world of opportunity, fairness, dignity, security, equity, and community, with both stories and data that give everyone a sense that there could be a place for them in an inclusive America, are exceptionally important . . . —Stanley Hirtle, more


The proactive advocates know the 30 percent standard should be applied to anyone, regardless of income. Preventing poverty should be higher on the agenda, as people earning higher incomes are not immune to . . . —Carol Ott, more

Gross generalizations might work well enough to make broad policy decisions, but when it comes to putting a roof over my head (or raising my already high taxes to put roofs over other people’s heads) there needs to be more flexibility in calculating need, and more details considered before granting subsidies . . . —Jeff, more


There seem to be two points to this article: 1. Integration doesn’t really integrate: even if people of different races and classes live near each other they don’t influence each other in any positive way. 2. Public housing is . . . —Michael Lewyn, more
In Case You Missed It
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Chief Executive Officer
The East Akron Neighborhood Development Corporation offers an entrepreneurial CEO the opportunity to further the impact of a respected community development organization with a four-decade track record of improving neighborhood conditions in East Akron and surrounding communities . . . Read Full Listing
Senior Developer
Telesis seeks a Senior Developer with the skills, energy, and experience to lead its work on all aspects of development, housing, and mixed-use projects. The position requires a leader who takes initiative, thinks strategically, favors a collaborative approach to problem solving, and has a sense of humor . . . Read Full Listing
Two Project Manager Positions
Two project managers, one in Baltimore and one in D.C., will have responsibility for the overall management of developments from acquisition through completion of construction. Most Telesis projects are complex, large-scale redevelopments with multiple sources of funding, and market rate and affordable . . . Read Full Listing
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Featured Bloggers
Bob Annibale, Citi ● Laura Barrett, Interfaith Worker Justice ● Murtaza Baxamusa, Sol Price School of Public Policy, USC ● Michael Bodaken, National Housing Trust ● Bill Bynum, HOPE Credit Union ● Steve Dubb, Democracy Collaborative ● Jamaal Green, Portland State University ● John Henneberger, Texas Low Income Housing Information Service ● David Holtzman, newspaper reporter and former planner ● Josh Ishimatsu, National CAPACD ● Rick Jacobus, Street Level Advisors ● Daniel Kravetz, Freelance Writer ● Alan Mallach, Center for Community Progress ● Jonathan Reckford, Habitat for Humanity ● Doug Ryan, Prosperity Now ● Josh Silver, NCRC ● James Tracy, San Francisco Community Land Trust ● Eva Wingren, Baltimore Community Foundation