What's "Affordable," Anyway?

Tuesday, July 11, 2017
In This Issue: Risk-Averse Hospital + Risk-Taking CDC = Partnership ● "Cappuccino" City ● What's "Affordable"? ● The Other Side of A Funding Proposal ● Also: Events ● You Said It! ● In Case You Missed It ● Jobs ● More
Interview by Miriam Axel-Lute and Lillian M. Ortiz, Shelterforce
Hospitals across the country have been taking steps to work with community-based organizations to address a major cause of poor health in neighborhoods:  substandard housing. 

Shelterforce recently chatted with Angela Mingo, community relations director of Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, and the Rev. John Edgar, the executive director of the faith-based CDC called Community Development for All People, to learn more about their partnership, how it came to be, and to find out how others can form similar partnerships to help residents in their respective communities.

Lillian Ortiz: How did Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Community Development for All People connect? What was the relationship-building process like?

Angela Mingo: That started by way of a conversation with Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the city that centered on affordable housing on the South Side of Columbus. The city was engaged in a . . .
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To longtime residents of Washington DC, the findings presented in Derek Hyra’s Race, Class, and Politics in the Cappuccino Citythat gentrifying neighborhoods’ racial and economic diversity does not translate into integrationis likely not surprising.

As an organizer with Organizing Neighborhood Equity (ONE DC), a grassroots community organization working for racial and economic equity, and based in DC’s Shaw neighborhood, I’ve witnessed firsthand how a community can be “diverse” in name only. The Black patrons inside Wanda’s Hair Salon or chatting outside Sammy’s carry-out do not generally have meaningful interactions and relationships with the young white professionals lined up around the same block to patronize the Game of Thrones-themed bar. We might all be moving through the same space, but integrated we are not.

Hyra’s findings in Cappuccino City present a needed challenge to the rhetoric that has dominated housing policy for the last few decades . . .
Miriam Axel-Lute, Shelterforce
Anyone who works in affordable housing or follows housing issues regularly probably hears the 30 percent affordability standard referred to daily. The idea that your housing is considered unaffordable if you pay more than 30 percent of your income on it is deeply embedded in many aspects of housing policy and practice. It’s a payment standard—the rents people in public housing or with Housing Choice Vouchers are expected to pay are set at 30 percent of their income.
  • It’s a way to measure affordability of a given unit, or to set rents to achieve affordability, often in return for a subsidy—a unit is considered affordable to people making a certain income if the rent is 30 percent or less of that income.
  • And it’s a way to measure our housing crisis by . . .
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Anyone who works in affordable housing or follows housing issues regularly probably hears the 30 percent affordability standard referred to daily.

The idea that your housing is considered unaffordable if you pay more than 30 percent of your income on it is deeply embedded in many aspects of housing policy and practice. It’s a payment standard—the rents people in public housing or with Housing Choice Vouchers are expected to pay are set at 30 percent of their income.
  • It’s a way to measure affordability of a given unit, or to set rents to achieve affordability, often in return for a subsidy—a unit is considered affordable to people making a certain income if the rent is 30 percent or less of that income.
  • And it’s a way to measure our housing crisis by . . .
Brian Carnahan, Homes on the Hill
After spending most of my career in housing finance, nearly two years ago I joined the board of Homes on the Hill, a Community Development Corporation serving west Columbus and southwestern Franklin County, Ohio. HOTH develops rental and ownership housing, provides housing counseling, and seeks opportunities to socially and economically improve the neighborhoods it serves.

I did this because I wanted to share my experience and time with an organization close to home. During my time on the HOTH Board, my expectations and assumptions have been challenged by the up-close view to the circumstances of a CDC. This change in perspective and experience has offered me some interesting observations and lessons.

One of the first is that a housing development project is often . . .
Events
Webinar: Why Creative Placemaking? On the Ground Impacts. June 20, 2 p.m. EDT. Housing Assistance Council offers this webinar series to discuss why creative placemaking is receiving widespread support and how rural communities can benefit from these new opportunities. See the full series, learn more, and register here. Follow the discussion online at #RuralPlacemaking.
You Said It!

I am not sure how something like that would work in New England with the cold winters but it definitely beats putting families in hotels. —Tabitha Gaston, more

Tiny Homes are a great initiative when facing high barriers to obtaining additional shelter beds in big cities like Seattle and LA. However, it does not seem like a great fit for communities with lower barriers to … —Brandon Sorenson, more
In Case You Missed It
Looking for a Job?
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
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
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
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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