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Posts Tagged ‘low income’

Between a Rock and a Hard Place – Residents Face Challenges

March 17th, 2017 Comments off
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An unrelated manufactured home in Weimar, Texas. Credit: Rentals.

In Weimar, Texas, a situation at a city council meeting this week spurred a bittersweet commentary regarding low income, manufactured home community residents, and the struggles that city officials often have in trying to solve related challenges.

This past Thursday Weimar council had a real challenge on their hands. There was a mobile home park [sic] in town that wasn’t zoned as a mobile home park [sic],” wrote Colorado County Citizen Publisher Michelle Banse Stokes in an editorial.

Changing the zoning designation meant several families would have to upgrade their substandard housing with repairs or replacement. Not changing the designation would mean that they’d have to go. It was an oversight that’s been going on for decades. And the families held their breath as they awaited council’s decision.

Stokes then took note of how the council was trying to work through the situation.

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Publisher Credit: Michelle Banse Stokes LinkedIn.

The mayor called several times for someone to speak, but the families, little ones in tow, simply sat in silence,” wrote Stokes.

Council members discussed the problem for over an hour, seeking advice from the city attorney and code enforcement officer. It was easy to see that they didn’t take their jobs lightly.

Weimar officials, and our mayor in particular, have been making a visible effort to clean up our little town. Old homes are being torn down and replaced with new brick ones, citizens with debris in their yards are being cited and loose animals are being impounded. And I think everyone would have to admit, these are good things for our town.

As the council members worked to come up with a viable solution, Stokes noted her feelings about the battle between better quality housing, while realizing the potential of pushing those less fortunate out in order to make that housing a reality.

No one wants to see children living in poverty, but it exists all around us. Cleaning up this mobile home park [sic] will make it look better from the outside and it may raise the standard of living there, but it may also push out the people that live there now,” wrote Stokes.

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Weimar, identified by red marker. Credit: Google.

One council member suggested during the meeting that they could just get new homes, as it would be cheaper than repairing the ones they had. Let’s get real … if these people could afford a better home, don’t you think they would already have it?

In the end, as the council rendered their decision, Stokes had mixed feelings.

My fear is that these families will be forced to the outskirts of town by the new ordinance and it’s requirements. And that is why I was glad I wasn’t in council’s shoes Thursday when they declared the property a mobile home park [sic],” wrote Stokes.

All and all, I agree with their decision. There really wasn’t anything else they could do. I can only hope that they will make good on their word to work with the property owner and residents by providing adequate time to get the homes where they need to be.

For more on the challenges that manufactured home communities face, and the hope provided by organizations such as St. Vincent De Paul in Oregon, click here. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

Confusion, NIBMY-ism Hits Mid-American Town

October 21st, 2016 Comments off
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Credit: Hutchinson News.

Residents in the northeast district of Hutchinson, Kansas have raised objections to a city council vote approving the seeking of a grant for the development of 16 moderate income apartments in the Hampton East area.

According to the Hutchinson News, council member Jade Piros de Carvalho, who represents the northeast district, said she got a dozen emails the day after the approval, mostly from residents of the Foothill Estates neighborhood. She also saw people airing fears about the development in Facebook posts.

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Jade Piros de Carvalho. Credit: Hutchinson News.

The most common concern residents approached her with was what moderate-income apartments would do to property values in the area,” Piros de Carvalho said.

Other concerns raised included preserving the family-friendly character of the neighborhood, walkability in the neighborhood and class sizes at Plum Creek Elementary School, which sits next to the proposed development.

A few suggested the $400,000 grant would be better put to use fixing existing housing.

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Plum Creek Elementary School. Credit: Hills on Halstead.

As Daily Business News readers are aware, misconceptions about affordable housing and incomes also effects the MH industry, in what has been referred to as NIMBY-ism (Not-In-My-Back Yard.) Our sister site, MHLivingNews, recently published an in-depth report on some facts and myths surrounding NIMBY-ism here.

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Nimby comic credit as shown, used here under fair use guidelines.

Developer Jim Strawn told the Hutchinson News that he thought people might be confusing moderate-income and low-income – although he was quick to say nothing is wrong with low-income housing.

The income guidelines to qualify for moderate-income housing are $28,013-$70,031 for a single person, $32,025-$80,063 for a family of two, $36,000-$90,000 for a family of three or $40,013-$100,031 for a family of four.

This includes housing for teachers, fire fighters and other similar jobs that bring in 80-120 percent of median income,” Piros de Carvalho wrote on Facebook, in response to concerns constituents had emailed her with.

Our regulations, by most people’s account, are actually very strict.

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Manufactured home – photo credit, archerland2005, Flickr.

There is some opinion that our insistence upon certain landscaping, sidewalks in new developments, etc., are unfriendly to developers and inhibit growth,” she said.

We really should be doing more to encourage this type of needed growth.

Strawn believes that being close to the school makes sense. The apartments were included in his plan, along with single-family homes.

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Jim Strawn. Credit: Hutchinson Chamber of Commerce.

What better place to put them than next to the school?” Strawn said.

Piros de Carvalho told the Hutchinson News that the proposed development fits well within the city’s zoning regulations.

In an R-4 residential district, the single-family homes and duplexes would be allowed without any extra permit. An apartment building will require a conditional use permit,” Carvahollo said, “But in an R-4 district, developers could put in manufactured homes – although not trailer [sic] homes – without any special permit.”

In the end, Piros de Carvalho is weary of overreaching.

I think it would be government overreach for the city to tell developers they couldn’t do something with their property that is allowed under city rules,” said Piros de Carvalho. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

 

Shortage of Affordable Housing Could Severely Impact 40% of Boomers

May 25th, 2016 Comments off

baby_boomers____howstuffworksWith 8,000 to 10,000 Baby Boomers hitting the 65 mark daily, a task force from the Bipartisan Policy Center, arguing that there is a link between housing and health that will impact the well-being of the country’s senior population, is urging the federal government to spur investment in affordable housing for seniors.

Comprised of former Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros, former HUD Secretary and U.S. Senator Mel Martinez and former U.S. Representatives Allyson Schwartz and Vin Weber, the task force is recommending expansion of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program to finance the production and preservation of affordable rental units.

As nationalmortgagenews tells MHProNews, the group recommended funding for Section 202, which provides rental assistance for seniors, and that LICHTs be used to attract funding from health care programs for services that will be needed by an older population.

The center reports in 2013 there were only 4.3 million rental homes available to extremely low-income households, but a need for housing for 11.2 million households, leaving a shortage of 6.9 million homes. With approximately 40 percent of seniors over 62 estimated to have assets of under $25,000 to sustain them over the next 20 years, the lack of affordable housing threatens to leave many possibly homeless.

Affordable housing is the glue that holds everything together,” Martinez, who co-chaired the task force, said in a news release. “Without access to affordable housing and the stability it provides, it becomes increasingly difficult to provide home and community-based supportive services that can enable successful aging.”

In order to make the necessary changes to accommodate health and accessibility needs, the task force suggests a new Modification Assistance initiative be implemented by the federal government, in conjunction with local and state governments, to utilize tax credits, grants and forgivable loans to assist the aging population.

Additionally, the group stated that HUD should create lending products that allow elderly borrowers access to home equity.

As MHProNews understands, this scenario could be an ideal situation for HUD to promote the affordable, quality manufactured housing it so vigorously regulates. ##

(Photo credit: howstuffworks–Baby Boomers)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Residential Eyesores to be Renovated with Federal/Local Tax Dollars for Affordable Housing

August 22nd, 2014 Comments off

google-street-view-1111-cardova-lane-clearwater-fl-may-2014-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com-_001Clearwater (FL) Housing Authority will begin repairs on two single family houses and a building that will be used for multi-family housing use, that should be ready next year for low-income households. Jacqueline Rivera, the housing authority’s CEO, and Deborah Woodard, chairwoman of the housing authority board, said clean up of a neglected 13-unit apartment building, known as Paradise Trail, is under way.

It’s a quaint neighborhood that has some nice homes,” Rivera said, “But the property looks like garbage, really,” the ClearwaterGazette told MHProNews.

$575,000 was the purchase price in July 2013 for the 10,960 square foot two story building at 1111 Cardova Lane in Clearwater, FL. The Google street view photo above was from May 2014.

Once finished, Rivera says that rental property will feature nine one-bedroom and four two-bedroom units.

The Gazette states that the housing authority plans to renovate two troubled public housing properties, both single-family homes purchased in 2008. The property at 1537 Palmetto St. cost $210,000, while the residence at 1541 Palmetto St. was bought for $219,000. This is pending HUD approval to convert these into public housing units for affordable ownership, according to Rivera.

For 73 years, the housing authority has overseen projects, which currently include 215 public housing units and 529 mixed income “affordable” housing units, with 45% of those properties dependent on federal tax dollars.

The homes are expected to be available once the Federal Housing and Urban Development approves a request by the housing authority to covert these public housing units into affordable home ownership, according to Rivera.

The 73-year-old housing authority oversees 215 public housing units and 529 mixed-income affordable housing units in the city, she said. About 45 percent of those properties are dependent on federal dollars.

The Clearwater Housing Authority website states that there are currently 1,340 Section 8 vouchers, beyond the housing units they oversee.

From a PDF on their website, is their mission statement, which reads as follows.

Mission. State the PHA’s Mission for serving the needs of low-income, very low-income, and extremely low income families in the PHA’s jurisdiction for the next five years:

To lead in creating housing opportunities to enhance the lives of those we serve.

We will:

– Build communities with innovative programs.

– Sustain a dignified and desirable environment.

– Create alliances to nurture self-sufficiency.

Similar to the Daily Business News’ WilCo report, the irony is there are Florida based manufactured and modular home building centers which could fill these needs faster, greener and at a lower cost than the renovation projects that are in process. ##

(Photo credit: Google street view)

Rent Control Set to Expire Dec. 31

October 28th, 2013 Comments off

A Superior Court judge’s ruling that rent controls established in 1984 for the Tricia Meadows land lease community of Mount Laurel, New Jersey will expire Dec. 31 has led to a lawsuit opposing the action. The mostly senior low and moderate-income residents believed their $224.50 monthly rent would continue because it was supported by the state supreme court’s affordable housing ruling, according to philly.com. Forty-six residents of the 400 manufactured homes in the community filed a class-action suit in Superior Court in Burlington County alleging expiration was not included in their leases, and a rent increase would violate consumer-protection laws. MHProNews has learned the landlord, Davis Enterprise, notified them in March their new rent would rise to the market rate of $447 a month.

(Photo credit: Denise Civiletti/riverheadlocal–Foxwood Village, Calverton, Long Island, NY)