May 13, 2015

Beyond Bricks and Sticks

A weekly digest of current trends in housing and community development. The discussion examines topics from infrastructure to community fabric.

What's behind the decline in first-time homebuyers?

(RECAP: FHA is the critical tool for providing starting access to homeownership for American families. The source of the overall decline in first-time homebuyers is a decline in FHA-insured mortgage originations, which are primarily made to those borrowers.)

HUD Report on Rental Market Dynamics

(RECAP: A report released the week of April 13 shows that between 2009 and 2011, the number of affordable rental units increased, but made up a smaller share of the overall rental stock. HUD’s Rental Market Dynamics report, based on the biennial American Housing Survey, focuses specifically on trends related to rental affordability.)

How Livable Will Your Neighborhood Be as You Age?

(RECAP: The AARP's new “livability index” grades communities on seven resource areas that aging Americans will need. The site covers 200,000 communities around the country, and includes county- and state-level data as well.)

Citizen Surveys: Part 3 – Select the Target Population / Survey Size / Questions to Ask

(RECAP: Opinion surveys are attractive planning tools because, when properly done, they provide an efficient way to collect information about a community. The most crucial issue related to survey samples is how well they represent the overall population or community of interest -- the “target population.”)

Will ‘Airbnb for Seniors’ Create a New Housing Alternative?

(RECAP: Similar to Airbnb, which pairs travelers with hosts who have listed their homes for rent, Room2Care is establishing a marketplace for people to find care and for others to list their own residences and services to provide care within their communities.)

Opinions on Housing

The views and opinions expressed in Opinions on Housing are solely those of the original authors, and do not necessarily represent those of VHDA, our stakeholders or any/all contributors to this blog.

Lease Purchase Failed Before—Can It Work Now?

(RECAP: Despite historically low home prices, half of are renters not buying a home because their credit is weak or because they lack the financial resources needed to buy and maintain a home. For some of these households, near to recovering from the recession and foreclosure crisis, a well-designed lease-purchase product might help them lock into today’s low home prices while they replenish their savings and restore their credit worthiness.)

Small Ways to Make a Big Difference

(RECAP: The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit’s long and sterling track record doesn’t mean it can’t be enhanced and improved. Here are some examples of ways the tax code could be honed to expand the usefulness of the LIHTC.)

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