April 12, 2016

In Case You Missed It: A Look at Recent National Housing Policy News

Assessing How Parents Experiencing Homelessness Make Preschool Decisions: Policy and Practice Implications

Research suggests that early childhood education can help mitigate the developmental delays and decreased academic achievement often observed in children experiencing homelessness. Yet very few of these children are enrolled in preschool, and the reasons why have not been fully explored. In a recent study, “A Qualitative Assessment of Parental Preschool Choices and Challenges Among Families Experiencing Homelessness: Policy and Practice Implications,” researchers interviewed families who had recently experienced homelessness to determine what factors influence preschool participation. Based on their findings, the researchers make policy and community practice recommendations to facilitate preschool enrollment for children experiencing homelessness.

HUD to landlords: Rent to ex-convicts - Or else face the consequences

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro revisited they are not going to tolerate landlords banning renters with criminal records from leasing their properties. According to HUD, the Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, or financing of dwellings and in other housing-related activities on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status or national origin. HUD’s Office of General Counsel issues this guidance concerning how the Fair Housing Act applies to the use of criminal history by providers or operators of housing and real-estate related transactions. Specifically, this guidance addresses how the discriminatory effects and disparate treatment methods of proof apply in Fair Housing Act cases in which a housing provider justifies an adverse housing action – such as a refusal to rent or renew a lease – based on an individual’s criminal history.

Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) 

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced the availability of $65.8 million through the Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative to develop new strategies for economic growth and worker advancement for communities that have historically relied on the coal economy for economic stability.  Communities and regions that have been negatively impacted by changes in the coal economy, including mining, coal fired power plants and related transportation, logistics and manufacturing supply chains, can apply for resources to help strengthen their economies and workforces.

HUD Releases FY 2016 Income Limits

HUD has released its FY 2016 Median Family Income estimates and FY 2016 Income Limits. The FY 2016 Income Limits were published and became effective on March 28, 2016. These income limits are used to determine income eligibility for HUD’s assisted housing programs, including public housing, Section 8, Section 202 and Section 811. According to HUD, the U.S. median income and the national non-metropolitan median income limits have decreased from 2015 to 2016.

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