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Mitt Romney at private fundraiser: I might eliminate HUD – The Washington Post

The Washington Post reports on a statement made by Mitt Romney about HUD. “I’m going to take a lot of departments in Washington, and agencies, and combine them. Some eliminate, but I’m probably not going to lay out just exactly which ones are going to go,” Romney told the audience. His words were heard by […]

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Labor Secretary hosts ceremony honoring Cesar Chavez while slashing funds for housing farmworkers

The recognition offered yesterday to leaders of the farmworker movement by US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was welcome. The event was marred however by the audacity of the Secretary to stand in front of the leaders of the struggle of the farmworkers and proclaim “Si, se puede!” after he approved a proposal to largely end the […]

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Court rules Texas Housing Tax Credit program violates Fair Housing Act

This morning a federal court ruled in a case filed by a Dallas fair housing organization that the way the State of Texas administers the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program has a disparate racial impact, violating §§ 3604(a) and 3605(a) of the Fair Housing Act (Civil Rights Act of 1968). Judge Sidney Fitzwater, chief judge of the Federal […]

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Out of Reach: The Housing Wage in Context

Originally posted on On the Home Front:
Yesterday, NLIHC released Out of Reach 2012: America’s Forgotten Housing Crisis.  This report highlights the gap between wages renters actually earn, and what they would need to earn to afford the rent and utilities for a modest two-bedroom apartment in their state. As a part of our release, we…

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Latest data shows TX minimum wage earners can’t afford half the rent on a typical apartment

According to a national report released today, the Housing Wage for Texas is $15.88. The Housing Wage is the hourly wage a family must earn – working 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year – to be able to afford the rent and utilities for a safe and modest home in the private housing […]

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The Poverty of an Idea –

An Op-Ed by Maurice Isserman, a professor of history in today’s NYT frames the competing views of poverty in the US quite well. The conclusion is sobering and distressing: lack of continued popular economic analysis of poverty since the passing of Michael Harrington “We are left instead with the insistent, culturally determined arguments of Mr. Murray and […]

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HUD boss Shaun Donovan jumps into President Obama mortgage melee –

A story in Politico on the deal with the banks and HUD Secretary Donovan’s role is worth a read. I have a lot of doubts about the deal the Obama Administration worked out with the banks not being able to produce the type of relief needed, but at least HUD is finally asserting itself on […]

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NYT picks up on public housing rent increase issue

I was surprised to hear from the New York Times editorial staff around noon Tuesday. They wanted to know about data sources for a blog post on Texas Housers last Friday about the Obama Administration’s proposed mandatory rent increases for HUD public and subsidized housing residents. I learned about this issue in a budget webinar hosted by […]

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$141M in Texas foreclosure settlement funds should be used to prevent more foreclosures

The Obama Administration and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced last week a $26 billion foreclosure settlement between the five biggest banks and federal and state officials. I’m not taking a position on the merits of the settlement. I am worried about how the State of Texas will spend the funds it receives. Part of the […]

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HUD plays Grinch with its poorest tenants

A single mother with two children in Texas is potentially eligible to receive $260 per month from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). She might be able to get Food Stamps to help feed the kids. But the $260 per month has to cover the other living expenses. There is basically no option except to […]

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New study shows 3 in 4 poor Texas families spend more than half of income for rent

Brace yourself for more bad news about the crisis in affordable rental housing for the poor in Texas. This study shows Texas 7th worst among the 50 states in availability of affordable rental housing for extremely low income households. As a result more than 3 in 4 of the poorest families in Texas pay more […]

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President Obama proposes $1B for National Housing Trust Fund

The White House this morning released details of President Obama’s, “Plan to Help Responsible Homeowners and Heal the Housing Market.” Included in the plan is notice that the Administration will request $1 billion in the budget to fund the National Housing Trust Fund. The White House press release says… … the Budget will provide $1 […]

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Department of Justice sues local government for multifamily housing ban

The Department of Justice today filed a lawsuit against St. Bernard Parish, La., alleging that the parish violated the Fair Housing Act by limiting rental housing opportunities for African-Americans in the parish. This is the latest in a series of enforcement actions taken against local governments that sought to block the construction of affordable housing […]

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Loren Berlin, former TxLIHIS staffer, named housing reporter at Huffington Post

Loren Berlin, who formerly worked at TxLIHIS on the Housing Texas campaign, tells us she has been named the housing market reporter at the Huffington Post. You can follow Lauren’s reporting on Twitter. Those who remember Loren will recall that she is very gifted. We look forward to her future contributions toward improving housing policy […]

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Housing coalition responds to House committee vote to repeal National Housing Trust Fund

Earlier I posted the audio of the July 12 House committee hearing on repeal of the National Housing Trust Fund. In the course of the debate before the committee a number of arguments were raised against the National Housing Trust Fund that were strongly disputed by defenders of the trust fund. On Tuesday the National […]

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The budget cap deal means the opportunity to address poverty is slipping away

On the debt ceiling deal I’m no expert, but like everyone I have a personal opinion. My focus is on the economic condition of the poor in this country and improving the quality and affordability of their homes and neighborhoods, I fear that domestic discretionary spending cuts mandated in the debt ceiling deal will disproportionately […]

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Recession and falling housing values dramatically widening wealth gap between whites, Hispanics and blacks

Most everyone is aware of the long-time “wealth gap” between whites vs. Hispanics and blacks. A new Pew Research Center study demonstrates there has been an alarming increase in this gap since the onset of the Great Recession. The median wealth of white households is now 20 times that of black households and 18 times […]

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Mississippi auctions remaining Katrina cottages | Gulfport –

Editors note: Katrina Cottages were an alternative to the much disparaged FEMA trailer. They look more like homes and won somewhat more acceptance in cities than did FEMA trailers. But many communities still rejected them because of their temporary nature.  Costing from $30,000 – $52,000 plus moving and set-up costs, the Katrina Cottages ended up […]

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HUD withholds county’s federal funds over fair housing plan

The National Low Income Housing Coalition is reporting that HUD has rejected Westchester County, NY‘s certification that it is affirmatively furthering fair housing (AFFH). In doing so, HUD disapproved the County’s FY11 Annual Action Plan to the Consolidated Plan, resulting in a halt to the receipt of more than $7 million in Community Development Block […]

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HUD’s Ron Sims discusses something Austin officials will not — homeownership and race

For a  years I worked with State Representative Eddie Rodriguez (Austin) to help him devise a way to let lower-income families of color maintain a presence in East Austin in the light of escalating property values and taxes. So far the effort has not succeeded. A key problem has been the opposition of a few African-American […]

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HUD Secretary Donovan’s letter to PHAs about accepting ex-offenders

I commented earlier on HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan‘s letter to public housing authorities asking them to reconsider their policies on admission to public housing by ex-offenders. In my opinion, the letter is carefully constructed to send the proper message. It does not order PHAs to change their policies but reminds local PHAs that they have […]

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Preview of new HUD GIS mapping tool shows promise and potential

You have to hand it to the CPD staff of HUD. They are doing some really interesting and useful things these days to make HUD funds more effective. For example, HUD officials recently demonstrated the capabilities of a new GIS on-line mapping tool for community groups and government officials in the Rio Grande Valley. It […]

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Austin case study: Postdisaster housing policy and low-income survivors

Several very smart people from the University of Texas and myself just had a paper published in the Journal of Planning Education and Research entitled, “Looking for Home after Katrina: Postdisaster Housing Policy and Low-Income Survivors”. The authors are TxLIHIS Board member and UT Community and Regional Planning Department faculty member Dr. Elizabeth J. Mueller, […]

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USDA offers lame excuses while slashing housing funds for the rural poor

US Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack either is poorly informed or being disingenuous about cuts the Obama Administration has proposed for rural housing. People living in rural areas are going to suffer big time. I sat down and wrote Secretary Vilsack a letter the other week telling him that his proposed budget cutting the […]

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Listening to Congress debate housing is a sobering experience

Every now and then it is worth listening in on Congressional debate on housing legislation. Not that it is usually profound or a good way to understand the details of what the legislation would actually do, but it is a way to see how members of Congress frame their arguments to appeal to their constituents. […]

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US House Subcommittee Votes to Eliminate Housing Trust Fund — Rooflines

A House subcommittee voted to stamp out the National Housing Trust Fund this week, signaling a very difficult road ahead for fund advocates. Of course, the fund, a flagship objective of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, has never actually been capitalized, and this latest development could prolong the three-year effort to support the fund—the […]

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Poll: Most think government should help homeowners in trouble

A new CBS News/ New York Times poll shows: Most Americans think home ownership is an important part of the American dream. About one-quarter thinks no one should receive subsidized home loans; one-quarter think everyone should; and another quarter thinks only low-income people should qualify. 45 percent would like to see government do more improving […]

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Doggett on Foreclosures-“Well, the market didn’t really work, did it?”

Quote of the Day- “Well, the market didn’t really work, did it? And why should we be so wedded to it now? If we can back up a little, are we going to blame this whole mess on a guy who lied on his loan application? Really? Have you all been duped that much that […]

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The racism of New Berlin is growing in Galveston

We noted yesterday the United States Department of Justice brought suit alleging the City of New Berlin, Wisconsin had violated the Fair Housing Act by denying a developer permission to build a mixed senior, family development financed with Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC). I just read the Justice Department’s compliant in the case. The same […]

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Feds Sue Wisconsin town for NIMBY Opposition to LIHTC Development

Its been a busy week at the Justice Department on the fair housing front.  After yesterday’s legal action petitioning to join Disability Rights Texas’s lawsuit against the state for segregating developmentally disabled Texans in nursing homes, the today the DOJ filed suit against a Wisconsin town for opposing a Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) […]

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