Housing in Brief: Evictions Resume
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Housing in Brief: Evictions Resume

(Photo by Thomas Hawk / CC BY-NC 2.0)

Evictions Resume

The Supreme Court is allowing evictions to resume, ending protections for 3.5 million people across the U.S. who could face eviction in the next two months, the Associated Press reports.

The court said late Thursday that the CDC lacked the authority to impose an eviction moratorium.

Of the $46.5 billion in rental assistance approved by Congress, only 11% has been distributed by state and local governments. Next City reported last week on the struggles states have faced attempting to get rental assistance into the hands of tenants and landlords. Some tenants have waited for months; one tenant reported he had to submit the same document eight times.

What The Child Tax Credit Means for People in Public Housing

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) reports that the expansion of the Child Tax Credit has increased the average HUD-assisted family’s monthly income by about 38%.

HUD-assisted families are aided through tenant-based vouchers, project-based subsidies and public housing. The average monthly income of a HUD-assisted family with children is about $1,460.

The American Rescue Plan raised the amount of the Child Tax Credit and began disbursing it monthly, instead of in a lump sum at tax time. This means that households will receive $300 per month for every child under the age of 5, and $250 for children aged 6 to 17 between July to December 2021.

About 1.6 million HUD-assisted families are eligible for the full Child Tax Credit.

The Struggle to House Afghan Refugees

In the midst of its own housing crisis, the U.S. is struggling to find housing for Afghan refugees fleeing to America, CBS 19 News reports.

California, Virginia and New York will likely be the main resettlement areas. California boasts 45% of the nation’s Afghan population, Virginia 14%, and New York 9%, according to the Washington Examiner.

Most refugees are expected to reside in shelters or hotel rooms for months as they await immigration paperwork that will allow landlords to legally rent out their homes to them.

Afghan immigrant Mohammad Nasim Kakar spoke to CBS 19 News about the need for broader support and stable housing. “Most [of] the people that came here… [were] translators and contractors with U.S. troops in Afghanistan and they have put their life in danger to help the U.S. forces,” Kakar said. “We ask all to increase their assistance for these people because they lost everything in Afghanistan.”

In the meantime, Airbnb announced that it will provide housing to 20,000 Afghan refugees around the world through its nonprofit, Airbnb.org. It plans to partner with resettlement agencies and other local organizations to best distribute aid. So far, they have worked with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) to provide temporary stays for up to 1,000 arriving Afghan refugees. This weekend alone they helped place 165 refugees in safe housing after arriving to the U.S.

Find out how you can support Afghan refugees here.

California’s Sports Arenas Become the Center of the Housing Crisis

As Anaheim, San Diego and Oakland plan to revamp the neighborhoods around major sports arenas, the lack of affordable housing has become a glaring issue, Cal Matters reports.

These cities hoped to improve the areas around their sports arenas through redevelopment projects that would create walkable, transit-friendly neighborhoods. However, California’s Department of Housing and Community Development cited Angel Stadium in Anaheim and Pechanga Arena in San Diego for failing to comply with a law mandating projects to have at least 15% affordable housing units. An Oakland Coliseum project is also under investigation and could face a penalty of up to $26.5 million.

California is able to enforce this under a 2019 bill that allows the state to track all public land deals and levy fines of up to 30% of the real estate deal for development that doesn’t deliver enough affordable housing, Cal Matters adds. Housing advocates believe that these three cases will push local agencies to change how they plan redevelopment projects on public land.

So far, Anaheim is challenging the state’s claim, saying their project was already underway when the new version of the law took effect. Others, like San Diego, have chosen to start over on their project to avoid any penalties.

Additional reporting by Next City staff

This article is part of Backyard, a newsletter exploring scalable solutions to make housing fairer, more affordable and more environmentally sustainable. Subscribe to our weekly Backyard newsletter.

Solcyre (Sol) Burga was an Emma Bowen Foundation Fellow with Next City for summer 2021. Burga is completing her degree in political science and journalism at Rutgers University, with plans to graduate in May of 2022. As a Newark native and immigrant, she hopes to elevate voices of underrepresented communities in her work.  

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Tags: affordable housingcovid-19immigrationpublic housingsportsevictions

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