The Weekly WrapThe Weekly Wrap

The Weekly Wrap: Tenants Want A Say in Section 8 Housing Sale

Also, Biden plans to cap rent increases in affordable housing.

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Tenants Demand A Say As Private Owner Sells Section 8 Housing

On March 15, the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced that Millennia Housing Management, a controversial private affordable housing company that runs a large chunk of the government’s project-based Section 8 housing, would be banned from new Section 8 contracts with the agency for the next five years. Millennia has a history of poorly-maintained housing and has been the subject of numerous lawsuits over the past few years.

Late last year, Millennia announced it was selling off a chunk of the privately-owned Section 8 housing stock it owns. The Millennia Resistance Campaign, a group of tenants and lawyers which has for years been putting pressure on HUD to better regulate the private company, sent a letter to HUD demanding that the department not sell all the buildings off to a single owner, assures any that new owners have the capacity to finance repairs and establishes legal agreements ensuring that repairs happen. Tenants also demanded a seat at the table when HUD evaluates the buildings’ needs.

Biden Plans to Cap Rent Increases in Low-Income Tax Credit Housing

Reuters reports that the Biden administration will announce a 10% annual rent increase cap for buildings financed through low-income housing tax credits (LIHTC). LIHTC is the largest funding mechanism for affordable housing in the country. According to the Urban Institute, LIHTC finances 50,000 new units of affordable housing a year and has financed 3 million units since the program began in 1987. The conservative Cato Institute immediately came out in opposition to the rent cap, saying it would lead to price increases on non-LIHTC housing. LIHTC subsidies require that homes remain affordable for 30 years, but many units will see their affordability requirements lapse in the coming years. Tara Raghuveer, director of the National Tenant Union Federation, said in a statement: “This is a historic win that will protect millions of tenants against rent gouging and stabilize them in their homes. … The Biden administration should expand such protections to federal financing — the biggest subsidy for multifamily housing in this country.”

Drivers Union Calls for Boycott of Chevron

According to Jacobin, the International Alliance of App-Based Transport Workers has pledged to boycott Chevron-owned gas stations, which include Texaco, in protest of the ongoing genocide of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. Drivers in the union, a coalition of 26 driver unions that represents 100,000 drivers across the world, will avoid buying gas from Chevron-owned gas stations across the world. Chevron is the main exporter of natural gas in Israel and is among the companies targeted by the Boycott, Divest, Sanction movement, which takes inspiration from strategies used to combat apartheid in South Africa. In 1987, anti-apartheid campaigners launched an international boycott against Shell, which provided natural gas to South Africa’s apartheid government despite oil embargoes from oil-producing countries.

Black-Owned Bookstore Is Forced From Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina’s first Black-owned children’s bookstore, “Liberation Station Bookstore” will leave the downtown Raleigh area after its owners received anonymous threats. The move comes only 10 months after its opening last Juneteenth. WRAL reports that the bookstore’s owners have received threatening phone calls, including a call that appeared to threaten the family’s 13-year-old son, who helps choose the books. The bookstore will be operational until April 13th, and the remaining inventory will be donated. “Part of the reason why we didn’t want to talk about this is because I didn’t want to become the face of another movement… I didn’t want to become the face of another cause,” owner Victoria Scott-Miller told WRAL.

Kansas City Rejects Tax Increase for New Stadium

Kansas City Defender reports that on Tuesday, Jackson County, Missouri voters rejected a ballot measure that would have created a new sales tax to fund a baseball stadium in Kansas City. Mayor Quinton Lucas, who endorsed the stadium tax, said in a statement, “Over the months ahead, I look forward to working with the Chiefs and Royals to build a stronger, more open, and collaborative process that will ensure the teams, their events, and investments remain in Kansas City for generations to come,” according to the Defender. The ballot measure garnered 58% no votes and 42% yes votes, according to The Athletic. The tax would have raised $2 billion to fund the new stadium as well as repair the existing Arrowhead Stadium. Decades of evidence has shown that taxpayer-funded stadiums are generally a bad deal for cities.


Curated by Deonna Anderson

MORE NEWS

  • This week, Oklahoma’s Supreme Court heard oral arguments from attorneys representing the last two known living survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. Lessie Benningfield Randle and Viola Ford Fletcher are both 109 years old. The Grio

  • San Francisco’s transportation department approved a plan to implement turn-on-red bans at roughly 200 intersections in its downtown. Axios

RESOURCES & OPPORTUNITIES

  • The University of the Andes, Bogota, Colombia is accepting applications for its Summer lnstitute in Inclusive Economies for a Just and Sustainable Planet, a four-day program that will bring together 42 participants from the Global North and South to discuss new ways of thinking in economics and economic development policy. Learn more and apply here.

  • LA’s Mansion Tax went into effect on April 1, 2023. One year later, researchers at Occidental College, UCLA and USC have released a report on the impact of the measure so far. Access the report here.

EVENTS

  • April 13 at 12 p.m. Central: The Blackroots Alliance is hosting a virtual event to explore and discuss various reparations models in major cities in the Midwest. Speakers will share their experiences from serving on reparations councils in Evanston, IL, Detroit, MI, South Bend, IN, and Kansas City, MO. Learn more and register here.

  • April 17 at 12 p.m. Pacific: The Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative recently released a report on the largest representative study of homelessness in the United States since the mid-1990s—the California Statewide Study of People Experiencing Homelessness. Now they’re sharing the nuts and bolts of how they did this research together. Learn more and register for the conversation here.

  • April 24 at 4:00 p.m. Eastern: Women’s Way is hosting a conversation on how guaranteed income pilots are combating poverty and improving everything from health outcomes to levels of full-time employment. Register here.

This article is part of The Weekly Wrap, a newsletter rounding up stories that explain the problems oppressing people in cities and elevate the solutions bringing us closer to economic, environmental and social justice. Click here to subscribe to The Weekly Wrap newsletter.

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Roshan Abraham is Next City's housing correspondent and a former Equitable Cities fellow. He is based in Queens. Follow him on Twitter at @roshantone.

Tags: affordable housingpedestrian safetyunionsstadiums

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