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America's Housing Crisis Is Spreading To Smaller Cities

By Feux Follets following x   2018 May 5, 12:46pm 238 views   6 comments   watch   sfw   quote     share    


“Have you considered the racket and the lights and the crowds and the traffic, and everything that’s going to happen to those of us who live here?”

It is a familiar sight in America: the public meeting, the angry residents, the housing developer trying to explain himself over the boos.

“Take the money you’ve got and get out of here,” one person shouts. A chant begins: “Oppose! Oppose! Oppose!”

Except this is not San Francisco or L.A. or Boston. It is Boise, Idaho.

And it is a preview of the next chapter in the housing crisis. Rising rents, displacement and, yes, NIMBYism are spreading from America’s biggest cities to those in its middle tier. Last year, according to an Apartment List survey, the fastest-rising rents in the country were in Orlando, Florida; Reno, Nevada; and Sacramento, California. Another survey, by RentCafe, found exactly one city with a population greater than 500,000 ― Las Vegas ― in the top 25.

Small cities are starting to face the same challenges as larger ones. Renting a two-bedroom apartment in Jacksonville, Florida, requires earning at least $18.63 per hour ― $10.53 more than the state minimum wage. In Tacoma, Washington (pop. 211,000), a property management company is evicting low-income residents so it can flip their building into luxury units. Boise, where downtown condos are going for $400,000, was the seventh most unequal city in America in 2016, a jump from 79th place just five years earlier.

And it’s only going to get worse. As the poor get pushed inward from the coasts and as young workers seek out the few affordable places left, they will arrive in America’s smaller cities ― which may not be ready to take them.

Rising rents in small and midsize cities are a humanitarian crisis


Boise is, by some measures, the fastest-growing city in America. It added 3 percent to its population last year and is projected to add another 200,000 people, around a third of its current population, by 2025.

This should be good news. The city’s growth is driven by a booming, diversified economy and an influx of skilled, educated young people. But Boise isn’t adding homes fast enough to keep up. According to an analysis from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, there’s a demand for more than 10 times as many homes as the city is building. Without anything new available, incoming residents are scooping up what’s already there, bidding up costs and pricing out current residents.

The impact is devastating. Nearly half of Boise’s renters are living in apartments that eat up over 30 percent of their income. Since 2005, as living costs have exploded, Boise’s median income has fallen and the number of homeless children has more than doubled. Last month, a 5-year-old died when the car her family was sleeping in caught fire in a Walmart parking lot.

And yet, even as the city’s needs have grown, its ability to meet them has diminished.

According to Deanna Watson, the executive director of the Boise City/Ada County Housing Authority, Boise provides rental vouchers to around 2,500 low-income residents. If they can only afford, say, $300 per month, and their rent is $800, the vouchers make up the difference.

With rents booming, though, the assistance isn’t keeping up. HUD recalculates the value of the vouchers every year. But some Boise landlords are raising rents every 60 days.

“I’ve been doing this for 21 years and I’ve never seen anything like it,” Watson says. One voucher recipient lives in an old hotel converted into apartments. He uses a motorized wheelchair and needs live-in care. His rent has gone up $275 in the last 18 months, and he’s falling behind. “We’ve got people spending 80 to 90 percent of their income on rent, even with a rental assistance voucher,” Watson says. “And if they get evicted, or leave on their own, there’s no place for them to move.”

The perverse incentives don’t end there. Boise’s federal voucher allotment is determined each year by the previous year’s spending. With the apartment vacancy rate at 1 percent, and landlords refusing to rent to Boiseans who receive housing assistance (which is legal under Idaho law), it can take months for low-income residents to find anywhere that will take them.

To federal administrators, though, every unused rental voucher looks like unspent funding. Watson says it’s nearly impossible for the local housing authority to predict how many of the vouchers will actually get used. If the agency underspends, HUD will cut its budget. If it overspends, the city will have to make up the difference. Boise’s 2015 Housing Needs Assessment notes that since 2010, as the need for subsidized housing has increased, the use of rental vouchers has fallen. “When the need goes up,” Watson says, “the funding goes down.”

The same vulnerabilities are showing up in small cities across the country. In Orlando, where rents rose by almost 8 percent last year, the median rent already takes up 71 percent of the median income. According to Apartment List, Memphis, Tennessee, had the highest per capita eviction rate in the country between 2015 and 2017. Montana has seen a 33 percent rise in homelessness in the last decade. Smaller cities have lower rents, but they also have lower wages, less diverse economies and fewer social services. Everything that makes it easier to get onto the housing ladder in places like Boise also makes it easier to fall off.

American cities are still catching up from the recession

It’s tempting to look at the housing crisis in Boise as just a miniature version of what’s already happened in the Bay Area and the Pacific Northwest and the Northeastern corridor. But in the last 10 years, the American economy has transformed in ways that are going to make it even harder for smaller cities to respond to growth.

Red states make solving the housing crisis harder

Then there are all the challenges of being located in a red state. Not that California and Massachusetts are exactly exemplars of equitable growth, but nearly all of Boise’s problems are exacerbated by neglect or outright sabotage from state lawmakers.

Neighbors are fighting growth

Ultimately, the housing crisis is not about housing. It is about the inability of American cities to grow.

“It’s hard to acknowledge change,” says Mike Kazmierski, the president of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada. He’s been watching Reno, another medium-size boomtown, play out the same debates as Boise for over six years now. “If you say your city is going to grow, that means you need another fire station, more schools, more staff. Cities don’t have the budgets for that, and asking for it means raising taxes. The pushback is, ‘We don’t want to pay for that growth. Let them pay for it when they get here.’”

More: https://www.yahoo.com/news/america-apos-housing-crisis-spreading-120132790.html

#Housing #Growth #NIMBY #SmallCities

1   lostand confused   ignore (0)   2018 May 5, 12:58pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Yeah where I have my rentals, in barely 1% market rents shot up close to 10% in one year. Now I bought them not in great shape, did a little work and rented slightly below market but got very good tenants with good history. I am astounded as just a few years ago here rents were very, very low here. You could rent a 4 br house in an ok neighborhood for less than a studio in the bay area.

Is this a bubble or a blow off top?
2   Strategist   ignore (1)   2018 May 5, 1:01pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Feux Follets says
“Have you considered the racket and the lights and the crowds and the traffic, and everything that’s going to happen to those of us who live here?”

It is a familiar sight in America: the public meeting, the angry residents, the housing developer trying to explain himself over the boos.

“Take the money you’ve got and get out of here,” one person shouts. A chant begins: “Oppose! Oppose! Oppose!”

Except this is not San Francisco or L.A. or Boston. It is Boise, Idaho.

And it is a preview of the next chapter in the housing crisis. Rising rents, displacement and, yes, NIMBYism are spreading from America’s biggest cities to those in its middle tier. Last year, according to an Apartment List survey, the fastest-rising rents in the country were in Orlando, Florida; Reno, Nevada; and Sacramento, California. Another survey, by RentCafe, found exactly one city with a population greater than 500,000 ― Las Vegas ― in the top 25.


We are heading for a civil war...NIMBY vs YIMBY. It ain't gonna be pretty.
People have to live somewhere. Eventually NIMBY will lose.
3   TrumpingTits   ignore (0)   2018 May 5, 2:23pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

Boise is not a 'small city' relative to its surrounding region. It is a Big Urb, up there. Like Spokane is.

It is only small relative to Seattle or San Francisco.
4   TrumpingTits   ignore (0)   2018 May 5, 2:25pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Strategist says
Eventually NIMBY will lose.

Nope. History is not on the side supporting your prediction, I am afraid. Esp when home prices higher than Dutch tulips are owned by so many Boomers who count on that for their revers mortgages or sales they plan on financing the bulk of their retirements with. The renting young (and even no-so-young) will be thrown under the bus, period.

The only thing that will happen is that politicians will support policies that make housing DEBT-SLAVERY more 'affordable'. That is what they really mean whenever they open their pieholes to say 'affordable housing'. The new Freddie and Fannie 3% down programs that no longer even require income verification is part of that.
5   Tenpoundbass   ignore (10)   2018 May 5, 2:32pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

LA is diddling in your bed while the price you'll pay for the house continues to go up.

Not many Houses on the long term RE market, in LA that hasn't had a Porn scene filmed in it.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/inside-the-porn-star-housing-crisis-people-have-sex-in-houses-all-the-time
6   TrumpingTits   ignore (0)   2018 May 5, 2:58pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Tenpoundbass says
Not many Houses on the long term RE market, in LA that hasn't had a Porn scene filmed in it.


I read that article this morning. I highly recommend it.

My fav part:

A chatty neighbor, excited to share Milano’s backstory with buyers, made the interested buyers very uncomfortable with the house’s history—so uncomfortable they insisted on a reduced price, demanding the countertops and carpet be replaced. “I’m open-minded and I know a lot of people aren’t, but carpet and countertops? It’s so trivial in the grand scheme,” says Milano. “People have sex in houses all the time, how is that any different than porn?”

Love the hypocrisy of our society.




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