In the News

News from around the web on issues affecting renters.

Section 8 voucher holders face blatant discrimination on Craigslist: WBEZ

Despite a 25-year old Chicago law banning the practice, landlords across the city continue to explicitly discriminate against Section 8 voucher holders, WBEZ has found.

An alderman, the mob and an SRO

An alderman, the mob and an SRO: Chicago Sun Times

Ald. George Cardenas (12th) says he was only trying to help the homeless when he introduced an ordinance to exempt SROs —single-room occupancy buildings — from the city’s residential landlord-tenant ordinance.

How strange then that all the city’s low-income housing advocates are arrayed against him, while his main support is from an SRO operated by a mob-connected businessman.

The SRO in question — a non-descript facility at 723 W. Grand sometimes known as the Acacia Hotel — is seeking relief from a legal dispute with current and former tenants.

Heavy rent burdens + strong renter growth = tough times ahead for US households: Urban Institute

A new report from Enterprise Community Partners and Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) calls for policymakers to prioritize the preservation and development of affordable rental housing, based on projections that the number of cost-burdened renters will grow substantially from 2015 to 2025. We agree. If anything, we think the challenge is even bigger.

For Renters, a Bleak Future

America’s housing crisis will likely worsen during the next decade, with millions more struggling to make monthly payments.
For Renters, a Bleak Future: The Atlantic - City Lab

Things haven’t been easy for renters over the past few years. Low vacancy rates—as more people move into rentals and fewer people move out—have meant skyrocketing prices. Add in years of stagnant wages, and it’s easy to comprehend why making rent is becoming a more difficult prospect for many families. And according to a new report, things may only get worse in the decade to come.

For Children & Mothers, Eviction Has Long-term Consequences: How Housing Matters

As millions of families in the United States experience eviction, little research exists of the impact of eviction on their lives. In a study published by Social Forces, researchers analyzed the material, mental and physical impacts of eviction. The researchers centered their study on low-income urban mothers, a group with the highest likelihood of eviction.

Five myths about public housing

Five myths about public housing: Washington Post

David Simon’s recent HBO miniseries “Show Me a Hero” has drawn attention to the history of one of the most misunderstood parts of American urban life: public housing. Many observers across the political spectrum believe that public housing in the United States has been a failure. Liberals think it concentrates poverty and epitomizes top-down, bland urban planning.

Q&A with William Frey on Changing Demographics and the Future Middle Class: How Housing Matters

The United States is in the midst of a diversity boom that could rival or even surpass that seen during the baby boom of the last half of the 20th century, according to the book Diversity Explosion. Author William Frey, noted demographer and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, says that in 2050, people will look back at this period as a pivotal moment in the nation’s shifting demography.

Is Gentrification a Human-Rights Violation?

Is Gentrification a Human-Rights Violation? The Atlantic

No one will be surprised to learn that the campaign to build a national movement against gentrification is being waged out of an office in Brooklyn, New York.

For years, the borough’s name has been virtually synonymous with gentrification, and on no street in Brooklyn are its effects more evident than on Atlantic Avenue, where, earlier this summer, a local bodega protesting its impending departure in the face of a rent hike, put up sarcastic window signs advertising “Bushwick baked vegan cat food” and “artisanal roach bombs.”

What Should Become of America’s Slums?

What Should Become of America’s Slums? The Atlantic City Lab

Kellee Coleman has read about the studies that show families like hers do better when they move to wealthy suburbs. Coleman, 34, is an African American single mother who lives in East Austin, in a neighborhood that has some of the highest poverty rates and largest concentrations of public housing in the city.

Decades later, black homebuyers' battle for justice back in spotlight

Decades later, black homebuyers' battle for justice back in spotlight

A look back at the Contract Buyers League, a group of African-American homeowners who organized to end the practice of contract buying, where black homeowners were enticed to buy their houses on "contract" from real estate speculators, who continued to own the mortgage on the property.