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Politico - Digest 20

GOP lawmakers embrace tenant protection as mass evictions loom

Red states dealing with new coronavirus outbreaks are staring down the possibility of a rash of evictions in the coming months. As a result, alarmed Republican lawmakers are starting to support inclusion of rental assistance payments to tenants, and a renewal of a federal eviction moratorium (expired July 25) in the next economic relief package.

Politico • August 4, 2020

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The suburbs aren’t getting abolished, but maybe they should

An obscure housing regulation is supposedly ravaging the suburbs. It’s not.

The Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule put in place by the Obama administration in 2015 has been the subject of right-wing scorn since its inception. Suspended by the Trump administration in 2018; and finally replaced at the end of July, AFFH presses communities (larger than 50,000) to actively look for ways to integrate.

President Trump's tweets imply that AFFH could have a "devastating impact" on suburbia. In reality, AFFH hasn't had much of an effect on any area, suburban or otherwise. It was meant to clarify murky language of the Fair Housing Act of 1968, and to require municipalities self-report on barriers to fair housing within their jurisdictions.

Curbed • August 4, 2020

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What buildings will look like after the COVID-19 crisis

One of the trickiest parts of a real-estate developer’s job is divining what buyers and renters will value in the years it takes to go from design to completion. COVID-19 has made that more complex, as developers try to tease out what amenities and features valued now will fade away and which will remain as part of the culture post-pandemic. Developers are rethinking living spaces, staircases, lobbies, elevators, balconies and even ventilation systems.

Wall Street Journal • July 29, 2020

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The tech industry exacerbated the housing crisis. Here’s what Google is doing to fix it

A year ago, Google pledged $1 billion to address the Bay Area housing crisis the tech boom helped cause. The company now expects to help fund more affordable housing than it originally anticipated. While it will still be a fraction of the homes needed in the area, it’s an example of how corporate funding can be part of the solution to this problem.

Fast Company • July 27, 2020

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COVID-19 Is killing affordable housing, just as it’s needed most

Housing advocates have been calling attention to the imminent danger of an eviction cliff -- there is a longer term threat to nation’s sizable affordable housing shortage too -- affordable housing production and upkeep could be hamstrung for a generation due to construction slowdowns and budget cuts.

Bloomberg City Lab • July 30, 2020

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Searing heat will make COVID-19 racial disparities worse

The nation is experiencing another public health emergency that will further exacerbate the coronavirus crisis: extreme heat.

2020 will likely rank as one of the hottest years on record, and lower-income Black and Latino neighborhoods, will be most impacted. Extreme heat will push more residents into crowded cooling centers vulnerable to the coronavirus. Cities are offering short term assistance, but longer term strategies are also needed.

Pew Trusts • July 30, 2020

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