Housing Rebound Unlikely Before 2009
FEMA spends almost $3B on emergency housing
Advocates assail suburbs for fighting housing rules
ACORN Housing Corporation [pdf]
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development [pdf]
Economists and real estate experts reported this week that U.S. housing prices declined for a fourth straight month, and this news was most unwelcome to those still facing foreclosure on their homes and those who live in large urban areas hit hardest by the housing crisis. The New York Times reported this week that a number of cities (such as Boston and San Diego) are now utilizing both private funds and taxpayer money to buy foreclosed properties in economically isolated and depressed neighborhoods in order to prevent these areas from sliding into urban decay. Not surprisingly, the sale of foreclosed homes to municipalities, along with private investors and others, led to a 3.1 percent increase in home sales during the month of July. Municipalities believe that buying up these properties and rehabilitating them will breathe new life into neighborhoods riddled with foreclosed property and the consequences of urban decay are not lost on municipal leaders, as Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino commented, "Our job as the city government is to restore these neighborhoods. We can't let this cancer continue." Despite the continued decline in housing prices, affordable housing for low and middle-income families remains out of reach in a number of large cities across the United States, including Boston, Seattle, and New York. On a final note, it appears that there will be another type of housing crisis across the Gulf Coast in the coming months, as FEMA prepares to eliminate housing subsidies for thousands of persons displaced by Hurricane Katrina on March 1st.
The first link will take users to a New York Times article from this past Monday that offers insight into the efforts of municipalities to purchase foreclosed properties in order to combat neighborhood deterioration. The second link leads to a piece of reporting from Bloomberg's Alison Vekshin that indicates that the housing market will most likely not rebound until the middle of 2009. Moving on, the third link leads to an USA Today article from this Tuesday that reports on FEMA's spending on emergency housing throughout the Gulf Coast region. The fourth link leads to a trenchant piece from this Tuesday's Courier-Post (Cherry Hill, NJ) about the efforts made by wealthier suburbs across New Jersey to keep affordable housing from being built in their communities. The fifth link leads to the homepage of the ACORN Housing Corporation, which works to build affordable housing across the United States. Finally, the last link leads to the homepage of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) thematic policy program dedicated to creating and supporting new affordable housing developments.