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Recent Releases


The Family Unification Program: A Housing Resource for Youth Aging Out of Foster CareThe Family Unification Program: A Housing Resource for Youth Aging Out of Foster Care

When youth in foster care reach age 18 (age 21 in some states) and leave the child welfare system without having achieved permanency through reunification, adoption, or legal guardianship, they must abruptly transition to living independently. Unlike their peers, these youth typically must make the transition without financial or other support from parents. As a result, many who age out of foster care find themselves homeless or precariously housed.

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Redevelopment Agencies in California: History, Benefits, Excesses, and ClosureRedevelopment Agencies in California: History, Benefits, Excesses, and Closure

Effective February 1, 2012, the State of California ceased operating local redevelopment agencies (RDAs), which had operated since the end of World War II. In recent times, these agencies served as an important component of the affordable housing development landscape in California. This paper, developed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R), examines the history of California’s RDAs, describes their successes and failures, and addresses the anticipated effects of their shut down on the future of affordable housing development in California.

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Impact of Oil and Gas Exploration on Affordable HousingImpact of Oil and Gas Exploration on Affordable Housing

This working paper, prepared by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R), Economic Market Analysis Division Gas/Oil Task Force (GOTF), examines the impact of oil and gas exploration on the affordable rental-housing market. The paper comprises three sections: the first provides a brief overview of affordable rental-housing programs, the second discusses the measurable impacts of oil and gas exploration on affordable housing, and the third reviews how HUD and state agencies are addressing these impacts. An appendix provides detailed definitions related to HUD and other affordable housing programs.

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Housing for Youth Aging Out of Foster CareHousing for Youth Aging Out of Foster Care

Senate report language accompanying HUD’s 2009 Appropriation directed the Secretary to “conduct an evaluation of the housing models that are most effective in preventing and ending homelessness for youth aged 16-24.” HUD chose to focus this research effort on the housing needs of the over 25,000 youth who “age out” of the foster care system each year. Data on the number of youth experiencing homelessness each year are both fragmented and sparse, but research on this population indicates that youth may be the single age group most at risk of homelessness. The Family Unification Program (FUP) is the only federal program that explicitly provides housing assistance for youth aging out of foster care, but until this time, little was known about the extent to which communities are utilizing FUP to serve youth, and the challenges and benefits to doing so.

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Continuity and Change: Demographic, Socioeconomic, and Housing Conditions of American Indians and Alaska NativesContinuity and Change: Demographic, Socioeconomic, and Housing Conditions of American Indians and Alaska Natives

This interim report is part of the National Assessment of Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian Housing Needs, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The project’s overarching purpose is to document the housing needs and conditions of American Indians and Alaska Natives (AIANs) and Native Hawaiians. As a component of this broader project, this specific report examines trends in the circumstances (social, economic, and housing) of the AIAN population using secondary sources, predominantly the products of the U.S. Census Bureau. The final report of this study will merge rich field research data with the findings presented here. Though this report only offers a partial picture, it contains new information about how Native Americans are faring in the Nation today. The housing needs and conditions of Native Hawaiians will be described in a separate report.

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Design Details for Accessible Disaster Relief HousingDesign Details for Accessible Disaster Relief Housing

The creation of emergency transportable, temporary housing that includes accessible features requires a specific set of tools that address unique design and construction challenges. These dwelling units are some of the smallest produced for housing, and they must accommodate a variety of functional criteria for mobility that often seems in conflict with the spatial requirements for accessibility. While the design and construction of accessible housing for disaster survivors requires attention to detail and some less common construction approaches, it can be relatively straightforward when integrated into the design and construction process. Many builders may find that the accessibility features of these homes are easily implemented and provide value for all residents.

This is not a regulatory document, but is intended to illustrate possible solutions, provide guidance to designers wishing to create accessible disaster relief housing, and aid the manufacturing industry. The focus of this publication is on the interior of these dwellings and is not site-specific, and so it does not include essential accessibility aspects of locating and installing the structures on site. Dwelling design is a creative process, and this document provides some approaches that can be used as a “point of departure” for designers to create safe, accessible housing units. Descriptions and graphic illustrations of accessible elements are provided in these pages, but it is not the intent of this guide to limit development of other accessible solutions, or to imply that this is a complete directory of all possible arrangements.

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Why Not In Our Community? Removing Barriers to Affordable Housing"Why Not In Our Community?" Removing Barriers to Affordable Housing

Regulatory barriers were exposed as a problem 13 years ago, when the Advisory Commission on Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing submitted its report, "Not in My Back Yard": Removing Barriers to Affordable Housing. Its basic finding was that exclusionary, discriminatory, or unnecessary regulations constituted barriers to affordable housing. Now this report updates the status of this problem and highlights the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) commitment to work with states and communities to do away with the regulatory barriers that drive up housing costs and reduce the nation's stock of affordable housing. Some progress is evident, but the problem persists. This update describes recent trends in regulatory barriers to affordable housing, reviews recent efforts by states and local communities to reduce these barriers, and details actions taken by HUD to eliminate regulatory barriers.

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Developing Choice Neighborhoods: An Early Look at Implementation in Five Sites - Interim ReportDeveloping Choice Neighborhoods: An Early Look at Implementation in Five Sites - Interim Report

The overarching goal of the Choice Neighborhoods program (Choice) is to redevelop distressed assisted housing projects and transform the neighborhoods surrounding them into mixed-income, high-opportunity places. Choice builds on lessons learned during HOPE VI, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) long-running program to replace or rehabilitate distressed public housing. It maintains the emphasis of HOPE VI on public-private partnerships and mixed financing for replacing or rehabilitating assisted housing but extends eligibility to privately owned federally subsidized developments. It requires that grantees build at least one subsidized replacement housing unit for every assisted unit demolished in the target development. It also continues the emphasis of HOPE VI on protecting tenants during the redevelopment process and heightens aspirations to give existing tenants the opportunity to live in the redeveloped project upon its completion. It differs most from HOPE VI by providing funding for projects that create synergy between renovation of the target development and revitalization efforts within the neighborhood surrounding the target development. Beyond providing funding for neighborhood investments, Choice also fosters partnerships among organizations, agencies, and institutions working throughout the neighborhood to build affordable housing, provide social services, care for and educate children and youth, ensure public safety, and revitalize the neighborhood’s commercial opportunities and infrastructure.

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Evidence Matters: Vacant and Abandoned Properties: Turning Liabilities Into Assets: Winter 2014Evidence Matters: Vacant and Abandoned Properties: Turning Liabilities Into Assets: Winter 2014

This edition of Evidence Matters looks at residential and commercial vacancy from various perspectives and examines the work that communities are doing to limit or reverse their negative effects. The feature article, “Vacant and Abandoned Properties: Turning Liabilities Into Assets,” reviews the causes and consequences of vacancy and investigates the efforts of governments and nonprofits to better understand and alleviate the problem. “Targeting Strategies for Neighborhood Development,” the Research Spotlight article, explores the typologies of neighborhood distress that cities are employing to better understand local conditions and most effectively target limited resources, demonstrating the importance of data in understanding the scope of the problem. The In Practice section of this issue features two articles, each focusing on different approaches for managing vacant land. The first, “Countywide Land Banks Tackle Vacancy and Blight,” describes the critical role of local land banks in assembling parcels of land and maintaining vacant properties so that the land can eventually be returned to productive use. The second, “Temporary Urbanism: Alternative Approaches to Vacant Land,” examines creative strategies communities and citizens are using to generate short-term uses such as stores, parks, and art projects to bring vibrancy to otherwise blighted spaces.

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Study of PHAs' Efforts to Serve People Experiencing HomelessnessStudy of PHAs' Efforts to Serve People Experiencing Homelessness

The use of mainstream housing assistance programs will be essential if the nation is to achieve the goals of the 2010 Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness, including ending chronic homelessness by 2015 and ending homelessness for families, youth, and children by 2020. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has residential programs specifically targeted to people experiencing homelessness, but those resources are small by comparison with the 2.5 million Housing Choice Vouchers (HCVs) and the 1.1 million public housing units managed by public housing agencies (PHAs) across the country. This study was commissioned by HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research to provide a status report on efforts by PHAs to serve homeless households with mainstream housing assistance resources. Data were collected from PHAs throughout 2012 and early 2013 using two approaches: a Webbased survey of roughly 4,000 PHAs and follow-up telephone discussions with staff at 120 PHAs.

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