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Showing posts from July, 2012

The Foreclosure Crisis for Older Adults: Part II - Solutions

Yesterday's AARP PPI Solutions Forum: "The Foreclosure Crisis - Ending the Nightmare for Older Americans" did two things: it introduced the new report that I discussed in an earlier post, and it had an intriguing panel discussion.  I had the rare opportunity to sit in the audience and listen to the panel, while simultaneously live-tweeting the event on Twitter.  While I have enjoyed speaking at similar events, Monday's experience was a fun one, as I could see what people on Twitter liked during the event and I was able to see and hear others make important points on the panel.  I'll share those highlights and a few of my own thoughts in this post. (The forum video is available online)

AARP Policy SVP Susan Reinhard welcomed the crowd and Lori Trawinski introduced the report. Then, Jane Bryant Quinn moderated a panel that included:
Jim Carr of the National Community Reinvestment CoalitionDavid John of the Heritage FoundationJanis Bowdler of the National Council of…

The Foreclosure Crisis for Older Adults: Part I - The Problem

This morning was AARP's Solutions Forum: "The Foreclosure Crisis - Ending the Nightmare for Older Americans," at the Columbus Club in Union Station.  Panelists discussed the conclusions and implications of the recently released report, "Nightmare on Main Street: Older Americans and the Mortgage Market Crisis."  While AARP released "A First Look: Older Adults and the Mortgage Crisis" in 2008 (the first study to look at age differences in the growing foreclosure crisis) this new report is the first one that looks at the progression of the foreclosure crisis for older adults.

Debra Whitman, AARP Policy EVP discusses her reactions to the report in this AP video: 

A few findings from Lori Trawinski's new study grabbed my attention:

Tax Credits to Support Housing Affordability

Last week, Barbara Sard and Bill Fischer of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities proposed a renters tax credit. I couldn't help but immediately think back to the credit that Kenya Covington and I proposed in '07 in the Harvard Journal on Legislation, “From Renting to Homeownership: Using Tax Incentives to Encourage Homeownership among Renters." Our goal at that point (written before the mortgage, housing, and economic crisis that was soon to take place) was to reduce disadvantages in the tax code and help renters enter the homeownership market in a stable way.

Lessons from Langley Park - Affordable Housing in Prince George's County, MD

The Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers sponsored an affordable housing tour of Langley Park, Md. today. This community is a classic inner-ring suburban community: subdivided and built in the decades after WWII, and has been a source of market-rate affordable housing for half of a century. Racial demographics have changed greatly over the years, and since the 1980s, large numbers of immigrants have settled there, including many from Central America. Today, the community is majority Latino, hosts a range of multifamily housing, many international influences, and a bustling commercial center. It's also one of the hubs for the proposed "Purple Line" light rail system that would connect it to DC's Metro subway system - the nearest Metro stations are currently about 3 miles away. Langley Park sits at the intersection of two counties, with multi-lane state highways serving as main streets. Pedestrian safety has improved in recent years, and many bus routes…

Interpreting Independence Day and the Affordable Housing Trust Fund

The National Low Income Housing Coalition published a call to action on the 4th of July (here) tying the suffering discussed in the Declaration of Independence to the suffering of people who can't find housing that works for them.

While none of the nation's founding documents discussed a right to adequate, affordable, and appropriate housing options for all people, that does not prevent that goal from being an important and achievable one in 21st-century America. Although there are over 130 million housing units in the nation, there are not simply not enough homes in the right locations that are affordable, available, in good condition and with the right features to enable those whose incomes are a fraction of most people in their region to have happy or successful lives. NLIHC estimates the gap for between need and availability at 6.8 million households.