Pandemic brings lower rates of moving than ever before

New analysis of Current Population Survey data shows that despite the pandemic-era narrative of people fleeing COVID-19 and becoming untethered from their physical worksites, just 8.4 percent of Americans moved houses in the past year, lower than in any of the prior 47 years for which data are available. This decline is part of longer-running… Read more »

Creative blends of funding bring supportive and affordable housing to rural markets

As the pandemic continues to put pressure on the housing market and limit available shelter space, some rural communities are seeing homelessness become more visible. Community leaders note the “hidden” nature of rural homelessness, often manifesting in households “doubling up,” and say the perennial rural challenges of sparse funding and low population density complicate relief… Read more »

Pandemic housing initiatives repurposed to shelter those displaced by extreme weather

Some pandemic-era strategies are proving to be useful in supporting residents impacted by other disasters such as extreme weather events. In response to the pandemic, states rented or bought hotels to provide places for unhoused people and other vulnerable residents to quarantine safely. These pandemic initiatives demonstrated that adapting hotels and motels is an easier,… Read more »

Reducing the Black-white racial wealth gap will require dedicated and comprehensive policy solutions

A new issue brief from the Center for American Progress examines the Black/white wealth gap and summarizes a set of proposals and policy actions to address the gap. Some recommendations include allowing the U.S. Postal Service to conduct banking services to increase community access; investing in research and development opportunities for Black innovators and inventors;… Read more »

Legacy of housing discrimination leaves underserved neighborhoods without healthy food access

A study of housing patterns and food environments publicized by the Urban Institute has been published in Spatial and Spatio-temporal Epidemiology and demonstrates a link between housing discrimination and neighborhood investment. Using data from the University of Richmond, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the City of Baltimore, the authors find that “blockbusting”—when realtors “persuade white… Read more »

White homeowners are disproportionately refinancing their mortgages or selling their homes for equity

A new study from the Federal Reserve Banks of Boston, Atlanta, and Philadelphia utilizes anonymized data on 5.6 million mortgages to identify pandemic-era disparities in mortgage payments and home refinancing activity. The research reveals that Black homeowners have been more likely than white homeowners to have late or missed mortgage payments in the pandemic and… Read more »

The Tight Housing Market Boxes Out Government-Insured Borrowers, Widening Homeownership Gaps

A recent post from the Urban Institute highlights the ways in which lower income borrowers are disadvantaged in the current housing market. The authors suggest that the pandemic-era housing market favoring sellers facilitates discrimination against buyers using loans from the Federal Housing Administration and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Urban’s analysis of government and government-sponsored… Read more »

Despite federal moratorium, eviction rates returning to pre-pandemic levels

The Idaho Policy Institute, with Princeton University’s Eviction Lab Tracking System, described the predicted impact of eviction moratoriums and local aid funds expiring on Idaho’s eviction rates. With the pandemic’s impact on unemployment and the lack of affordable housing options, the expiration of pandemic-related aid could mean that renters across the country will be facing… Read more »