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The Center for Housing Policy’s publications cover a range of topics, programs and policies related to the broad goal of identifying and meeting the nation’s housing challenges.
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Housing Landscape summarizes the severe housing cost burdens of low- and moderate-income working households. These low- and moderate-income households include full- and part-time workers who serve our communities and our economy in many capacities. Authors Mindy Ault, Lisa Sturtevant and Janet Viveiros examine how they are faced with significantly greater affordability challenges than the overall population. In 2013, 21.2 percent of working households were severely cost burdened (9.6 million households). Twenty-five percent of working renters and 17.1 percent of working homeowners paid more than half of their incomes for housing that year.
As inclusionary housing becomes more popular in urban settings with high land costs and high construction costs, workable alternatives to on-site affordability requirements and other forms of policy flexibility will become increasingly important. This policy brief presents four ideas for improving the flexibility of inclusionary housing and expanding the menu of options available to developers – while at the same time promoting mixed-income neighborhoods.
Understanding how the veteran population is changing—and will change in the future— is critical to developing policies and programs to meet their housing and service needs. Older veterans (age 55 and older), who currently make up the largest cohort of the US veteran population, increasingly will need housing and supportive services that can enable them to age in their homes or communities. Female veterans with children make up a growing share of the veteran population, but many housing and supportive service programs targeting veterans currently do not serve single-parent families well. And our most recent veterans, those who served following 9/11, have returned to a slow-growing economy and rising home prices and rents, which have made the transition from military service to civilian life difficult for many.
Increasingly, states are focusing on implementing Medicaid reforms as part of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) goal to deliver high-quality care while containing health care costs. Some are authorizing a new kind of Medicaid health care delivery system, accountable care organizations (ACOs). ACOs are integrated health care delivery organizations that not only cover the cost of medical care like a health insurance company, but also offer care coordination for health and social services to address the complex health needs of patients. ACOs consist of networks of health care providers and organizations like hospitals and clinics that work together to coordinate the health care of members. Medicaid payment rates to ACOs are capitated, meaning there is a standard payment rate per member regardless of services utilized. In addition, ACOs keep a share of the savings achieved by spending less than the capitated rate. This is a strong incentive to contain health care spending by investing in preventative care and care coordination to improve the health of members and reduce the need for expensive acute care.
A major housing quality concern for affordable housing organizations is children’s exposure to lead, most often through lead-based paint in homes built prior to the 1980s. Lead exposure can lead to poisoning among young children which can result in behavioral problems and intellectual impairment. Children from low-income communities and communities of color are disproportionately affected by high lead levels in the home. Since 1989, Medicaid has required that all enrolled children have their blood tested for the presence of lead to discover whether they have elevated blood lead levels that could be harmful.