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May 19, 2020: The 10 Tools You Need for Basic Home Repair

Our homes are getting a lot more use while we shelter in place. Here are the tools you’ll need to handle most projects:

  • A Solid Starter Kit
  • Multi-bit Screwdriver
  • Tape Measure
  • Hammer
  • Wrench
  • Stud Finder
  • Hex Wrench
  • Cordless Drill
  • Toolbox
  • Headlamp

Read the full article.

April 22, 2020: What Can State and Local Governments Do to Stabilize Renters during the Pandemic?

As part of the Urban Institute’s exploration of policies to protect people and places from the impacts of COVID-19, researchers will be examining how state and local governments can respond to the tremendous rental housing challenges presented by COVID-19. They will present promising strategies to help states and local areas equitably answer, “What do we do when the rent is due?”

Read the full article.

April 15, 2020: Can Strategies for Flu Mitigation among Public Housing and Low-Income Residents Apply to COVID-19?

In times like these, effective emergency preparedness and response strategies are essential for ensuring important safety messages and services reach all populations so everyone understands how to keep themselves and their communities safe and healthy.

A couple of the key findings:

  • Public housing residents are more likely than the general community to have poor health. Whether through distressed public housing or substandard housing in the private market, low-income households have pre-existing risks of respiratory infections, asthma, lead poisoning, injuries, and mental health problems.
  • Pre-existing health problems for low-income households may increase susceptibility to a pandemic virus or lead to negative health outcomes from additional time spent at home.

Read the full article.

March 20, 2020: When Pandemic Hits, Pausing Evictions Can Help Renters and Landlords—But It’s Not Enough

Renters in every state and county in the US already struggle with low incomes and unaffordable housing costs. Evictions already pose serious risks and with the additional financial strain caused by COVID-19, the risk of eviction will rise.

But eviction moratoria on their own, as many governments are proposing or enacting, would only address a small part of the crisis. Without additional rent relief or flexible cash assistance, moratoria could reduce COVID-19 transmission risks today but create an eviction tsunami later.

Read the full article.

March 10, 2020: Alexandria to Set More Ambitious Affordable Housing Targets, Following Other Localities

Alexandria could soon become the latest jurisdiction in the region to embrace more aggressive housing production targets, setting a goal as part of a broader bid to address Greater Washington’s supply crunch.

Read the full article.

February 11, 2020: For Many Black Washingtonians, Homeownership Remains Out Of Reach

Legal segregation ended in D.C. more than 70 years ago. But for many black Washingtonians, today’s housing market feels as inaccessible as it was during the Truman administration.

In the District, research shows about 50% of black households own their homes, compared to more than 70% of white households — a roughly 20 percentage point gap, according to the Urban Institute. Other metropolitan areas have gaps as high as 51%, but Washington’s disparity is significant for a region with such a robust black middle class.

Obstacles to homeownership undercut African Americans’ ability to build wealth, perpetuating racial segregation and further entrenching poverty. The problem is so severe, the Urban Institute says it “threatens to exacerbate racial inequality for decades to come.”

Read the full article.

January 15, 2020: The Cost to Repair America’s Housing Stock—and Which Homes Need It the Most

Affordability and housing quality are the foundations of housing stability, but low-income households often have to sacrifice one for the other. Research suggests living in poor-quality housing can lead to health hazards, safety concerns, financial degradation, and residential instability. So, who is most likely to live in poor-quality housing, and how much would it cost to address the repair needs of the most vulnerable households? This study from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and PolicyMap helps answer these questions.

Read the full article.

November 27, 2019: How to Adapt The Built Environment to the Aging Population

By 2030, all baby boomers will be over the age of 65 and the US population will be made up of more older people than children for the first time in history. It is now crucial that developers, healthcare providers, and communities as a whole think about how to best build, develop, and innovate to prepare for an aging population that desires to stay in their homes.

Read the full article.

November 6, 2019: Big Tech, New Housing Lender

Four of the world’s richest companies are pouring a collective $5 billion into housing on the West Coast, raising an expectation that companies will serve as part financier, part philanthropist as tech hubs try to add more supply to incredibly tight housing markets.

Driving the news: Apple pledged $2.5 billion to housing initiatives in Silicon Valley, where even high-paid tech workers — let alone teachers, nurses and police officers — are struggling to find houses they can afford.

The big picture: Other tech companies have announced efforts over the past year to alleviate the housing crisis around their headquarters.

Local leaders praised the investments, and housing experts say corporate investments and philanthropy will play a bigger role in addressing the housing crunch going forward.

Read the full article.

October 2019: Healthy Places Index – Measuring Opportunity in Northern Virginia

The Healthy Places Index (HPI), developed by the Center on Society and Health at Virginia Commonwealth University, is a measure that sizes up the health of each census tract in Northern Virginia. The score ranges from 0-100, higher scores reflecting areas with more resources for health and longer life expectancies. The Index helps identify neighborhoods where many factors limit the opportunity of residents to lead healthy lives.

To explore the Healthy Places Index, select the HPI indicator on this interactive map.

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ATTENTION: National Rebuilding Day Postponed

To ensure the health and safety of our clients and volunteers and prevent the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), National Rebuilding Day projects have been postponed to Saturday, September 26. We are so appreciative of our community partners for supporting us through this challenging time.

It was not an easy decision to delay the delivery of our services on National Rebuilding Day to the 40+ individuals and families in need of critical home repairs. However, the health and safety of both our clients and volunteers is our top priority.