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housing

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After the Great Recession, hundreds of thousands of families lost their homes — but those houses and apartments didn’t disappear into thin air.

About 2% of U.S. homes are at risk of being flooded by the end of the century, thanks to rising sea levels. And the reason for rising sea levels, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is climate change. But flood risk is not translating into lower property values in some areas along the coast.

A different sort of American dream is under construction outside Denver. More than 130 homes are being framed and nail-gunned together. But there won't be any real estate agents staging open houses. Instead of homeownership, this development is all about home-rentership.

"We got started in around 2010 after the housing crash and people were losing their homes," says Josh Hartmann, the CEO of NexMetro Communities, the company building these homes.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / The Texas Tribune

Hurricane Harvey took everything from Vanessa: furniture, beds, her car. Even the walls of her Houston apartment fell after the flood. An undocumented Mexican mother who prefers to remain anonymous given her citizenship status, she ended up temporarily living in a friend’s empty home. She slept on the floor with her husband, who is a U.S. citizen, and four kids, three of whom were born in America.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

A massive relocation project is underway in Fort Worth. The city's housing authority is in the process of moving the more than 700 residents of the Cavile Place apartments — a 65-year-old housing project in the neighborhood of Stop Six.

From Texas Standard:

Many Millennials, who are often saddled with student debt and face a sometimes shaky job market, have put off large purchases like homes. But that’s not the case in Midland.

From Texas Standard:

A new study shows Texas homeowners along the Gulf Coast have lost tens of millions of dollars of property value over a 12-year period ending in 2017 due to rising sea levels. The hardest hit city has been Galveston, followed by three other cities within 40 miles: Jamaica Beach, Bolivar Peninsula and Surfside Beach.

Think you know the suburbs? Well, it might be time to revisit.

At least, that's what Amanda Kolson Hurley, a senior editor at urban news site CityLab, wants you to do. Kolson Hurley is well-acquainted with suburbia's numerous negative stereotypes — some of them, such as racial segregation and ecological threat, all too valid. But in Radical Suburbs: Experimental Living on the Fringes of the American City, Kolson Hurley sets out to reveal a different side of the vast patchwork of not-quite-urban, not-quite-rural zones in which more than half of Americans live.

Airbnb will allow listings in the occupied West Bank — again.

On Tuesday, the property rental company reversed a previous decision to remove about 200 listings in Israeli settlements in the area.

An hour south of Charlotte, N.C., two forks in the road beyond suburbia, a freshly constructed house sits in a wind tunnel waiting to be set on fire.

To the left of the house is a brick wall with a hole in the middle, made by a 2-by-4 propelled at 70 miles per hour.

In front of the house is a metal staircase five stories tall. At the top are the hail guns.

More than 100 fans begin to turn, slowly at first and then faster. The ember generators flicker on. The fire is about to begin.

For years, short-term rentals – the rooms and homes on apps like Airbnb and HomeAway – have been the subject of lawsuits and hand-wringing on the part of regulators and people looking to rent out properties.

Updated at 2:58 p.m. ET

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is suing social media giant Facebook for allegedly violating the Fair Housing Act.

HUD says Facebook does so by "encouraging, enabling and causing housing discrimination" when it allows companies that use their platform to improperly shield who can see certain housing ads.

Texas House Approves 2020-21 Budget Plan, With Extra $9B For School Finance, Property Tax Relief

Mar 28, 2019
Texas House Appropriations Chairman John Zerwas, R-Richmond, talks with House Speaker Dennis Bonnen on March 27, 2019, as the House took up the budget debate.
Emree Weaver / The Texas Tribune

In Dennis Bonnen’s first major test as speaker of the Texas House, the chamber he oversees resoundingly passed a $251 billion budget Wednesday after a long but largely civil debate — a departure from the dramatics that have typically defined such an affair.

UT Faculty, Students Feel The Impact Of Airbnb Blacklist

Mar 27, 2019
The iPhone Airbnb app. March 26, 2019.
Emree Weaver / The Texas Tribune

When Amanda Bosky, a graduate student in sociology, goes to an academic conference, she often uses Airbnb to save money. Now the University of Texas at Austin student is worried that she can't anymore.

A new coalition of property rental businesses, travel sites and business trade organizations wants the Texas legislature to upend local ordinances around short-term rentals in lieu of one statewide law.

The years-old debate pits private property rights vs community concerns over the future of neighborhoods.

Texas is lacking in low-income housing, according to a new study from the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

The availability of affordable rental housing for extremely low-income renters in Texas – those making below the federal poverty level or 30 percent of an area's median income – was 29 homes available for every 100 renters. The national rate is 37 homes.

From Texas Standard:

As we reported several months ago, Texas has a policy that makes it illegal for state government entities to contract with companies that boycott Israel. A speech pathologist in Pflugerville ran afoul of the law because she refused to sign a pledge not to boycott Israel. Now, short-term rental company Airbnb has run into a similar conflict with the state's law.

State Rep. Eric Johnson, D-Dallas, is joined by state Rep. Angie Button, R-Richardson, during a press conference at the Capitol to announce an anti-corruption bill Monday.
Emree Weaver/The Texas Tribune

A Dallas lawmaker says he plans to file a bill this week that would take away elected officials’ power to influence whether low-income housing is built in their cities or Texas House districts. That vow comes after Dallas officials have faced criminal charges for their involvement in such projects.

From the campaign trail to election night victory speeches to promises in the halls of the Texas Capitol, property taxes are the top priority for lawmakers. Depending on which metric you use, the state generally ranks in the top 5 nationally for having the highest property taxes. Lawmakers say they have to do something to lower those bills.

But what is that something?

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North Texas is experiencing an economic boom, but just how inclusive is that growth? That's the focus of a new report by Cullum Clark, director of economic growth at the George W. Bush Institute.

Prak Property Management Inc. has been digging into savings to keep some of its low-income properties in Austin running.

“It’s like a savings account that every month we are required to put a certain amount of dollars into for things like roofs, appliances, that sort of thing,” said Brad Prak, a management agent with the Texas-based company.

Associated Press

Federal housing vouchers are one of the key ways for a low-income family to pay for a place to live. And landlords have the option to accept or reject those vouchers. In Fort Worth, nearly four out of five landlords contacted wouldn't accept the vouchers -- the highest rate of the five U.S. cities studied.

The cost of building a home in the U.S. is rising as many cities face a construction labor shortage. In the hopes of shrinking the construction timeline, some home builders are turning to prefabricated units. Modular construction, as its known, is a small but growing segment of the market for single-family homes, apartment buildings and even hotels.

Updated 4 p.m.

The San Antonio City Council voted to 8-2 to renew incentives for developers to help create thousands of housing units downtown.

From Texas Standard:

Frank Vickers of Bastrop was on the couch watching “Jeopardy!” when there was a knock on the door. Before he could get up, a Bastrop County Sheriff's deputy was standing in his living room, ready to evict him.

The bureaucratic stars over City Hall may just align in 2019.

Next year, the city will weigh four ambitious plans that aim to achieve the long-sought goal of making Austin more affordable.

Michael Zanussi / Flickr Creative Commons

Numerous laws protect people from discrimination when they're searching for a home. But many areas across North Texas and around the country still struggle with patterns of housing inequities and segregation.

Brandon Formby/Texas Tribune

As the number of people looking for an affordable home in a neighborhood they like continues climbing in Texas, a number of factors — income, job locations, car ownership — can open up a bounty of options or act as barriers that keep Texans in uncomfortable places.

STEPHANIE KUO / KERA News

In the city of Dallas, 23 percent of residents live under the poverty line — that's higher than the national average.

CitySquare is a nonprofit that's been fighting poverty in Dallas for 30 years. It offers job training, food, health care — and housing units.

Larry James, longtime CEO of CitySquare, recently talked with Krys Boyd on KERA’s Think about how they're trying to reduce homelessness with a "housing first" approach.

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