In the new issue of Poverty & Race: “Racial capitalism, tenant power, and social housing” – a special issue guest edited by Jamila Michener, looks at the challenges of housing commodification through the lens of racial capitalism and through the stories of powerful tenant-led campaigns in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, New York State and New York City. Articles from Prentiss Dantzler and Akira Drake Rodriguez, Tara Raghuveer and John Washington, John Whitlow, Cea Weaver, Peter Dreier, and the Alliance for Housing Justice. Special thanks to our guest editor Jamila Michener, who is a professor at Cornell University and a member of PRRAC’s Social Science Advisory Board.
Other news and resources
Increasing voucher utilization and mobility in California: An innovative bill from California State Assembly majority leader Eloise Gómez Reyes, the “Federal Housing Voucher Acceleration Program” would support housing authorities across the state with funds to support higher utilization of their voucher programs in tight markets, including funds for security deposits, apartment holding fees, housing navigation and housing mobility services, and landlord incentives. The bill would also require PHAs with low utilization rates to adopt payment standards using HUD’s Small Area Fair Market Rent schedule – which would open up additional housing for families by adjusting rent caps to local market conditions in each zip code.
Reining in corporate landlords: A new policy report series from the Private Equity Stakeholder Project titled “Tools for Tackling Corporate Landlords” looks at state and local policy options for mitigating the impact of private equity and other institutional investors on housing affordability and renters’ rights.
RAD Choice-Mobility: An important provision of the HUD Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD, a public housing preservation and redevelopment program) provides residents with the option to obtain a portable voucher within 1-2 years after the redevelopment process. A 2019 HUD report observed that almost half of residents of these developments reported not having been informed of this option, and a new HUD report reviewing a select group of PHAs found very low uptake by residents of the choice-mobility option, and also found that several PHAs were nonetheless placing limits on the number of families who could apply. The report also found that younger families with children appeared more likely to take advantage of the option to move with a portable housing voucher. PRRAC has recommended that PHAs adopt a tenant-centered choice-mobility plan for their RAD programs, and offer more information about the option to their tenants.
p.s. – to receive this biweekly e-newsletter, sign up here.