Dec 09

$8.41. That was how much 83-year-old Uri Rafaeli, a retired engineer, in Michigan underpaid his property taxes by in 2014. That was all it took for him to lose his house.

Source: Man Loses Home After Failing To Pay $8.41 In Property Taxes

Nov 20

In addition to the new bureau, Warren proposes a national right-to-council fund that would provide legal representation for renters facing eviction or other issues, a cause championed by other Democratic candidates as well. The plan would also establish a federal just cause eviction standard and a right to lease renewal, and create a national small dollar grant program that prevents families from being evicted because of financial emergencies.

Source: Elizabeth Warren housing plan updated to focus on renters – Curbed

Nov 18

Single-family zoning not only segregates people by race and class, but also artificially increases prices and hurts the environment. By outlawing the construction of duplexes, triplexes, and other multifamily units, single-family zoning artificially constrains the housing supply, driving up prices by government fiat. “When you have demand that is sky-high, and you don’t have the supply to keep up with it, prices rise. Rents rise,” noted Minneapolis’s mayor, Jacob Frey.

Source: How Minneapolis Defeated NIMBYism – The Atlantic

Nov 16

The Washington State Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously upheld a Seattle law requiring landlords to accept the first qualified rental applicant, reversing a lower court ruling and delivering a win for the city’s lawmakers. The law, known as the First in Time (FIT) law and initially approved in 2016, is believed to be the only one of its kind in the country. It dictates that landlords must review applications in the order their applications are received and accept the first qualified prospective tenant.

Source: WA Supreme Court approves Seattle law requiring landlords to accept first qualified applicant | Crosscut

Nov 07

How did we get here? Simply put, bad government—from outdated zoning laws to a 40-year-old tax provision that benefits long-time homeowners at the expense of everyone else—has created a severe shortage of houses. While decades in the making, California’s slow-moving disaster has reached a critical point for state officials, businesses and the millions who are straining to live there.

Source: California’s Affordable Housing Crisis: Why Prices Are So High and How to Solve It

Nov 06

“Michigan is currently stealing from people across the state,” says Christina Martin, an attorney with the Pacific Legal Foundation, a nonprofit law firm now representing Rafaeli and other homeowners in a class-action lawsuit that will go before the Michigan Supreme Court in early November.”Counties have been authorized to take not just what they are owed, but to take people’s life savings.”

Source: A Michigan Man Underpaid His Property Taxes By $8.41. The County Seized His Property, Sold It—and Kept the Profits. –

Sep 28

Rose Adams, who was elected head of an Annie Coleman 14 tenants group, said the county representatives did not explain why Miami-Dade had suddenly concluded crime was too dangerous for tenants to remain. “We’ve been living in these conditions for all this time,” said Adams, who has lived at the complex since 2013, sharing an apartment with her son, daughter and a grandson. “We’re not understanding the urgency and the emergency.”

Source: Miami-Dade closing public housing complex over crime, decay | Miami Herald

Sep 28

That fall, anti-growth initiatives were on ballots across the state. Most succeeded. Aside from enacting specific policies to slow development, they sent a message to elected officials: Approve new building projects at your peril. The result, three decades later, is a housing crisis.

Source: How I Caused California’s Housing Crisis – Bloomberg – Medium

Jul 25

Those were some of the messages from Mr. de Blasio contained in an extraordinary seven-page signed declaration filed late Monday, arguing that he should not be forced to give a deposition as part of a federal lawsuit challenging a city housing policy that gives local residents preference in lotteries for nearby affordable housing. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit allege that the policy perpetuates the city’s deeply entrenched patterns of residential segregation — a reality bemoaned by Mr. de Blasio — and have

Source: Mayor de Blasio Pleads Ignorance in Lawsuit Over Housing Policy – The New York Times

Jul 22

Hilda Brucker went down to the municipal court in October 2016 after receiving a phone call. She hadn’t received a formal summons or known of any wrongdoing; instead, she thought she needed to clear a ticket.But when she arrived at the Doraville, Georgia, courthouse, Brucker said she was placed before a judge and prosecutor who accused her of violating city code — because of cracks in her driveway.She was fined $100 and sentenced to six months criminal probation, even though this was the first time she was made aware her driveway was considered a problem.

Source: Georgia city sued by fed-up residents over ‘ridiculous’ fines for chipped paint, driveway cracks | Fox News

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