Families Living Doubled-Up Tripled from 2003 to 2009

 

Housing

A new report released by HUD analyzes data from the American Housing Survey (AHS) and examines trends in household composition. Analysis of Trends in Household Composition Using American Housing Survey Data was prepared for HUD by Frederick J. Eggers and Fouad Moumen of Econometrica, Inc. Drawing upon AHS data collected between 2003 and 2009, Eggers and Moumen found that the number of households composed of multiple subfamilies tripled between 2003 and 2009, from 199,000 to 622,000. Additionally, the number of households containing a relative other than a spouse or a child under 18 rose by 1.6 million during the same time period.

The study defined doubled-up households as households containing a member other than a spouse, or containing an adult child over age 18 or 21. Overall, adult children over the age of 21 were the most common contributors to doubled-up households. Between 2003 and 2009, the percentage of doubled-up households with a child over 21 increased from 47.4% in 2003 to 50.5% in 2009. Doubled-up households containing a grandchild also increased between 2003 and 2009, from 12.7% to 14.1%.

According to study findings, economic conditions have contributed to the rise of adult children living at home. Between 2003 and 2009, the percentage of adult children with jobs in doubled-up households fell from 60% to 57%. The percentage of adult children reporting salaries, wages or self-employment income also declined. The authors conclude that economic hardship is driving household composition patterns, and further research is needed to determine the causes behind the rise of doubled-up households. A 2013 AHS module may provide more data on the links between doubled up households and homelessness.

View Analysis of Trends in Household Composition Using American Housing Survey Data at: http://bit.ly/1e5yQ2g

 

Home Modification Loan Program Testimonial

 

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More happy customers!

The following is a thank you note sent to Renée Perdicaro, RCAP Solutions Residential Loan Fund Manager from a family that recently received a Home Modification Loan.  This program provides financing to make modifications to the residences of disabled persons, enabling individuals to live independently and remain in their homes.

“We will never be able to thank your organization enough for the opportunity to modify our home. Nor can we thank you enough for all the work and time you personally put in yourself.  If it weren’t for you, I would not be able to be in my own home. Thank you Renée, for all you did and for putting up with the endless phone calls from us as well as from the contractor.  The contractor we used, JW Remodeling, was amazing.  The jobs were done to perfection and we had not a single grievance. With much gratitude, Tom and Karen Grimes”

For more information on our Home Modification Loan Fund Program, please visit our Home Modification Loan Page.

Happy Clients, Happy 2014!

 

customerserviceadvice2

Congratulations to Jeaniffer Cordeiro, Program Representative for our Client Resources Team who received this great testimonial from one of our landlords.

“Thank you for always partnering and helping me as well as countless others throughout this year. You have been professional and very responsive. At all times I was given accurate information and advised about next steps in quick fashion. You helped define the right expectations with property owners and tenants. You handled sensitive issues in an effective way.

If there was a “CLIENT RELATIONS” Service Award, Employee of the Year, or Quarterly Excellence Award you would certainly win them all!

Happy New Year to you and your family.”

Harvard University Housing Study

for_rent2-300x300Harvard University just released a national report on the trends in the rental housing market.  

Read the Introduction here:

Rental housing has always provided a broad choice of homes for people at all phases of life. The recent economic turmoil underscored the many advantages of renting and raised the barriers to homeownership, sparking a surge in demand that has buoyed rental markets across the country. But significant erosion in renter incomes over the past decade has pushed the number of households paying excessive shares of income for housing to record levels. Assistance efforts have failed to keep pace with this escalating need, undermining the nation’s longstanding goal of ensuring decent and affordable housing for all.

Reversing the long uptrend in homeownership, American households have increasingly turned to the rental market for their housing. From 31 percent in 2004, the renter share of all US households climbed to 35 percent in 2012, bringing the total number to 43 million by early 2013.

A confluence of factors drove this increase. The enormous wave of foreclosures that swept the nation after 2008 certainly played a role, displacing millions of homeowners. The economic upheaval of the Great Recession also contributed, with high rates of sustained unemployment straining household budgets and preventing would-be buyers from purchasing homes. Meanwhile, the experience of the last few years highlighted the many risks of homeownership, including the potential loss of wealth from falling home values, the high costs of relocating, and the financial and personal havoc caused by foreclosure. All in all, recent conditions have brought renewed appreciation for the benefits of renting, including the greater ease of moving, the ability to choose housing that better fits the family budget, and the freedom from responsibility for home maintenance.

Read the entire study by clicking here.

 

Celebrating the Holidays

CHRISTMAS PARTY 018RCAP Solutions Staff celebrate with Santa at our Atwood Acres and Townsend Woods Holiday Party.

Pictured from left: Maribeth Conrad, Property Manager; Maureen Henneberg, Senior Resident Service Coordinator; Michelle Mastroianni, Assistant Property Manager; Santa Claus, North Pole CEO; and John Giardina, Maintenance Technician.

Atwood Acres and Townsend Woods are two of the ten affordable properties managed by RCAP Solutions for the elderly, disabled, and families in Central MA.

For more information on our affordable apartments, visit our Senior, Disabled & Family Housing Properties page.

Soaring rents are putting many families in peril

Soaring rents are putting many families in peril

Harvard study finds some in Mass., US spend half of income on housing

By Megan Woolhouse

 

Rapidly rising rents in Massachusetts and across the country are making housing unaffordable for a significant share of families and pushing many into homelessness, according to a study released Monday by Harvard University.

Massachusetts has the sixth-highest median rent in the nation as the supply of rental housing has failed to keep up with the surge in renters following the recent housing collapse and foreclosure crisis, according to the study from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. More than one in four renters here and nationally must spend more than half their income on their housing, a level the report described as “unimaginable just a decade ago.”

“These are troubling trends,” said Eric Belsky, executive director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies. “In this kind of situation, you worry about people’s ability to get into any kind of rental housing.”

The median rent in Massachusetts has climbed to $1,000 a month, according to the study. Hawaii had the highest median rent, $1,300, followed by Washington, D.C., at just below $1,200. And while median rents nationally have risen 7 percent to $861 a month in 2012 from $802 in 2000, median renters’ incomes have fallen from $3,106 to $2,711 in the same period, the report said.

Another study of the local housing market, released in October, found that rents in Greater Boston were the third highest among the nation’s metropolitan areas. Rents in Greater Boston averaged $1,800, compared to $1,300 a decade earlier, according to the study by Northeastern University researchers.

The climbing costs of rental housing are falling most heavily on the poor. In general, housing specialists say, paying more than one-third of income in rent can lead to other financial burdens for families. But nationally, more than 70 percent of families earning less than $15,000 a year pay more than half their income in rent, according to the Harvard study, compared to less than 1 percent of households earning $75,000 a year or more.

As rising rents take bigger shares of income, federal and state governments, including Massachusetts, have cut funding for housing subsidies, such as the federal Section 8 voucher program.

The result, housing advocates say, has been rising homelessness in states with fast-rising rents. A recent Department of Housing and Urban Development report said the number of homeless people in shelters and living on streets in Massachusetts has risen 14 percent since 2010 to nearly 20,000 in January 2013, even as homelessness declined nationally.

In Massachusetts, the number of families in the state’s emergency shelter system rose to an all- time high last month, averaging more than 4,000 a night. The state spent a record $46 million last fiscal year to house families in need of emergency assistance in motels, up from about $1 million in 2008.

Angela Rascoe, 46, had to give up her Mattapan apartment in June, when she became sick, lost her job as a nanny, and could no longer afford the rent of $1,650 a month. She has since lived in emergency shelters, including a motel in Saugus, with her 18-year-old daughter, because she cannot find another apartment she can afford on her disability check.

They are now staying in a state-funded shelter in Mattapan, but the future is uncertain. She has applied for subsidized housing programs offered by the city and state, but waiting lists are years-long.

“I’ve never ever been in a situation like this where I had to go and ask for help,” she said. “It’s extremely hard.”

John Drew, executive director of Action for Boston Community Development, a nonprofit social service agency, said the situation is only likely to get harder for Rascoe and other low- and moderate-income families. As the influx of highly paid technology, biotechnology, and other professionals drive housing prices higher, he said, the apartment building boom in the city is mainly adding luxury units, rather than affordable homes.

“Everyone is sitting back and watching the market-driven economy,” Drew said. “There is no housing policy. Nothing that leads you to feel comfortable at all, to say, ‘We have a way out of here.’ ”

State officials defend their policy efforts, calling them comprehensive but constrained by funding limitations. Massachusetts is one of four states to offer state-subsidized public housing, and this year alone increased the number of units the program funds by 3,000, said Aaron Gornstein, state’s undersecretary for housing.

The state also has built or is in the process of building 4,500 affordable rental units this year, Gornstein said. Earlier this month, Governor Deval Patrick signed a $1.4 billion bonding bill to finance the rehabilitation and construction of more public and affordable housing.

“We just have to keep focusing on helping families access affordable housing with the resources we have,” Gornstein said, “and make the best use of the existing resources that the Legislature has provided to us.”

Kelly Turley, director of legislative advocacy for the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, said the state has done more than many others to address the need for affordable housing, but rising rents, wage stagnation, and stubbornly high unemployment have outstripped those efforts.

“The state has made unprecedented investments in housing and homelessness prevention and emergency services,” she said, “but at the same time, it’s not enough to match the need to address the gap between incomes and what it costs to live in Massachusetts.”

Libby Hayes, executive director of Homes for Families, a Boston advocacy group, said the state’s efforts have been to put a “Band-Aid on a big gaping wound.” Patrick, she added, has not aggressively addressed the issue as a rising tide of families fill state shelters and motels.

Megan Woolhouse can be reached at megan.woolhouse@globe.com.

Article can be accessed here: http://b.globe.com/19cxuAX

Mass scrambling to find housing for its homeless

rathe_homeless_biz02GREENFIELD — Record numbers of homeless families are overwhelming the state’s emergency shelter system, filling motel rooms at the cost to taxpayers of tens of millions of dollars a year.

An average of nearly 2,100 families a night — an all-time high — were temporarily housed in motel rooms in October, just about equaling the number of families in emergency shelters across the state, according to be the state Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.

The demand for shelter is so great that the state has been temporarily sending homeless families from Boston to motels in Western Massachusetts, although state officials said many have been relocated back again, closer to home.

 

Read the full article here: http://b.globe.com/189hBdY

Giving Tuesday

Today may be Cyber Monday, but please remember that Christmas isn’t all about consumerism: Tomorrow is #GivingTuesday.

#GivingTuesdayâ„¢ is a campaign to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season. It celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support non-profit organizations.

#GivingTuesday inspires personal philanthropy and encourages bigger, better and smarter charitable giving during the holiday season, showing that the world truly gives as good as it gets.

If you are planning to make a donation to a non profit organization this holiday season, please consider RCAP Solutions. The need is real and continues to grow.  Over 2,000 families are now living in hotels across the Commonwealth. RCAP Solutions works with hundreds of families each year, providing the necessary stabilization services for those in need, in order to keep them safe, healthy and in permanent housing.

Visit our website for more information: http://www.rcapsolutions.org/donate/

RCAP Featured in WBJ Article on Sequestration

RCAP Solutions President & CEO Karen A. Koller KollerWBJdiscusses the difficult impact that Sequestration has had on the organization and our clients in the most recent edition of the Worcester Business Journal.

Photo caption:  Karen Koller of RCAP Solutions: Sequestration cuts impact those who serve “people in need.”

Click here for full article:  Central Mass. Firms Feel Sting Of Federal Budget Cuts

Heat, rent subsidies in danger if shutdown lingers

From The Associated Press:

BOSTON — As winter approaches and the federal government shutdown lingers, millions of low-income Americans face potential delays in receiving help with their heating bills and monthly rent.

Among the programs that could be impacted as of Nov. 1 are the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, and a voucher program that allows poor families, seniors and the disabled live in private rental units, according to local agencies and state officials who administer the benefits.

The heating program, which last winter provided heating assistance to nearly 9 million income eligible people nationwide, is in limbo until the budget impasse is settled, said Mark Wolfe, executive director of the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association.

“We don’t have an appropriation yet. We don’t know when we are going to get it. We don’t know how much it will be,” said Wolfe. “And we are already at the beginning of the winter heating season.”

In states like Massachusetts, heating assistance benefits typically begin to go out Nov. 1, but many of the 20 nonprofit agencies that administer the program have not even started accepting applications and one has been forced to close without the federal funding, according to Joe Diamond, head of the Massachusetts Association for Community Action.

The state received $133 million in LIHEAP funding last year, with the typical seasonal benefit ranging from $675 to $1125 for individuals and families who heat their homes with oil, said Diamond.

“The shutdown really has to end,” he said, for heating assistance to beat the arrival of cold weather.

But even if President Obama and congressional Republicans were to come to terms immediately, Wolfe noted that it still could take several more weeks for funding formulas to be determined and money allocated to states.

Nationally, LIHEAP funding was just under $3.5 billion in the last fiscal year, a 30 percent decline since 2010.

Some states could take action to fill the void.

Diamond said he was hoping the Massachusetts Legislature would appropriate $20 million, both to cover emergency heating needs if the federal shutdown continues and to offset the recent funding cuts, particularly with forecasts pointing to higher heating costs this winter.

The Housing Choice Voucher Program, administered through funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, pays up to 70 percent of rent for low-income families and individuals who live in privately-owned housing but cannot afford the market rents. The funds are paid directly to landlords.

Aaron Gornstein, Massachusetts undersecretary for housing and community development, said the state was able to pay October rent for its 20,000 vouchers, but would be unable to meet November rents unless the shutdown ends and funds can be obtained from HUD.

The problem would impact both tenants and landlords, he said. Understanding the situation, many landlords might hold off until the government reopens and the payments can be made. But even if landlords chose to pursue eviction, the process would take several months.

“The tenant won’t be immediately displaced,” said Gornstein.