Montana’s labor shortage is actually a housing shortage
Montana plans to distribute part of the $ 900 million it received in federal coronavirus relief to help with affordable housing, Associated Press reports.
Housing costs have risen by more than 20% in the past year in parts of Montana, with workers saying they can’t afford to take low-paying jobs even as wages rise. Next city previously reported the lack of affordable housing in Bozeman, Montana’s fourth largest city, which is struggling with an influx of tech workers and others who have decided to make working from home permanent.
So far, the commission has approved a Homeowners Assistance Fund to help homeowners struggling to pay off their mortgages with loans of up to $ 25,000. The state also hoped to encourage a return to work by ending federal unemployment benefits, despite reports indicating that cutting these programs does not encourage Americans to seek employment.
Nonetheless, Montana has launched a new program offering workers $ 1,200 if they find and keep a new job for at least a month.
Baltimore law requires landlords to provide “just cause” for eviction
Baltimore’s new “just cause” law came into effect Monday, requiring landlords to provide a reason for not renewing a tenant’s lease, the Baltimore Sun reports.
The bill was passed after a series of cases where landlords evicted tenants whose leases had expired without providing a codified reason as to why they had not extended or renewed the lease. Since non-renewal of a lease does not count as an “eviction” (although it always results in a person leaving their home), landlords have used the option of not renewing a lease as an escape from state and federal deportation moratoria, the Baltimore Sun add.
Now, Baltimore landlords must allow tenants to renew their lease at least 75 days before it expires. Exceptions to this rule require landlords to provide a “good reason” for not renewing, including: “a“ material ”breach of the lease; the owner wishing to recover the property for a loved one as a main residence; the owner wishes to permanently withdraw the property from the rental market; or the owner must make repairs that cannot be done in otherwise occupied properties.
“This new protection is essential for residents who are evicted when their lease expires in the final months of the pandemic,” City Council Chairman Nick J. Mosby told the Baltimore Sun.
Penn Research suggests that repairing homes in low-income neighborhoods reduces crime and improves health
Research by the University of Pennsylvania finds that investing in homes in historically isolated, low-income, black and Latino communities leads to reduced crime rates and improvements in health.
The study focused on houses repaired by Philadelphia Basic Systems Repair Program (BSRP), an initiative that repairs structural damage to homes in low-income areas. The researchers concluded that on blocks where at least one house was repaired through this city-funded program, total crime on that block fell by almost 22%. As more and more houses were repaired, crime fell even further.
“There is a critical need to invest in the housing stock of cities in the United States, especially in predominantly black neighborhoods that have not benefited from such an investment for far too long, if ever,” said Vincent. Raina PhD, Associate Professor of Urban Planning and Economics. and the faculty director of the Housing Initiative at Penn said in a statement. “This research shows that even small investments in housing stabilization benefit both homeowners who live in homes that receive support and the blocks and neighborhoods they live in through reduced crime.”
Solcyra (Sol) Burga is a member of the Emma Bowen Foundation with Next City for the summer of 2021. Burga is completing her degree in Political Science and Journalism at Rutgers University, with the intention of graduating in May 2022. As a Newark native and immigrant, she hopes to raise the voices of underrepresented communities in her work.