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Housing and Urban Issues

Stresses on urban communities continue to affect housing, food security, child services, homelessness, business development and crime. Coverage includes stories about new solutions to how cities are run, how they develop as urban centers and about the people who live there.

Inside Winnie’s Wagon is a mobile classroom with learning tools, games and books all designed to provide the state’s homeless children, whose number has dramatically increased since the pandemic, with individualized academic support.
Lawmakers in Mountain West seek to provide permanent tax relief without harming local revenue.
Rural America’s population grew by 108,000 last year. Ninety percent of that growth was in the South.
There’s a reason why we have trouble solving crucial community problems. It’s not an easy one to deal with.
It’s a problem in urban and rural areas alike, but the greatest impact is in cities where it amounts to “food apartheid.” Our best chance of solving it is to get our communities engaged in creating solutions.
The court is considering whether criminal penalties for sleeping in public places amount to cruel and unusual punishment. But no ruling on the issues before the high court will change the nature or scope of the problem.
The state is home to roughly 111,000 subsidized units with affordability requirements and many will soon expire if the legislature is not able to grant municipalities a right of first refusal to buy subsidized-housing properties.
Cities there and in other states are building more housing of all types. They’re approaching housing on a regional basis. And there are other steps California could be taking to prevent homelessness.
Seattle’s mayor wants to revive the city center by opening much of it to businesses that have long been forbidden. It’s a move toward more lenient zoning that has been gathering steam in other places.
Gov. Kathy Hochul says she and lawmakers have a “conceptual agreement” that includes both tax breaks for developers and some new tenant protections. She failed to win approval of an ambitious housing package last year.
Other countries have dealt with similar challenges in different ways. The Danish model has some elements state and local governments in the U.S. could adapt.
Almost 700 children who were evicted from New York City’s migrant shelters on Jan. 9 are no longer enrolled in the city’s school system. Many educators are worried about how this will impact those students’ futures.
City and state leaders in the Milwaukee area are addressing a spike in reckless driving in a variety of ways, from increasing penalties to redesigning streets. The city has a goal of eliminating traffic deaths by 2037.
As with society as a whole, the homeless population is naturally aging. But now more people are falling into homelessness for the first time in their later years due to high housing costs.
City officials are optimistic that the pilot program will help connect homeless people with needed services and shelter or housing, as well as identify trash, graffiti, potholes and parking violations.
HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge announced her retirement last month, leaving the role to Acting Secretary Adrianne Todman. Housing has become yet another partisan issue, limiting hopes for ambitious policies.
Many center-city downtowns continue to struggle, but Americans, especially younger adults, still want walkability.
Housing used to be primarily a local concern. With millions of units needed, state policymakers are looking for ways to boost supply.
Biden’s budget would provide billions, along with heavy-handed regulation, but it won’t expand the supply. The way to build more housing and tame prices is for states to encourage local innovation.
The Silicon Valley billionaires that are trying to build a utopian city in Solano County, Calif., won a key court decision. A judge refused landowners’ request to throw out a lawsuit accusing them of price fixing.
Lacey Beaty came into office as mayor of Beaverton, Ore., with less power than her predecessor. That hasn't stopped her from taking on the city's biggest issue.
The Effingham City Council unanimously approved an amendment to the city’s zoning ordinance to regulate cryptocurrency mines and data centers, including their noise generation and physical locations.
The Reconnecting Communities program is giving $3.3 billion to help cities address problems caused by highways. But in most cases, the projects stop short of removing highways altogether.
It’s not only because of increasingly common and costly natural disasters. Can other states learn from Florida’s experiences and its lawmakers’ efforts to cope with the problem?
Their inventor wanted them to be centers of social life. They never really achieved that goal, but the ones that remain are more than just places to spend money.
A total of 10 corporate investment companies own approximately 20 percent of single-family rentals in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties. Eight of the companies have eviction rates far outpacing the county’s average.
Last year, the city gave a lease to a homeless encampment. Although that created some autonomy, it certainly didn't solve the problems faced by its residents.
Voters in Los Angeles approved a ballot measure to add hundreds of miles of bike lanes and bus lanes. It will force implementation of a plan the city agreed to years ago.
Modular houses assembled from factory-built components are cheaper to build and the governor of Colorado is all in on them. They won't solve the housing problem but can be part of the solution.
The mortality rate for unhoused Americans more than tripled in 10 years. New data makes clear lives are at stake as California leaders try to combat the homelessness crisis. Why are so many people dying?