February 14, 2013
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Almost half of 2010 mortgages wouldn't fall under QM safe harbor
Only 52% of the mortgages made in 2010 would fall under a safe-harbor provision in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's qualified-mortgage rules, according to CoreLogic. The firm found that 24% of all originations from 2010 did not meet the stipulation that borrowers' debt-to-income ratio not exceed 43%.  The Wall Street Journal/Developments blog (2/12)
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Trends in Housing
88% of U.S. cities saw housing gains in Q4
The median home price increased in the fourth quarter in 133 of 152 metro areas measured by the National Association of Realtors, according to a report, indicating further recovery in the housing market. The national median home price of $178,900 was up 10% compared with Q4 of 2011, marking the biggest year-over-year gain since 2005.  Bloomberg (2/12)
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More baby boomers downsize to smaller homes, simpler lives
More baby boomers are moving to condominiums in urban centers, saving money with smaller homes and also saving time that previously was spent caring for their properties. Some are looking for financial savings, but many are looking for an easier life, according to a survey by Coldwell Banker.  The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Wash.) (free content) (2/11)
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Policy Roundup
HUD moves ahead with rules on assessing discriminatory lending
The Department of Housing and Urban Development has finalized a policy of using statistical analysis to determine whether discrimination in lending has occurred, rather than having to prove actual discrimination or intent to discriminate. Banks have criticized the practice.  The Hill/On the Money blog (2/8)
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Obama reportedly considers using executive power on refinance effort
President Barack Obama might use executive orders to accomplish several policy goals, including allowing underwater homeowners with private mortgages to refinance, sources say.  The Washington Post (2/10)
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Location, Location, Location
Mass. to invest $67M in affordable housing
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has set aside $67 million for 23 affordable-housing developments in 21 communities across the state. Tax credits and subsidies will help with the construction or renovation of 1,326 housing units. Patrick in November set a goal of creating 10,000 multifamily units a year, saying that adding market-rate housing would help housing at all levels.  American City Business Journals/Boston (2/7)
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Health and Housing
Denver development will blend affordable housing, health care
The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless is breaking ground on the Stout Street Health Center, a project that will incorporate 78 units of affordable housing and a health care center that serves homeless and at-risk families. "Every person we see has a devastating story of a job loss, family tragedy, childhood trauma, untreated addiction, or illness -- the most common precursors to homelessness," said John Parvensky, president of the coalition.  HousingFinance.com (2/11)
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Opportunity and Housing
In Camden, N.J., poor residents often have nowhere else to go
Camden, N.J., has had high crime rates since the 1960s and was recently named the poorest city in the country by the U.S. Census, yet its impoverished residents often cannot leave. The city's story is like that of many poor cities -- despite conditions, there is nowhere more affordable nearby for residents to go, experts say. Zoning laws have concentrated affordable housing in Camden, leaving no option for people looking to get out.  The Philadelphia Inquirer (2/11), The Philadelphia Inquirer (2/11)
 
The Economy and Housing
N.Y. City Council report reveals shrinking middle class
The middle class accounts for a smaller percentage of New York City's population compared with upper- and lower-class residents, according to a report by the City Council. The report says the city is one of the most expensive places to live and that jobs that pay middle-class wages are becoming scarce. "This report demonstrates the need to address long-term housing costs, develop opportunities for middle-class workers and help create a New York City that middle-class families continue to seek out as a place to call home," Council Speaker Christine Quinn said.  Patch.com/Bed-Stuy, N.Y. (2/11)
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Housing Matters Spotlight
Bipartisan Policy Center Housing Commission to release recommendations
The Bipartisan Policy Center Housing Commission, a grantee of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, will release recommendations at 11 a.m. Feb. 25 at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. The event will be live webcast on the Housing Commission website. The release event will feature Housing Commission co-chairs former Sens. George Mitchell, Kit Bond and Mel Martinez and former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros. The report is the culmination of a 16-month examination of the key issues in housing. Register to join the commission for the release of its recommendations.
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About How Housing Matters
The How Housing Matters research initiative seeks to explore whether, and if so how, having a decent, stable, affordable home leads to strong families and vibrant communities. Research is showing that stable, quality housing has value beyond the provision of shelter; it improves school performance, diminishes health problems for children and adults, and decreases psychological stress. By illuminating the ways in which housing matters and highlighting innovative practices in the field, we hope to encourage collaboration among leaders and policymakers in housing, education, health, and economic development to help families lead healthy, successful lives. How Housing Matters is an initiative of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
Learn more about The MacArthur Foundation ->How Housing Matters | The MacArthur Foundation
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