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A Portrait of California 2021–2022

November 10, 2021

A Portrait of California 2021–2022: Human Development and Housing Justice, the third volume in Measure of America's Portrait of California series, takes a human development approach to understanding the country's most populous and diverse state. Using the American Human Development Index (HDI), it presents a detailed picture of how Californians are doing on three key dimensions of well-being—a long and healthy life, access to knowledge, and a decent standard of living. In addition to an in-depth survey of well-being levels across the state, this volume in the Portrait of California series focuses on a central prerequisite to a good life, one that far too many Californians struggle to attain: access to safe and secure housing. The Covid-19 pandemic dramatically underscored the importance of stable, affordable housing when it comes to access to education, living standards, and health. A Portrait of California 2021–2022: Human Development and Housing Justice explores the impact of California's housing crisis on all three components of the index and outlines policies that can help the state address homelessness and housing insecurity to ensure that all Californians have a safe place to call home.This report presents HDI scores for the state overall as well as by gender, by race and ethnicity, by nativity, by metro area, and by neighborhood cluster. In addition to providing HDI scores for various groups and geographies, it also delves deeper into the underlying causes of the gaps in well-being between them—structural racism, discrimination, sky-high housing costs, among others—and offers recommendations for addressing these challenges and building a fairer future for the Golden State, one in which every Californian can lead a freely chosen life of value.

Success in Housing: How Much Does Criminal Background Matter?

January 1, 2019

Using data from the Research Collaborative organizations, Wilder Research conducted a quantitative analysis that looked at the relationship between a resident's housing outcomes and their criminal background.

Turning the Tide on Persistent Rural Poverty: Blueprint for a Path Forward

April 10, 2017

It is the goal of NeighborWorks America to make every place a community of opportunity. Unfortunately, some areas are being left behind more than others as our global and national economies continue to shift. Rural communities are among them. The people who have toiled in the coal mines of Kentucky and West Virginia, as well as in the paper and textile mills in Maine and western North Carolina, have not fared well in the changing economy. Likewise, the historically disenfranchised Native Americans in the Southwest, Latinos in the border colonias and the residents of the disaster-plagued Delta are struggling to survive. Our country needs to bring opportunity back to these regions and their people.Although rural America accounts for less than 20 percent of the country's overall population, 85 percent of persistent-poverty counties are outside of metro areas. Yet at the same time, there are so many examples of people and organizations doing good work; they just need support and the resources to go to scale. Special attention clearly is required, and that's why we formed the Rural Initiative.

Building Healthy Places: How are Community Development Organizations Contributing?

January 1, 2017

During the past 50 years, community development organizations have worked in low-income communities that face the greatest barriers to good health. While recent changes in the American healthcare system and philanthropic sector provide new opportunities to partner with community development organizations to address health disparities, knowledge of current health-focused strategies and partnerships among local community-based organizations is limited.Through a survey conducted by NeighborWorks America of 242 high-performing community development organizations across the United States, we examine health strategies, partnerships, and services delivered by community development organizations and professionals.

Smaller, Faster and Creative: Innovations in Affordable Single-Family Home Construction

November 1, 2016

Innovations in single-family home construction are badly needed. Studies show that every county in the U.S. is facing an affordable housing shortage. Homeownership is increasingly out of reach for many would-be first-time homebuyers, and if younger couples and families can afford to purchase their own home, they increasingly have to wait longer to buy or lower their expectations. Many homebuilders are emerging from the housing bust by building fewer but larger and more expensive houses for wealthier homebuyers, underscoring the lack of opportunities for low-income buyers. The excess of single-family homes built before the recession also gives pause to younger buyers that are wary of procuring a mortgage. For these reasons, community development corporations (CDCs) must explore a range of techniques to develop single-family housing that is affordable to first-time homebuyers. This paper examines current innovations in affordable single-family home construction and their associated opportunities and challenges. This paper includes lessons learned by CDCs that have experimented with these innovations and recommendations to CDCs that are interested in doing the same.

Best Practices in Healthy Homes and Rural Rehab

July 26, 2016

Recognizing the importance of rehab work for housing preservation, and the difficulty of running a sustainable rehab line of business, in 2015 the Rural Initiative prioritized an inquiry into the rural rehab line of business. A cross section of experts were gathered from the NeighborWorks network to form a year-long Rural Rehab Task Force to provide recommendations on how NeighborWorks can better support rehab in training, technical assistance, and resource allocation, and to share best practices by producing model business plans demonstrating different ways to structure sustainable rehab programs.

Strengthening Construction Management in the Rural Rehab Line of Business

December 23, 2015

The Five Key ObservationsObservation#1: Rural rehab success emanated from positive thinking and persistent implementationObservation #2: Almost every RHRO would benefit from a substantial increase in the per unit funding available, especially in light of the forthcoming HUD HOME requirement to establish written rehab standards in ten subcategories.Observation #3: A smartphone and tablet with 20 to 40 apps is the rehab specialist's Swiss Army knife. They are our, GPS, calculator, spec writer, office lifeline in case of danger, camera, clock, cost estimator calendar and a hundred other single-purpose but very important uses.Observation #4: NeighborWorks® Rural Initiative could provide a clearinghouse for success techniques targeted to rural rehab. Each month it might focus on a specific aspect of rehab management; inspection checklists in January, green specs in February, feasibility checklist in March, contractor qualification questionnaires in April and so on.Observation #5: Even with most components of in-house contractor success formula in place, per the Statistic Research Institute 53% of construction firms go out of business with in the first 4 years. It remains a very risky model that requires significant; funding, staff experience, administrative support and risk tolerance.Three Rehab Production Models And Their AlternativesThis middle section restates the introduction and methodology and offers a detailed review of the Traditional Rehab Specialist, Construction Management Of Subcontractor and the In-House General Contractor production models .for each model the article provides: definition and staffing pattern, design roles and tasks for each major player, benefits and challenges, alternative models and finally recommendations for successful implementationFocus TopicsDuring our interview process, three ideas surfaced that were best served with a mini discussion of the topic rather than being embedded in the already large middle section.The three topics are; software and technology, management of community relations – marketing and quality control, and budget solutions

(Re)vitalizing Inner-City Neighborhood Business Districts An Assessment and Strategy Framework for Integrated Microbusiness and Real Estate Development by Nonprofits

November 1, 2011

Read this report to learn of an integrated approach to neighborhood business district (NBD) revitalization using the strengths of community development corporations (CDC) as a base. This report provides an assessment framework and initial decision-making process for CDCs to use in considering whether to pursue this area of economic development work, determining the capacity needed for effective action and assessing the potential and opportunity for success.

Challenges and Changes in Community-Based Lending for Homeownership

February 1, 2011

Many community based organizations have been providing mortgage loans in low-to-moderate income and minority communities on a small scale since the 1970s, In the wake of the housing crisis, they faced special challenges. They approached these with emphasis on flexible underwriting, counseling and education, and a variety of other solutions.

Weathering the Storm: Have IDAs Helped Low-Income Homebuyers Avoid Foreclosure?

April 1, 2010

Examines the demographics of low-income families with Individual Development Accounts, matched savings accounts designed to help them save and build assets through homeownership; their loan terms; and foreclosure rates. Discusses policy implications.