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Category Archives: Housing

The Partisan Divide on Political Values Grows Even Wider

Pew – Sharp shifts among Democrats on aid to needy, race, immigration

“The divisions between Republicans and Democrats on fundamental political values – on government, race, immigration, national security, environmental protection and other areas – reached record levels during Barack Obama’s presidency. In Donald Trump’s first year as president, these gaps have grown even larger. And the magnitude of these differences dwarfs other divisions in society, along such lines as gender, race and ethnicity, religious observance or education. A new study by Pew Research Center, based on surveys of more than 5,000 adults conducted over the summer, finds widening differences between Republicans and Democrats on a range of measures the Center has been asking about since 1994, as well as those with more recent trends. But in recent years, the gaps on several sets of political values in particular – including measures of attitudes about the social safety net, race and immigration – have increased dramatically…The partisan shifts on political values over the past 23 years have had different trajectories across different sets of issues. While there has been greater movement among Democrats than Republicans on several issues, on others Republicans have shown more change. In views of stricter environmental laws and regulations, for example, there has been a larger long-term change among Republicans than Democrats. Republicans are far less supportive of stricter environmental laws than they were in the mid-1990s, while Democrats have become somewhat more supportive. But the bottom line is this: Across 10 measures that Pew Research Center has tracked on the same surveys since 1994, the average partisan gap has increased from 15 percentage points to 36 points. Two decades ago, the average partisan differences on these items were only somewhat wider than differences by religious attendance or educational attainment and about as wide as the differences between blacks and whites (14 points, on average). Today, the party divide is much wider than any of these demographic differences. Partisan gaps have grown even on measures in which opinion in both parties has moved in the same direction, such as support for societal acceptance of homosexuality. Currently, 70% of Americans say homosexuality should be accepted – the highest percentage ever…”

Do you live in a distressed U.S. neighborhood? This map will tell you

“How prosperous is your neighborhood? The Economic Innovation Group, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization, has released a new report and an interactive tool that tells you how your zip code stacks up to the rest of the country—and illustrates just how geographical economic inequality is growing across the U.S.” Continue Reading

Socrata launches Find Shelter application for victims of disasters

GCN: “…The Federal Emergency Management Agency puts out information on hurricane shelters every 20 minutes during natural disasters through its application programming interface. Socrata decided during Hurricane Irma to input the information into its geographic information system for a new web-based platform called Find Shelter. This week, capabilities were added to the platform to include… Continue Reading

Fortune – Change the World List

Fortune places JPMorgan Chase at the top of the latest Change the World List – doing well by doing good:  “More companies than ever are using the profit motive to solve a multitude of societal problems. Here’s our third annual list of the best of them. Click here to read more about the list and… Continue Reading

AXIOS Graphic – Thirty years of Atlantic hurricanes

“This is a history of every Atlantic storm tracked by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration since 1987. Hurricane Irma is forecast to be the second major hurricane to stroke the mainland United States in as many weeks. With two devastating storms already in the books, the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season is shaping up to… Continue Reading

These are the roads that are closed in Houston due to Hurricane Harvey

Thanks to the outstanding work, expertise, and a remarkable history of outreach, support and knowledge sharing, via NewsLib, the Houston Chron posted a crowdsourced map of flooded streets and neighborhoods – updated regularly. The digital version of the Houston Chronicle shows an inundated neighborhood. Please also see Disaster.gov – and via FEMA – the National… Continue Reading

More U.S. households are renting than at any point in 50 years

“A decade after the housing bust upended the lives of millions of Americans, more U.S. households are headed by renters than at any point since at least 1965, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau housing data. The total number of households in the United States grew by 7.6 million between 2006… Continue Reading

An illustrated guide to Frank Lloyd Wright’s signature buildings

Curbed – Kesley Keith: “…His ingenious, enchanting buildings—over 500 actual buildings, and 500 more on top of those that he didn’t get a chance to construct in his 91 years on this planet. According to the catalog for MoMA’s whopper of a retrospective—timed to what would have been Wright’s 150th birthday—the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation… Continue Reading

How Much do you Need to Earn to Afford a Modest Apartment in Your State

National Housing Coalition Report: ” Millions of Americans struggle to find affordable rent. In order to afford a modest, two-bedroom rental home in the U.S., renters need to earn a wage of $21.21 per hour. The Housing Wage for a two-bedroom apartment is $13.96 higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25, and $4.83 higher… Continue Reading

Using Big Data to Predicting House Prices Across the Country

Joshua New – Center for Data Innovation: “Zillow has launched a data science challenge called the Zillow Prize that provides participants with datasets of real estate information that could influence house prices to encourage them to develop algorithms that can best predict real estate sales prices. Zillow’s “Zestimate” tool gives prospective home-buyers an estimate of… Continue Reading

Importance of Individual Account Retirement Plans and Home Equity in Family Total Wealth

Employee Benefit Research Institute – Importance of Individual Account Retirement Plans and Home Equity in Family Total Wealth, May 2017, Vol. 38, No. 7. “This EBRI Notes examines the level of assets held by families with a working family head ages 25-64 in individual account (IA) retirement plans (employment-based defined contribution (DC) plans and individual… Continue Reading

Household Debt Reaches New Peak Driven by Gains in Mortgage, Auto, and Student Debt

Federal Reserve Bank of New York: “The Center for Microeconomic Data’s latest Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit reveals that total household debt achieved a new peak in the first quarter of 2017, rising by $149 billion to $12.73 trillion—$50 billion above the previous peak reached in the third quarter of 2008. Balances climbed… Continue Reading