Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Housing News Digest, November 29

Demand For Denver Apartments Outstrips Supply

The housing crisis has stalled home building but apartment construction is undergoing a bit of a renaissance. There's now a huge pool of people forced to rent because they can't afford to buy a home, or they were a victim of foreclosure. In Denver, there aren't enough apartment vacancies.

Imagine! plans group home in Broomfield

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development earlier this month named Imagine! in Lafayette as one of two Colorado recipients of federal assistance to construct affordable housing for persons with disabilities.

Imagine! plans to use the funds to construct a six-bedroom group home for low-income, developmentally disabled persons near Broomfield's eastern border. The facility also will include a room for a resident manager. The group home will feature Enterprise Green Communities construction standards.

'Every Day Is Black Friday' In Housing As Prices Tank, Case-Shiller Shows
Housing markets remain deeply depressed, as the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices show. September data, released Tuesday, show that prices continue to drift lower, with three cities posting new index lows, as real estate markets remain unable to shrug off a massive inventory of foreclosed homes and a weak economy.

Global squatter economy second-largest economy in world

In his first book, Shadow Cities: A Billion Squatters, a New Urban World, published in 2005, he wrote about "people who came to the city, needed a place to live that they and their families could afford, and, not being able to find it on the private market, built it for themselves on land that wasn't theirs." In almost all cases the land in question belonged to the local state. Back in the 1980s, when squatters first arrived on the then-empty piece of hillside land in Rio de Janeiro now known as Rocinha, for example, they "assumed that building a stone or brick home would be so brazen that it might encourage the government to come out and demolish the homes." So they built "rickety mud and wood houses," where they "survived with no water, no electricity, no gas, no toilets, nothing."

Things have changed there in the past couple of decades. "Today," Neuwirth wrote in 2005,

there are thirty thousand homes in Rocinha.… Most are two, three, or four stories tall, made from reinforced concrete and brick. Many boast shiny tile facades or fantastic Moorish balustrades or spacious balconies, which look out over the endless waves crashing on the beach at São Conrado, far down the hill. Electricity and water have come to this illegal city, and with them a degree of consumerism. Most families have a refrigerator, a color television … and a stereo.