Apartment Rental News Roundup: April 21, 2008

Every Monday, MyNewPlace provides a compendium of interesting news articles on apartments for rent, the rental market and other stories from the world of apartment renting. We browse all corners of the web during the week to keep abreast of rental trends, new apartment features, as well as political and economic developments and other issues that affect renters and landlords.

Apartment Rental Market News

Bankrate.com details how the “Foreclosure Crisis Hits Rental Housing.” They predict that the psychological effect of the subprime mortgage mess will decrease the number of renters graduating to homeownership, and will increase renters, rental units and roommates, though the rental market in general should avoid the turmoil experienced in the housing market.

An article on Realfacts.com‘s latest newsletter makes a similar argument but also highlights the relative stability of the rental markets in the western United States in the face of high foreclosure rates.

On the political side of the apartment rental market, Inman News reports that a new grassroots movement called AngryRenter.com is combating the proposed federal bailout of banks and homeowners, which was referred to the House Financial Services Committee last Thursday. You can track the bill’s arduous journey through the halls of Congress here…on the Senate side, The Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008 was recently passed by the Senate, inviting critics to question the efficacy and cost of $3.92 billion stimulus plan.

Green Apartments News

From north of the border, the Calgary Herald reports that Dockside Green, a new apartment and living development in Victoria, British Columbia has attracted investors from across Canada with its comprehensive green building plan, which includes Platinum LEED certification.

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In the United States, Fordham University will break ground later this week to develop LEED certified residences for its students…in Yahoo finance news, Crescent Multifamily Development group has started construction in North Carolina and Florida on innovative, environmentally friendly apartments that are designed with the social experiences of renters in mind.

Low Income and Section 8 Apartments

There is major news looming for low income renters who depend on the Section 8 Housing program, as affordable housing advocates are on “high alert” due to a $2.4 billion dollar shortfall in HUD’s budget, reports CityLimits.org…similarly, the Center on Budget and Policy priorities predicts that HUD will be $6.5 billion above the Administration’s request.

Wrangling with HUD has been the Howard County Housing Commission, which has just reopened its Section 8 housing waiting list, which had been closed since November of 2003. Apparently the lack of congruent reporting and payment schedules between the Federal Department and the local Housing Authorities, coupled with outdated local records has plagued the housing program in the Baltimore area.

Still, some renters, even when they can manage to find Section 8 vouchers, have trouble using them. In Easton, PA, an apartment building’s razing has led to the relocation of many low income apartment renters, but some have found that landlords can be reluctant to accept Section 8 vouchers.

Check back with us each week as we relay apartment rental news and feel free to send us stories that you run across.

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