More Americans are facing the trauma of homelessness. This month, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge released the agency’s annual Point-in-Time count to Congress, reporting key findings related to homelessness in communities throughout the country. The Point-in-Time Count provides a snapshot of the number of people experiencing homelessness, both sheltered and unsheltered, in America on a single night. The one-night counts are conducted during the last 10 days of January each year. The count showed that 580,466 people were homeless in the United States on a single night in January 2020, an increase of 12,751 people, or 2.2 percent, from 2019. The count included 37,252 homeless veterans, 15,204 of those veterans, such as Alex Sangster in Miami, were living without shelter.
The HUD Secretary called the findings “startling.”
“What makes these findings even more devastating is that they are based on data from before COVID-19, and we know the pandemic only made the homelessness crisis worse,” Secretary Fudge said.
Half of America’s homeless population are in four states
More than half of people experiencing the trauma of homelessness came from four states hardest hit by the pandemic: California (161,548), New York (91,271), Florida (27,487), and Texas (27,229).
Despite being one of the four largest states where Americans are homeless, Florida’s rate of homelessness was less than the national average. Florida’s pre-pandemic 2020 numbers also indicate the largest decrease in homelessness since 2007. Many point to significant federal dollars that have come to Florida in the past decade to help the state overcome housing challenges, tax credits that have helped create hundreds of new affordable, supportive housing apartments in Miami-Dade County, and the many diverse private-public partnerships established through those federal programs.
One of those partnerships is Purpose Built Families Foundation’s Operation Sacred Trust collaboration. Operation Sacred Trust, known as OST, was established in 2011 for the purpose of ending veteran homelessness in South Florida’s largest communities: Broward and Miami-Dade counties. Significantly funded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program, the nonprofit has been nationally-accredited since 2018. For the past decade, the agency has implemented a unique, data-driven approach that is constantly seeking to “follow the science” of veteran homelessness. Similar VA-funded SSVF programs are located throughout the United States.
As Homelessness Ravaged Our Cities, One Man Lived Among the Destitute, To Raise Awareness and Hope, Hear His Story, Reset Your Thinking
VEND | Interview w/James Lowe | The Jiggy Jaguar Show
California has enacted a series of new laws to confront the Golden State’s staggering housing crisis. However, a new approach must be taken to ensure these developments take off the ground, property expert Nick Saifan, Chairman of Vendaval Corp. advises.
(Huntington Beach, Calif.) October 26, 2021 – California has become the epicenter of America’s homeless crisis. Venice Beach, which attracts 10 million visitors a year became a massive homeless camp this summer. (1) More than 1,600 homeless people set up tents and shelters amid a community of 40,000 residents. (2) Venice Beach is hardly the only community to see the effects of the crisis. A new federal report shows there are more than 160,000 homeless people in California. (3) That number is not surprising given that the median sales price for a single-family home in California is $811,170, up 21.7% since July of last year. (4)
A collection of progressive housing laws was signed into law in California last month that are designed to increase housing density and update zoning rules so developers can build more housing. But building expert Nick Saifan, Chairman of Vendaval Corp., warns that the “usual” way of doing business could derail a golden opportunity to help residents desperate for a place to live. The laws allow for greater density in residential areas and create a faster path for building single-family communities. The laws could help ease the state’s housing crisis.
“Everyone on both sides of the political fence should support the new laws,” Saifan says. “Even with the new laws, there is an urgent need for the government to expedite permits, to help developers acquire material and workers as there is a shortage of both. But, mostly to ensure that the new housing goes to the people who are hurting right now and can’t afford a place to live.”
The unprecedented need for new residential options and laws to bring change pushed Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign several measures on Sept. 16. The plan is to expand housing production, streamline housing permitting, and increase density to create more inclusive and vibrant neighborhoods. (5)
Below is a summary of the primary legislation:(6)
- Senate Bill 8 extends the provisions of the Housing Crisis Act of 2019 through 2030. The intent is to jumpstart more housing production by accelerating the approval process for housing projects, curtailing local governments’ ability to downzone, limit fee increases on housing applications and implement accountability provisions.
- Senate Bill 9, or the California Housing Opportunity and More Efficiency (HOME) Act, allows a property owner to split a single-family lot into 2 lots and place up to 2 units on each newly created lot.
- Senate Bill 10 establishes a procedure for local governments to access a streamlined zoning process for new multi-unit housing near transit or in urban infill areas. The legislation gives local governments another tool to voluntarily increase density and provide affordable rental opportunities to more areas of California.
- Assembly Bill 1174 amends the existing approval process for housing development in jurisdictions that have not yet made enough progress towards their allocation of their regional housing needs.
Supporters of the laws, say the measures will keep California affordable, and open additional, and affordable, housing options. However, the laws are opposed by more than 200 communities, which resist changes in their neighborhoods for several reasons, including rent control, traffic density, and stress on the infrastructure, to name a few.
How to Solve the Crisis
Saifan has been working to address California’s housing problems for 14 years. He is encouraged by Newsom’s agenda but contends a builder-friendly system will ease the challenging housing situation in California. In fact, the governor’s new law places a project Saifan has been trying to develop for several years into the category of Housing Element, which means that he is able to upzone the project without the need for a vote from the local government. The Moreno Valley project will offer affordable housing to hundreds of Californians, as well as offering retail and social services space. Through grants, a portion of the rents, and retail sales, the Moreno Valley will be self-sustaining and not cost taxpayers a single cent—and put up to $2 million a year in the city’s coffers.
However, one way of solving the problem, according to Saifan, is by privatizing the housing crisis. “By privatizing housing, you can take steps to get projects off the ground more quickly,” Saifan says. “Let the builders build. The role of the government needs to be to expedite permits, environmental impact studies, and all the necessary steps it takes to get a project going.”
One way of achieving this, Saifan notes, is by creating a cooperative push that involves governments, citizens, and responsible builders to address the housing issue. The government alone cannot solve this situation, says Saifan.
“I believe in a joint entity so that all the governments could work together to help make this happen, Saifan says. ”If you privatized, it would really work and truly help those in need of housing. Allow developers to build more. But it will take all of us: the government, the builders, and the community.”
About Vendaval Corporation
Nick Saifan served in the U.S. military for 24 years, including time stationed in Riverside County, CA. He experienced firsthand the difficulties of transitioning from military life to civilian life and, as a co-founder of a community-based nonprofit, he watched the difficulty in getting donations increasing year by year. Today, he’s putting his business savvy where his heart is. He sees a community that, like many, has struggled to evolve with a changing employment picture in the region. Today Vendaval Corporation visualizes a sustainable business structure creating the opportunity for helping those in need with successful community-based programs. The differentiator in the communities he visualizes is self-sufficient affordable housing in a mixed-use development that offers on-site programs for veterans, youth, education, childcare, on-the-job training, and job placement. These programs begin even before ground is broken. Rounding out the community are retail outlets such as bakeries/coffee shops, dry cleaning shops, a paid-membership fitness center, and financial institution. For more information visit http://www.vendavalcorp.
1. Associated Press; “Venice Beach Becomes Flashpoint In LA’s Homeless”; Last updated July 29; KTLA 5: ktla.com/news/local-news/
2. Associated Press; “Venice Beach Becomes Flashpoint In LA’s Homeless”; Last updated July 29; KTLA 5: ktla.com/news/local-news/
3. Nichols, Chris; “California’s Homeless Population Rose 7% To 161,000 Ahead Of The Pandemic, New Report Finds”; 19 March 2021; CapRadio; capradio.org/articles/2021/03/
4. Kiszla, Cameron; “Newsom Signs Housing Bills That Could Reduce Single-Family Zoning In California”; Last updated Sept 17; KTLA 5: ktla.com/news/california/
5. Office of Gov. Newsom; “Governor Newsom Signs Historic Legislation to Boost California’s Housing Supply And Fight The Housing Crisis”; Last Updated Sept 16; gov.ca.gov/2021/09/16/
6. The National Law Review; “California Enacts New Legislation To Combat Growing Housing Crisis, But Not Without Controversy”; Last Updated Sept. 20; natlawreview.com/article/
Superman is bisexual, how do you talk to kids about this?
Superman is bisexual, how do you talk to kids about this?
MEN’S HEALTH ANALYST: Armin Brott, aka Mr. Dad, is a spokesman for the Men’s Health Network. He is author of The New Father: A Dad’s Guide to The Toddler Years, a nationally published columnist on manhood and fatherhood, and Host of ‘Positive Parenting,’ a weekly talk show.
Talk To Mr. Dad
The fourth edition of this best-selling, ground-breaking, information-packed guide for dads-to-be is now significantly, updated, revised, and expanded.
We are expecting! The twentieth-anniversary edition of this thoroughly updated and revised parenting classic remains the most informative and reassuring book for expectant fathers everywhere. In addition to sharing the wisdom of the ages, Armin A. Brott, Mr. Dad, presents new insight into the emotional, financial, and physical—yes, physical—effects of impending parenthood on men. Thanks to this handy reference moms-to-be will know their partner understands and supports them during this anxious and exciting time, and that he has all the tools he needs to be a fantastic, hands-on dad.
This information-packed, month-by-month guide incorporates the expertise of top practitioners in their fields, from obstetricians and birth-class instructors to psychologists and sociologists. It also draws from Brott’s own experience as a father of three and from the real-world experiences of the thousands of dads he’s interviewed. With the humor of New Yorker cartoons and Brott’s gentle approach, The Expectant Father serves as a friendly and readable companion for dads-to-be seeking confidence, guidance, and joy!
What’s new in this edition of The Expectant Father?
• The latest health and safety info
• How technology is changing fatherhood
• How men’s brains change by being involved during pregnancy
• Society’s shifting expectations for dads
• The amazing effects on children when fathers are active partners before birth
• How pre-birth participation makes dads more likely to be active parents post-birth
• Updated resources
. . . and new research on the big questions that haven’t changed much over the years:
• Am I really ready to be a dad?
• How are we going to afford this? How do I balance work and family?
• Will I be able to handle labor and delivery while being there for my partner? What if something goes wrong?
• How will this affect my relationship with my partner?
• Will we ever have sex again?
• What am I supposed to do with a new baby?
• How can I be a good dad?
• Will I ever see my friends again or have any time to myself?
BIO: Hailed by Time Magazine as “the superdad’s superdad,” Armin Brott is a pioneer in the field of fatherhood and has been building better fathers for more than a decade. As the author of eight bestselling books on fatherhood, he’s helped millions of men around the world become the fathers they want to be—and that their children need them to be.
Armin has been a guest on hundreds of radio and television shows, including Today, CBS Overnight, Fox News, and Politically Incorrect, and his work on fatherhood has been featured in such places as Glamour, Time, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, Newsday, and many others. As a trusted spokesperson, Armin speaks on fatherhood around the country and teaches classes for expectant and new dads. Armin is a father of three and lives in Oakland, CA.
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