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housing

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

 

We’ve reported on homelessness, but what about families who are on the brink? For some of them, finding stable housing is a way to move their lives forward after drug rehabilitation, or court-mandated separation from their kids. With recent approval to relocate, one Fresno County program is trying to make it easier for those families to find housing.

Marc Benjamin / Valley Public Radio

Clovis has a reputation for good schools, walking trails, parks and upscale neighborhoods. It’s also one of California’s faster growing cities. People want to live there. So as the city grows, pressure is growing for developers to add new houses, often converting farmland to subdivisions.  So how do rural residents there coexist with new development while keeping their country way of life? Reporter Marc Benjamin explains how one neighborhood is adapting to change.

Temperatures in the Central Valley are dropping as fall gives way to winter. But for many families that also means enduring another winter in substandard housing, a problem that the City of Fresno says it has been working to fix since the passage of a new rental inspection ordinance in February.

That ordinance was supposed to set up a process for city inspectors to check most rental housing units in town to build a database and make sure living conditions are healthy and safe.

Isolino Ferreira/Flickr / License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/legalcode

Over the past month we’ve brought you stories about how online short-term rental sites are changing the communities near Yosemite National Park. The booming vacation rental market is creating a shortage of places for locals to rent for the long-term and in some cases contributing to the area's homeless problem. And now the growing lack of long-term rentals is causing a hiring issue in Yosemite.

Dwight Kroll / City of Clovis

California is the in the middle of a housing crisis. With the cost of home ownership rising, city leaders in Clovis are considering the introduction of smaller homes as a solution. They have approved a new program that aims to clear the way for residents in Downtown Clovis to build what they call “cottages” along alleyways.

 

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

Most people in the mountain area around Oakhurst know Katie Miller as the Mountain Madam. That’s her brand. The London Properties' realtor and I are driving to an area north of Oakhurst where she recently sold a home that’s now listed on the online rental site Airbnb.

“So that’s the Airbnb right here,” says Miller. “There’s a spiral staircase inside, all wood floors. They figured out how to maximize the space and put beds everywhere.”

The Fresno City Council has postponed a vote on legislation that would undo a key component of the city’s newly adopted general plan.

 

It’s an amendment that would require developers of multi-family apartment complexes outside of downtown to seek conditional use permits. Those permits add significant time and money to a building’s construction timeline, but they allow for feedback from the city and neighbors.

Ezra David Romero

An explosion of building is ramping up just north of Fresno in Madera County. This area of rolling hills on the way to Yosemite could become a city the size of Clovis. All this development could be good for the county's finances, but as FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports people who already live there say it could change their way of life.

Kimberly Gomes is a realtor who grew up in the Madera Ranchos. It’s an unincorporated community of less 10,000 people just minutes from Fresno.

Courtesy of The Fresno Bee

Black mold, collapsing ceilings, and units without heat in the middle of the winter – those are just some of the horrible conditions at the dilapidated Summerset Village Apartments last year.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Affordable housing advocates have filed a lawsuit against the city of Fresno, claiming it has failed to make enough land available for low cost housing.

Residents of southwest Fresno say the city has failed to re-zone some 700-acres of land it promised to set aside for multifamily homes and apartments.

Attorney Ashley Werner with the Leadership Council for Justice says Fresno is facing an affordable housing crisis.

Diana Aguilera / Valley Public Radio

Up to 1800 residents living in an apartment complex in Fresno have been without heat or hot water after several gas leaks were discovered. FM89’s Diana Aguilera reports how long these residents could be without basic necessities.

Tenants at the Summerset Village Apartments have been without natural gas for 12 days. They can’t cook, they don’t have hot water, and the heaters don’t work. The majority are Southeast Asian refugees with many elderly and young residents.

17th Place Townhomes

Downtown Bakersfield is about to get another new housing development. Officials including Mayor Harvey Hall are celebrating the groundbreaking of the 17th Place Townhomes. 

Project manager Austin Smith says the 3 story,  44-unit complex is the first market rate luxury housing development in downtown Bakersfield in years. 

Fits and Starts: Bay Area Housing Boom Prices Out Some People

Oct 13, 2014
Capital Public Radio / KPCC

Editor's Note: Five years after the Great Recession officially ended, the California economy looks like a patchwork quilt. All this week, we feature a series from our partners at Capital Public Radio and KPCC on how the strength of California’s economic recovery varies depending on where you live. Capital Public Radio’s Ben Adler kicks the series “Fits and Starts” with a look at the Bay Area, where the tech boom has driven the unemployment rate down – and housing prices up.
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  The recession hit Damon Grow swiftly and very hard.

Faith in Community

If you drive through many older parts of Fresno or other cities throughout the valley, chances are you'll see a number of boarded up homes. In many cases, they're not just an unsightly issue but one tied to everything from public safety to property values. Now a faith-based group Faith in Community has launched a new effort to find a solution to this problem, with an event called Blight to Light. We recently spoke about the project with Janine Nkosi, a Fresno State professor whose students are working to document the city's many blighted properties.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

A California ballot measure before voters next month would redirect $600 million of pre-approved funds to build housing for low income and homeless veterans. Pauline Bartolone has more from Sacramento. 

Forty-eight year-old Matthew Meissner says when one thing goes downhill, everything else follows. He became disabled in 2009, stopped working, moved in with family, then last year, found himself sleeping wherever he could in Sacramento.  

Homeowner Bill of Rights Gets Mixed Reviews Nearly One Year On

Oct 23, 2013
Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

California’s Homeowners Bill of Rights is nearly a year old and both banks and groups representing distressed homeowners say the legislation intended to help distressed mortgage holders is a bit of a mixed bag.

Maurice Weeks is with the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment. He says provisions in the law have helped slow the state’s foreclosure rate.

California Legislators Push For Short Sale Tax Relief

Jan 30, 2013
Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

There’s a push in the California legislature to provide tax relief for struggling homeowners who are forced into short sales.  As Marianne Russ reports from Sacramento, the new legislation has bipartisan support.

A Democratic state Senator introduced the bill, and Republican Senator Joel Anderson has signed on as a co-author.  He says homeowners going through a short sale need help.

"Let’s not kick them when they’re down," says Anderson.

Valley Public Radio

Today on Valley Edition, we talk with local author Armen Bacon about her new book "Griefland" and learn how a friendship grew out of the tragic loss of her son. We'll also talk about how tragic circumstances can change lives. Peter Nazaretian, a licensed marriage and family therapist, also joins our discussion.

Foreclosure Process Speeds Up in California

Oct 11, 2012
Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Banks are speeding up the home foreclosure process in California, according to data out today. But one analyst says the process may start to slow down again.

It took lenders an average of 335 days, or about 11 months to complete the foreclosure process on California properties in the third quarter.

Daren Blomquist with foreclosure listing service RealtyTrac says that was down three percent from the previous quarter and an eight percent drop from a year ago.

"These foreclosures, if they’re going to happen, it’s better that it’s more like a band-aid that you rip off."

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Data out today show a big spike in the rate of California homes purchased and resold within six-months.

People in the real estate business call it “flipping.”

“Flipping is the process of buying a home or other property, usually at a discounted price, improving that property through rehab and repairs and then reselling that.”

Daren Blomquist is with RealtyTrac. The research firm has released new nationwide figures on flipped properties.

“Not surprisingly the state with the most flips in the first-half of 2012 was California with nearly 26,000.”

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