Examining the U.S. housing market paradox

A recent report looks into the big contradiction of the U.S. housing market today that says renters could save money by owning a home, although many cannot afford to buy one. Rental costs continue to rise nationwide, but for many families home ownership is no simple trade off. (City Lab, 1/4)

Now that the Federal Reserve is raising interest rates, the costs of home ownership are beginning to rise, if slowly. Advice to buy now may be sound, but it can’t sit that well with people in truly unaffordable housing markets. Or for people for whom a 3-percent down payment is a tricky proposition given slowly rising wages. Or for people whose student debt or shaky credit is keeping them out of the buyers’ bracket. For too many renters, home ownership still looks like an unattainable winners’ bracket.

– In San Francisco, like most other major American cities, housing is a big issue. There, the head of a renter’s federation likens the community’s not building affordable housing to the act of tearing down homes. (GGW, 1/5)

– In case you missed it, WRAG and Enterprise Community Loan Fund made a major announcement about a new impact investing initiative to support affordable housing here in our region. Click here to read more.

WORKFORCE/DISTRICT | The D.C. Council has recently introduced two bills that could further boost protections for workers in the District if passed. (WCP, 1/6)

CSR | Guidestar has released a new resource guide for corporations looking to start or grow their corporate social responsibility strategies. Click here to access the guide.

Related: Great news – there is still time to join WRAG’s Institute for Corporate Social Responsibility. CSR professionals have the opportunity to earn a Professional Certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility from Johns Hopkins in just six months. Applications must be received no later than January 8. Contact Katy Moore, moore@washingtongrantmakers.org, for more information.

PHILANTHROPY | A  new, first-of-its-kind philanthropy almanac aims to offer an abundance of data and facts about the field. (Chronicle, 1/6)

– Researchers have unveiled new data on income inequality in America that support the idea that recent reports on middle-class wage stagnation have been slightly overblown. The research still shows, however, that inequality has widened and income growth has remained slow for most Americans. (WaPo, 1/6)

Income Inequality Leads to Less Happy People (City Lab, 12/2015)

Our region has a handful of options for commuting to work, but here’s one I’ve never heard of before.

– Ciara