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Friday, December 1, 2023

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On World AIDS Day, New Mexico activists say more money is needed for prevention; ND farmers still navigate corporate land-ownership policy maze; Unpaid caregivers in ME receive limited financial grants.

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken urges Israel to protect civilians amid Gaza truce talks, New York Rep. George Santos defends himself as his expected expulsion looms and CDC director warns about respiratory illness as flu season begins.

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Congress has iced the Farm Bill, but farmer advocates argue some portions are urgent, the Hoosier State is reaping big rewards from wind and solar, and opponents react to a road through Alaska's Brooks Range, long a dream destination for hunters and anglers.

Lack of Affordable Housing Could Impede Ohio’s Economic Growth

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Friday, August 25, 2023   

Congress has a looming end-of-September deadline to complete funding legislation, and federal housing vouchers remain up in the air. Recent data finds more than one million Ohioans live in households that are spending more than half their income on housing costs.

Amy Riegel, executive director of the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio, said a nationwide housing shortage and rising interest rates have put home ownership out of reach for more Ohioans, squeezing the rental market. With an abundance of renters, landlords can raise rents. The problem, Riegel said, is that residents' incomes haven't kept pace.

"Of the 10 jobs that the most people occupy in the state of Ohio," she said, "only two of them are paying enough for a person to be able to afford that modest two-bedroom apartment."

The Senate Appropriations Committee could maintain current rental vouchers and increase funding for assisting veterans at risk of homelessness and young people who have aged out of foster care. According to the National Low-Income Housing Coalition, severely cost-burdened households are more likely than other renters to sacrifice necessities such as food and health care to pay the rent, and to experience evictions.

According to the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, in 2022, more than 30,000 new privately owned housing units were constructed in Ohio, but there remains a lack of affordable rental units for low-income residents. Riegel added that a severe shortage of affordable housing could impact employers coming into the state who need workers.

"Our worst fear is that these great companies will bring jobs to Ohio and will be unable to fulfill those workforce needs," she said, "and that our communities will be left in a position that is worse than it is today."

Gov. Mike DeWine's state budget for fiscal year 2024-2025 creates a new low-income housing tax-credit program, aimed at increasing rental housing, as well as a tax credit for the construction of single-family homes.


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According to the National Family Farm Coalition, the average U.S. farmland value is now $3,800 per
acre, the highest since the 1970s. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

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Advocates for unpaid family caregivers in Maine say they'll need continued support beyond the recently passed paid family and medical leave program…

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The Students for Justice in Palestine chapters at the University of Florida and the University of South Florida are filing lawsuits against the deacti…


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Environment

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Bloomington and Indianapolis are getting some international recognition for the work they're doing to help the environment. The two have been named …

Health and Wellness

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New Mexico activists are tapping today's World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, to announce they'll ask the State Legislature to provide more money for treatment …

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