Housing

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Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Home ownership in Idaho’s two most populous counties is getting less affordable. That’s according to a report released Thursday by real estate data company RealtyTrac.

How affordable your home is has to do with the percentage of your income you have to spend on it. RealtyTrac says home prices are going up faster than income in Ada and Canyon Counties. So homes are getting less affordable.

Lacey Daley / Boise State Public Radio

You have to make nearly twice the state’s minimum wage of $7.25 an hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment in Idaho. It’s more than double the minimum wage if you want to rent in Ada or Canyon counties and closer to triple for Blaine County. That’s from a study out last week from the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

Bradley Gordon / Flickr Creative Commons

You’ve probably heard of the wage gap. Women tend to get paid less than men for the same work. Now, a new report from the real estate information company RealtyTrac says that gap means women have less of a chance of developing wealth through home ownership.

Idaho Housing and Finance Association Facebook page

The City of Boise Thursday celebrated the opening of a new apartment complex for low-income seniors. It’s called the Vineyard at Eagle Promenade, though it’s actually in Boise just across the road from Eagle. The City of Boise helped pay for the 30-unit project along with several partners, including the Idaho Housing and Finance association and New Beginnings Housing which has other low-income housing in Nampa, Caldwell and Hailey.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The City of Boise and a handful of nonprofit and public sector partners Tuesday announced a new program to house the area’s chronically homeless population. The plan would first put 15 homeless people in existing apartments for a cost of about $300,000 a year. Those would be owned by the city, the county housing authority and private landlords. KBSX previewed this plan in October

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

A developer broke ground Wednesday on a new upscale apartment building in downtown Boise. If it feels like you’ve seen a lot of these lately, you’re not imagining things. Ada County is in the middle of an unprecedented apartment building boom.

Consider a spot in southwest Boise where workers are putting siding on one of several buildings in a new apartment complex called the Asheville. They’re bundled up because the temperature is hovering right at freezing. But it’s blessedly warm inside one of the units that’s already finished.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

It may be the beginning of the end for the homeless tent city near downtown Boise.

Thursday morning residents of the alley known as Cooper Court were awoken by Boise Police officers handing out warnings. The notices listed several laws people were breaking by sleeping in the alley and notified them that they could be fined or jailed.

The tents are located by the Connector in downtown, in an alley off Americana Boulevard and River Street. It's behind the Interfaith Sanctuary homeless shelter.

Lacey Daley / Boise State Public Radio

After years of losing money on his east Boise rental property, things are now changing for Kelley Creamer.

Creamer owns a small two-bedroom home that he and his wife bought in 2004. They fixed it up with high-end kitchen appliances, cabinets and granite countertops. They lived in the house until they purchased another home and moved into it. 

It was 2010 and Boise was still suffering from the effects of the housing downturn. Creamer says had the couple sold their first home, they would’ve lost around $20,000.

Data: MSAC and NARPM / / Graph: Lacey Daley

One of the emerging issues in the Treasure Valley over the last few years is the shrinking number of affordable housing units. As the housing market has improved and people continue to move to the area, rents have gone up and the number of available units has also declined. Our Adam Cotterell has been following the issue and he briefed All Things Considered host Samantha Wright on what many who deal with housing issues in the public, nonprofit and business sectors are calling a low-income housing crisis.

 

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Boise’s Glenbrook Apartments made headlines two months ago when its tenants received eviction notices. Owners wanted to renovate and raise rents and they wanted everyone out in order to do that. This was the most dramatic instance, but people all over the Treasure Valley are being forced out of their homes due to rent hikes.

thinkpanama / Flickr

A two-day conference that starts Tuesday in Boise will address everything from housing trends to homelessness. The Idaho Housing and Finance Association’s Conference on Housing and Economic Development is the largest of its kind in Idaho.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The neighborhood known as the Waterfront District is a game changer for Garden City. It was the first high-end housing built in the historically poor, southeast section of town. It’s the development that kicked off, what many people believe is inevitable gentrification.

Jimmy Emerson DVM / Flickr Creative Commons

The Intermountain Fair Housing Council (IFHC) is investigating alleged discrimination by Pocatello landlords. An article last month in the Idaho State Journal newspaper quoted multiple Pocatello landlords saying they charge higher deposits and advanced rent to Idaho State University students from Middle Eastern countries.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

There were a lot more places to live in Idaho last year than there were the year before, according to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau. There were 685,099 housing units in Idaho in 2014. To the census, a housing unit is most anywhere people live; houses, mobile homes, apartments large or small. 

The number of Idaho units went up by more than 6,000 between July 2013 and July 2014. That was the biggest increase the state had seen in several years.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Garden City has long been known for mobile home parks and poverty. But with more than three miles of underused riverfront property, developers have become interested in Garden City's poorest area. High-end houses are now being built next to mobile homes.