Affordable Housing Units Prone to Floods Could Triple by 2050 | Smart News

The amount of affordable housing in the United States that is susceptible to damage and destruction caused by coastal flooding will triple by 2050, reports Daniel Cusick for E&E News.

A new study, published yesterday in the journal Environmental Research Letters, suggests that around 7,668 affordable housing units in the U.S. flood annually. Without swift action to reduce carbon emissions, that number could reach nearly 25,000 units by 2050, reports Oliver Milman for the Guardian. This is the first study of its kind to assess how vulnerable affordable housing units are to flooding and rising sea levels, according to a press release.

According to Reuters, previous studies have forecasted how houses along the coasts will be affected by climate change, but “there’s been much less attention put on these lower-income communities,” says computational scientist Scott Kulp of Climate Central, an independent group of scientists and communicators researching climate change.

The team of researchers used maps of low-cost and federally subsidized housing units and coupled them with flood projections to forecast how communities will be affected in the future, reports the Guardian. They found that states like New Jersey, Massachusetts and New York are expected to have the highest number of units at risk of flooding at least once a year by 2050, according to the press release.

The U.S. is already facing an affordable housing shortage—there are only “35 units available for every 100 extremely low-income renters,” reports Patrick Sisson for Bloomberg. That amounts to a shortage of 7 million units, so losing any more units will add to the deficit. For example, almost half of the available affordable housing units in New Jersey are projected to flood at least four times per year by 2050.

Within the next 30 years, coastal flooding will affect 4,774 affordable housing units in New York City, 3,167 in Atlantic City and 3,042 in Boston. Other cities will see a huge jump in the number of at-risk units: Miami Beach will see a 1,074 percent increase in at-risk units and Charleston, South Carolina, will see a 526 percent hike by 2050, according to the press release.

Climate change is wreaking havoc on coastal communities all over the world, but people with low incomes are being disproportionately affected by the ensuing hurricanes, floods and rising sea levels.

“The point here is that two neighbors can suffer from the same flood, one living in affordable housing and one in a home they own, and experience a very different outcome,” study co-author Benjamin Strauss, the CEO and chief scientist at Climate Central, tells Bloomberg. “Many more people in the general population will be affected by sea level rise than the affordable housing population. But the affordable population group is the one likely to hurt the most, who can’t afford to find a remedy on their own and tend to not have the voice needed to change the allocation of public resources.”

In the U.S., affordable housing units along the coast tend to be

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ENTITY Academy Set to Provide A New Generation of Women With Affordable Education Thanks To Leif

It’s a feeling we are all familiar with: you graduate and are filled with a pride that quickly turns to a laser-sharp focus on finding the answer to a seemingly impossible question, now what

It is in this time period, as post-grads metamorphose into professionals, that many young women find themselves wading in a sea of self-doubt – who to trust, what mentors to follow, and how to conduct themselves professionally in a manner that is both advantageous in building a strong network and clear career path. 

10 years ago, the above may have seemed like an insurmountable task to accomplish. Thanks to ENTITY Academy’s mentorship and guidance, a new era of post-undergrad education has been born, built specifically to serve this need. 

According to their website, ENTITY first launched in 2016 as a fast-growing women’s media platform, serving as a home for thoughtful dialogue between a new generation of leaders, doers, and tastemakers. Each summer since inception, ENTITY has hosted women from across the country for a digital marketing training program that includes high-touch mentorship. The curriculum is curated to fill the skills gap between college and career in a way that has never been done before.

“The writing is on the wall, a college degree is no longer enough to get ahead in life,” explains the academy. “In fact, research shows most employers now believe students graduating from college lack the necessary hard and soft-skills needed for a modern workforce. This is why at ENTITY we take a four-pillar approach to education, which includes hard skills, soft skills, mentorship, and career success services — all in order to address the whole person and prepare them for the Future of Work. By attending ENTITY Academy, whether online or in person, you’ll gain the competitive edge you need to build the career you want and join an ever-expanding network of #WomenThatDo.” 

Simply put, ENTITY Academy strives to address the problematic gender pay gap by training, mentoring a new generation of young, professional women to accept nothing less than what they deserve. Through rigorous training and one-and-one mentorship with some of the biggest female leaders in their chosen career field, graduates of ENTITY find themselves better able to secure 21st century careers in their field, with the titles and pay their experience calls for. 

What makes ENTITY Academy possible? The better question would be who.  

Jennifer Schwab Wangers is the Founder and CEO of ENTITY, and she has one goal in mind: to support and empower women through education and mentorship.

“When I began my corporate career out of school, I was shocked to see how few women held senior positions,” explains Jennifer. “I was even more shocked to see how women viewed their compatriots at the office as competition. Instead of banding together to help each other, they would often torpedo and discredit each other.”

“I wanted to create a mentorship platform to get women on the fast track right out of school,” she furthers. “This eventually morphed our

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243-unit affordable housing development coming to Fairview and University

A five-story, two-building housing development that guarantees a wide mix of affordable apartments for 30 years is coming to the Green Line.



a close up of a toy: Reuter Walton Development will build a 243-unit apartment complex at the northwest corner of University Avenue and Fairview Avenue in St. Paul, the current site of a Goodwill Industries parking lot, it was announced on Dec. 13, 2019. The affordable "workforce housing" project, to begin construction in late 2020, will span two seven-story buildings facing University Avenue. (Courtesy of Reuter Walton)


© Provided by Twin Cities Pioneer Press
Reuter Walton Development will build a 243-unit apartment complex at the northwest corner of University Avenue and Fairview Avenue in St. Paul, the current site of a Goodwill Industries parking lot, it was announced on Dec. 13, 2019. The affordable “workforce housing” project, to begin construction in late 2020, will span two seven-story buildings facing University Avenue. (Courtesy of Reuter Walton)

The planned 243-unit affordable housing development at Fairview and University avenues in St. Paul took a major step forward earlier this week when the city council approved $30 million in conduit multi-family housing revenue bonds.

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Developer Reuter Walton will use bond sales to borrow money from investors based on the city’s favorable interest rate. Actual city funds are not changing hands for the $64 million project.

The vacant and boarded property at 1825 University Ave. W. sits near the Fairview Light Rail transit station. The finished project will include a play lot, underground and surface parking, and 2,500 square feet of commercial space anchoring the street corner at ground level.

The two buildings will span 15 studios, 89 one-bedrooms, 63 two-bedrooms and 76 three-bedroom units.

In total, 27 of the apartments will be “deeply affordable,” or targeted to renters earning no more than 30 percent of area median income, which is currently $31,000 for a family of four.

Another 83 units will be priced at 50 percent of area median income, 58 units at 60 percent, and 75 units at 80 percent. The affordability requirement will remain in place for 30 years.

Reuter Walton last year drew the ire of labor advocates, including the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters, which accused them of benefiting from wage theft allegedly conducted by seven subcontractors at 22 projects.

On Wednesday, HRA Chair Chris Tolbert and fellow Council Member Mitra Jalali praised Reuter Walton for disassociating themselves from alleged bad actors.

“They worked with the unions on better contracting standards and practices,” said Jalali, who represents the neighborhood. “This developer took a lot of steps to change and improve their practices.”

The project will be funded with a Fannie Mae permanent loan of $42 million, housing revenue bonds, Low Income Housing Tax Credits, a Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development contamination cleanup grant of $331,000, and a Metropolitan Council Tax Base Revitalization Account contamination cleanup deferred loan of $112,000, among other sources.

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Museums are combining childcare and education that’s more affordable than private tutoring

Kid in Science Museum
Kid in Science Museum

Children play in a large mirrored object at the Science Museum on it’s official re-opening day on August 19, 2020 in London, England. The Science Museum reopens its doors to the public today, nearly five months after the Coronavirus pandemic shut down all public spaces. Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

As early as March of this year, many parents realized that their children likely would not physically attend school for the fall semester due to the pandemic. This led to a mad scramble to make other arrangements. 

Some parents opted for “pandemic pods,” which are essentially groups of 10 or fewer students learning together in a home environment with mutually agreed upon health precautions being taken outside the classroom. Some turned to websites like Selected for Families and Schoolhouse, professional services that match families with tutors. Others simply waited for guidance from their local school district, many of which held off to make determinations about plans for the upcoming school year as they tracked local cases of the novel coronavirus. 

Meanwhile, cultural and community organizations across the country — like museums, recreation centers, and history archives — spent the summer temporarily closed to the public. Many have since reopened by adding online learning assistance and in-person programs to their list of services, which while not accessible to every student, has become a financial lifeline for working parents and the institutions themselves. 

For many parents, this is a joint childcare and schooling solution

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The Frazier History Museum in downtown Louisville, Ky., launched their NTI — or non-traditional instruction — from the Frazier program on Aug. 31. It’s an all-day program with workstations for students in second through ninth grades. While the students each follow their own school curriculum, museum educators are on hand to help answer questions, assist with technology, and host end-of-day activities in the galleries. 

Mick Sullivan, the manager of youth and family programs at the Frazier, says that the program averages about 10 students, each of whom are required to bring their own mask, laptop or other device, headphones with microphone, school supplies, and lunch. 

The museum is following state-mandated sanitation requirements and pandemic precautions. 

“When people come in, they’re getting their temperatures checked,” Sullivan said. “We’re doing hand washing and sanitation. Everybody has their own workspace with well over 15 square feet around them. Everyone also has their own specific sets of curriculum, so there is no sharing of materials.” 

Finding this kind of all-day childcare with qualified educators has been top of mind for many parents since the summer. According to an August Washington Post-Schar School nationwide poll, 50% of working parents said it would be “harder” or “impossible” to do their jobs if their children’s schools provided only online instruction this fall, while 50% said it would have no effect.

“I talk to the students’ parents every day, and the people that are making use of our offerings, they’re people who work downtown,” Sullivan said. “This is a convenient

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