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Urban Institute calls out shortfalls in federal housing assistance

The Urban Institute recently published a new report saying federal housing assistance programs aim to ensure recipients have decent, safe and affordable housing, however it claims new policy changes have left these programs falling short of their goals. In the report, the Urban Institute suggests a need for a serious review of affordable housing policy with a focus on developing a stronger evidence base before attempting large-scale changes to federal housing assistance programs. The company created the chart below to demonstrate that as housing stability decreases, the need for other public benefits and systems increases. Click to Enlarge (Source: Joint Centers for Housing Studies of Harvard University, U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Urban Institute) But the Urban Institute claims that despite the strong need, there are still “shortfalls” in federal housing assistance. “Despite this array of options, housing assistance programs do not come close to meeting the actual need. The chart below shows that currently, only about 20% of those who need federal assistance receive it. Click to Enlarge What’s more, many of those on waiting lists for voucher programs will need to wait more than a year, and more than half of those needing voucher will be put on a waiting list. Click to Enlarge “In a time when only one in five eligible renter households actually receive federal assistance, any reduction to federal funding for public housing or vouchers threatens the well-being of millions of low-income households,” the report said. “The administration’s proposed budget cuts and many of the other proposed reforms to housing assistance—minimum rents, rent increases, time limits, work requirements, and others—are not new, but the evidence on how these changes have or will affect the availability of housing assistance and the livelihoods of those eligible for it remains scattered and thin.” “And there is little discussion of the fact that most of these proposals assume that recipients are able-bodied adults capable of work; increasingly, however, most are elderly and disabled,” the report continued. “What we do know is that housing assistance plays a critical role in stabilizing low-income households and promoting positive health and educational outcomes.”

Boost Your Facebook Post Engagement Using These 10 Tricks

The biggest question for a Facebook marketer is this: how do you get people engaged with your post? Thanks to an advertising method that Facebook calls Page Post Engagement adverts, you can keep up with all your followers and reach new ones at the same time. Ask Your Questions So you want to know more about your target audience? Enhance the Visual Appeal of Your Page A single relevant image can boost the engagement on your page more than a brilliant textual status update. B2C marketers place even greater importance on visual marketing when compared to B2B marketers. What are they doing differently to engage the Facebook audience? Ad links to important Facebook status updates in the updates you post on other social media. If you’re not getting them engaged enough, improve the quality before you start working on the quantity of posts. Try posting at a different time every day to see when you can get people engaged. But with a robust strategy and thoughtful audience analysis, it's possible to master your Facebook presence and keep the audience engaged.

Frito-Lay CMO says marketers need a listen-first mentality to be successful

She worked her way through the ranks, and in March of 2016, she was named CMO. It oversees all of our advertising and media across all of our businesses,” says Saenz. “Our innovation pipeline, consumer insights and category management. And then an in-house creative agency and programmatic media desk — so it’s pretty much soup-to-nuts marketing.” Saenz says her career trajectory within the company from intern to CMO was an exciting arc, and, because of it, she is able to tell her team that it often feels as though she has held every single role within the brand’s marketing organization. “What has been very interesting is how the media landscape and marketing approach has evolved over time,” says Saenz. “I think today we’re really a much more diverse group of individuals and a much more diverse group of experiences because of that massive change in the marketplace.” It’s a very large evolution in terms of the focus, as well as the skill set that the team needs to think about and that our agency teams need to develop.” [Read the full article on MarTech Today.] Attend the largest search marketing conference on the West Coast: SMX West! You'll get useful, proven tactics in SEO, SEM, conversion optimization, social media, mobile and more. Register now! Read more of Amy's articles.

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Detroit hits mortgage milestone as housing market gains momentum

For the past decade, it’s been almost impossible for aspiring Detroit homebuyers to get mortgages. But that appears to be changing. The city notched a real estate milestone of sorts last year, recording more than 1,000 new home mortgages in 2018. Its data show that 1,221 homebuyers purchased homes with traditional mortgages last year. The land bank’s Rob Linn says it’s the first time the city has reached more than 1,000 mortgages since the 2008 financial crisis. Subsequent waves of mortgage and tax foreclosures decimated Detroit’s housing market and rendered traditional mortgages almost non-existent, with banks often refusing to lend even to qualified homebuyers. But Linn says there’s been a steady upward trend in new mortgages since 2014, when the city recorded only 490. “In the housing market, success begets more success. “When a resident lives in an area where there are mortgages, it becomes easier for them to get their own.” Linn says another good sign is that mortgage-backed homebuying is spreading to more neighborhoods. Land bank data show that home sales prices are on the rise, too—jumping from around $33,000 in 2014 to more than $74,000 in 2018.