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Stories by Kristian Hernandez

Arizona, other states band together against Biden immigration policies

Since President Joe Biden took office, Republican-led states have filed some 27 lawsuits or appeals seeking to block immigration actions taken by the administration, with at least 15 multistate efforts by Republican attorneys general.... Read more»0

Rising construction costs stall affordable housing projects

Developers across the country are scrambling to find gap financing to cover increased material and labor costs - and the construction slowdown is coming at a time when there is a desperate need to increase the nation’s supply of affordable housing. ... Read more»0

Homeless camping bans are spreading. This group shaped the bills.

As homeless camps have become increasingly visible, states and cities are attempting multiple solutions to help the homeless - but an increasing number of states are pushing the Cicero Institute’s model bill, the “Reducing Street Homelessness Act.”... Read more»0

As rents soar, states take aim at local zoning laws

In 2021, U.S. rents rose faster over the previous year than they have in the past 20 years - with average rent prices in Arizona increasing 27% between Jan 2021 and Jan. 2022 - leaving many low- and medium-income renters priced out of homes and lawmakers rethinking zoning laws.... Read more»0

Here's one way states are boosting affordable housing

Nationwide, there is a shortage of some 7 million rental homes that are affordable to the lowest income households - in response, a handful of states are debating whether to join the 23, including Arizona, that already offer tax breaks to developers willing to construct low-income housing. ... Read more»0

Small states cry foul on federal rental relief redistribution

States with small populations say a federal plan to take back unspent emergency rental aid and redistribute it elsewhere is unfair, potentially depriving them and their residents of millions of dollars to address broad affordable housing challenges.... Read more»0

More Central American children could rejoin parents in U.S.

Unprecedented numbers of unaccompanied migrant children have been placed with sponsors across the country this year. Now, thousands more could arrive under a new federal program aimed at providing a path for children left behind in Central America to join immigrant parents.... Read more»0

Congress might allow frustrated landlords to seek rent relief

A measure moving through the U.S. House of Representatives would allow landlords to apply without tenant approval for federal aid to cover back rent they are owed - more than 6 million households owed some $16.8 billion in rent debt, according to census data from early August.... Read more»0

Redistricting battles kick off in state courts

Many states face increased legal wrangling this redistricting cycle - so far, some 49 redistricting suits have been filed in state and federal courts in at least 22 states, and delayed census redistricting data has been the main reason cited in most lawsuits filed so far. ... Read more»0

14% of U.S. tenants fell behind on payments during the pandemic

The nationwide total rent debt is estimated to be upwards of $20 billion - with more than 5.8 million renters, or 14%, in arrears - twice as many as in 2017, and dozens of consumer rights organizations are urging the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to protect the credit records of tenants facing economic hardship because of the pandemic. ... Read more»0

Missing migrants: Failing to bring back the dead

International systems to identify and return the remains of migrants who die on their journey from Latin America to the United States continue to fail.... Read more»0

El Paso’s violent crime rate belies top ranking as safe city

In El Paso’s Lower Valley four granite disks hold the names of more than 1,500 victims of violent crime, a memorial linking the shattered lives of thousands who have witnessed how this city is not as safe as everyone believes.... Read more»0