Ryan Holeywell | @RyanHoleywell | May 27, 2016
While the Urban Edge strives to provide readers with daily news and insights about urban policy, we’re also voracious readers of city news ourselves. As part of a new weekly feature, Senior Editor Ryan Holeywell highlights the week’s most interesting articles from around the web about urban policy and city life.
The Arlington, Texas city council took the first step toward building a new $1 billion stadium to host the Texas Rangers baseball team this week, following months of secret negotiations, the Dallas Morning News reports. The plan would likely require taxpayers to fund half the cost of replacing the team’s current stadium, which is less than 25 years old.
The average worker would need to earn $20.30 per hour to rent a two-bedroom apartment without devoting more than 30 percent of his income to housing, according to a new study, City Lab reports. The average American earns $15.42 per hour, so there’s an obvious gap. That gap is especially acute in places like New Jersey, California and Maryland, where the gap between the two figures is around $10 per hour.
Former Houston city council member Steve Costello, the city’s new flood czar, is on a mission to ensure policymakers and citizens alike stay focused on addressing the region’s most pressing issue — flooding — Next City reports. Despite the widespread criticism in the Houston Chronicle and other venues that developers are to blame for region’s flooding, Costello says he doesn’t necessarily agree with that critique.
Fees levied by Wall Street money managers are costing public pensions an estimated $20 billion annually, according to a new study highlighted by Governing magazine. That’s a hefty sum considering the unfunded liability of the country’s public pension system is an estimated $1 trillion. The report focuses on “performance fees” charged by hedge funds and private equity firms on profits their portfolios generate.
As Austin faces a population boom and a housing crunch, the city is considering affordable housing mandates for new complexes being built in East Austin. That would represent a major new step in the city’s efforts to fight skyrocketing housing costs. “Any mandate would be a dramatic shift from the city’s current incentive-based ‘bonus density’ approach, which allows developers to build larger projects in certain areas in exchange for including some affordable units or paying into the city’s housing fund,” the newspaper reports.