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Monthly Archives: January 2018

Steel Yourself For A Vision Of Shipping Container Homes

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Shipping containers have been explored as a form of affordable housing for some years now. They are far from every expert's cup of tea, and face arguments that building tiny homes from scratch in more conventional ways can be cheaper and more effective than...

In Chicago, Affordable SROs Dwindle. A City Ordinance Can’t Stop The Bleeding.

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Rooming Houses and Single Room Occupancy Hotels (SROs) just don't get the respect they deserve as affordable housing. Even though Chicago passed a city ordinance requiring sellers of SROs to listen first to buyers who will keep them as SROs, this affordable housing stock continues...

Chinese As Well As Americans Share Contempt For The Affordable ‘Poor Door’

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'Poor Door' is a recently coined term. Already, there are opportunities to expand it. Over the last few years, apartment developments with affordable units in New York have come under scathing criticism for segregated entrances which prevent 'the lower classes' who live in affordable units...

Affordable Housing + Jobs + Greenspace: Buffalo Builds The Bailey Green Project

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These days, adding affordable housing to a city is challenge enough without adding permanent jobs as part of the same project. With it’s Bailey Green Project, Buffalo, New York is making an admirable attempt to combine the two and open up green space at...

Frank Gehry: Almost An Affordable Housing Prophet In His Own Country

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Skeptical neighbours of a man hailed as "the greatest architect of our time" put Frank Gehry once again through the NIMBY wringer. He was promoting a revised Santa Monica urban development project that was first proposed in 2013. Criticisms from the community have been incorporated...

India’s Affordable Housing Pledge Pinched By Lack Of Urban Space

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Can you imagine your own government pledging affordable housing for everyone in the country within a decade? Could such an undertaking be undertaken in that time frame, even in a modestly populated country? And yet India, one of the most populous countries in the...

Tent City Of Tomorrow? Strong, Cheap, Beehive Life In Sewer Pipes.

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Does the idea of life in a stack of sewer pipes sound like a nightmare? Do you shudder when you imagine a creepy high rise of tubular sleeping coffins? But look again at the photo above and imagine a six foot figure standing in...

Homeless Bubbles. Moveable . . . Sure. Drainable? The Jury’s Out.

Authorities have discovered that growing tent cities of homeless people can be torn down. But without taking steps to address the actual problem, a homeless encampment, just like a bubble under the wallpaper, simply moves somewhere else. Is it possible to drain this moveable sore...

The Many Colors of NIMBY: Entitled People

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NIMBY: Not in My Back Yard. Part of an ongoing collection of articles exploring some of the many ways that a worldwide affordable housing crisis is opposed.

Americans Swim Up A Torrent Of Healthcare Money Towards An Earlier Death

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Research is showing that America's fight for good health is apparently impeded by the amount of money spent on healthcare. Three times more money spent compared to that spent by other wealthy nations. Yet Americans are the biggest losers. In what way? Like spawning salmon,...

Forward To The Past. Unaffordable Homes Push Salford Towards Council Housing.

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What happens when the brave new affordable world of public/private partnerships meets only half the annual demand for affordable housing? What happens? It's obvious. The demand for affordable housing just gets greater and greater. Salford, UK has 28 applicants for every public housing unit that...

When Lack of Affordable Housing For Others Becomes A Health Problem For You

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In charming holidayland, a perfect storm of vacation homes, tourist rentals and every other kind of housing demand pushes house prices through the roof. So now coffee shop baristas can no longer afford to live near you? No big deal. You can always brew...

What’s The Matta, Piñata? Affordable Housing, That’s What.

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Are you concerned about Affordable Housing? Start a blog — we did. Stage a protest — many have. Or, you could make a piñata . . . .? . . . Really? Really. A one-man protest by artist Giovanni Valderas has been taking...

Affordable Teaching, Unaffordable Learning

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Assisting teachers into affordable housing has been considered a necessity for San Mateo Community Colleges in San Mateo, California. But these institutions are becoming aware of a small catch in their affordable housing plans: housing assistance helps hundreds of salaried profs and lecturers to...

Take Two Aspirin And An Affordable Home, Then Call Me In The Morning

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Only 10% of people’s health needs are delivered at a medical facility. The recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation: Beyond Health Care: The Role of Social Determinants in Promoting Health and Health Equity reports on initiatives that connect health care with community supports, target social...

You Can Control What is Yours. Communities Seeking Affordable Housing Consider Community Ownership.

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Municipal handwringing would appear to be the sole, and all-too-frequent, response to privately-developed affordable housing that doesn't quite deliver on its promise. One example: a widespread tendency under new British affordable housing incentives for developers to re-evaluate and downsize their affordable building commitments after...

Marriage & Cohabition Has Been Downsized To Co-living In Nano Affordable Hong Kong

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If you can't quite afford a Hong Kong microscopic (nano) apartment by yourself then why not co-live? So suggest enthusiastic Hong Kong realtors. Social conventions such as courting and marriage are inconvenient social roadblocks that can drive two single people into homeless shelters. Roommate...

City Planners Who Listen To People: Do They Exist?

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It's all the rage to consult with the community to determine its wants and needs. Cynics might say that community administrations save money by always consulting, seldom acting. However, there is no question that when action is required, city planners need listen to the basic...

The Many Colors Of NIMBY: The Neighbourhood Character

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NIMBY: Not in My Back Yard. Part of an ongoing collection of articles exploring some of the many ways that a worldwide affordable housing crisis is opposed.

The Silver Tsunami: Will Expiring Seniors Bring Down Housing Costs When Nothing Else Can?

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A recent study that examined 16 years of the housing market in Australia has concluded that housing is not a commodity that reacts normally to classic market force supply and demand. An over-supply of housing in Sydney over this period did not produce cheaper prices,...

Portland Economy Wolves Huff And Puff At Mayor’s Affordable House Of Sticks

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A 'pricy' affordable housing project has Portland, Oregon's mayor Ted Wheeler on the defensive after blessing an unusual construction technique. The unusual? The building will be the tallest in America that is constructed of cross-laminated lumber. And the pricy? For all the huffing and puffing...

Affordable Housing vs. Overnight Parking Zones. The Sordid Future Of Unaffordable Cities?

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At what point does the freedom to become wealthy by trading in real estate descend to insanity? A recent, successful business startup points to a frightening urban future in which the wealthy return nightly to their homes, walking side by side with everyone else...

Non-Profit Eyes Bigger Than Stomach: A Recipe For Rapid Housing Decay?

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When building affordable housing, non-profits need to be wary of misguided, even false, messaging from governments that have failed at the task. In North America, the decline of large scale social housing projects has often been attributed to social living environments inappropriate to basic...

Tiny Homes Brings Affordable Privacy And Dignity To First Nations People

Homelessness is a disease in Canadian indigenous communities that afflicts many. It brings with it a host of mental and physical complications, such as alcoholism and severe depression. Many northern First Nations communities are anything but wealthy, and building affordable housing is a strain on...

Tiny Homes: A Gateway Drug For Tiny Apartments?

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The sheer cuteness of tiny homes! Compact living in a picture postcard forest of lush greenery! Of course it’s an impossible dream, except in places where there are still wide open spaces available for affordable homesteading. Northern Canada, for example: A Tiny Home Brings Affordable...

Get Involved, Dirtbags! Guru-some Housing Advice From The Top of A Mountain

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They are feckless, hedonistic, snow worshippers. Sunburned party animals with brains as empty as the back country they inhabit. Okay, so they have nice thighs and calves. Otherwise, who needs ski bums anyway? Only entire winter tourist industries, as well as local economies that would...

Slum Or Affordable Housing Resource? Two Lenses View An Inner City

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More and more growing cities are facing an affordable housing crisis brought on by gentrification — accommodating their population expansion by renovating or replacing poorer quality urban houses. The result: new upscale neighbourhoods that are a source of city pride, but are plagued by...

Right Of First Refusal: Government Interference Or Affordable Housing Savior?

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For all of its physically attractive qualities, gentrification of inner cities is becoming a barrier to affordable housing world-wide. In North America, government action is limited by 'hands off our private enterprise' attitudes. In Europe, however, with its democratic socialist governments, hands-on government interaction...

You Can Be A Big Time Real Estate Developer. And You Don’t Need To Get Rich!

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Are you friendly and outgoing? Shrewd, with a head for financial details and nose for business? Driven and hard-working? A team player with management skills necessary to effectively harness the energies of a thirteen-person real estate team? Maybe you can see yourself eventually helping...

NIMBY And The Modern, Mean-Spirited, Often Enormous Back Yard

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This Affordable Housing Action blog has adopted the notion of neighbourhoods that span continents and oceans in a global megacity, where we may be able to benefit by peering over distant fences to find help from faraway neighbours who are not so different from ourselves. By...

The Urban Living Dream? Gentrification! Too Bad You Can’t Afford It.

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America's inner cities are awash in acres upon acres of blighted, if affordable, housing. The solution? Gentrification. In some cities, young professionals are discovering that gentrification has created an upscale inner city affordable housing crisis. And They have become the victims. The trend is not...

Can Boom Mean Bust For Affordable Housing? Ask Tassie.

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With the Tasmanian economy outstripping mainland Australian states, opportunities are being crippled by the lack of affordable housing. The jobs are there, but the housing isn't. Education finds itself in a battle with Airbnb for affordable apartments and home share accommodations. As a consequence, the...

Home Builders’ Solution: Higher Wages Can Make Our Products Affordable

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A series of economic miracles that definitely do not depend on government interference is apparently due to occur. It will benefit young people as well as seniors with little savings together with the unemployed, the seasonally employed, part time workers and many others. They...

Youth Plan A: Homelessness. Bristol Counters With Plan B: Affordable Housing (Stay Home)

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Young and impatient. Fed up with childhood. At risk of abuse and assault. All are contributing to a youth homelessness crisis in Bristol, UK, a thriving city with an acute affordable housing problem. For young people, the siren song of 'my own space,' 'where I...
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