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Monthly Archives: August 2018

Renovictions: What Are They? What Can A Tenant Do To Combat Them?

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Renoviction is coined from 'Renovate' and 'Eviction'. Strictly speaking, it refers to landlords who claim some form of work is needed for a period of time that makes it necessary for a tenant to vacate their rental home. There may be legally valid reasons for...

Inclusionary Zoning: What Is It? Why Do It? Who’s Doing It?

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Researchers in the United States are investigating inclusionary zoning as a regulatory tool to improve health outcomes. Their findings are reported in the journal Health Affairs. Land uses are regulated by zoning by-laws. Zoning was introduced as a health measure to separate land uses that...

Public Banks: What Are They? What Might They Offer Affordable Housing?

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Public banks — those are the ones that are open to the public, right? Yes . . . and no. Although people may casually refer to a 'public banking system', they are really talking about a network of private banks that profit by managing loans...

‘Safe Parking’ Programs: Protect Your Affordable Tiny Home From Ticket And Towing

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Not everyone is as fortunate as Steven Long. He, like an increasing number of Americans, has been staving off homelessness by living in a vehicle. As far as he is concerned, the vehicle is his home. When Long's live-in truck was impounded, he went to...

Young, And Want To Climb Aboard The Housing Ladder? How Long Before You Reach The First Rung?

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You know those big multi-storey fire escapes on old buildings? The ones where the last ladder has to be lowered to the ground from above? If you're young and planning on climbing up the house ownership ladder, who's going to lower that first section of...

My Way Is The Highway: Toronto Renters & Buyers Losing Faith With Government, Consider Heading For The Hills

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In all housing matters affordable, Toronto has disappointed in recent years. The City has an affordable housing office that has studied the city's housing problem while churning out reports to council and the provincial government on the city's performance. But when it comes coordinating...

‘Stay Put’ And Other Useful Options For Affordable Housing Stressed Seniors

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"We've been empty nesters for years. We don't need this much space. Let's cash in, downsize and rent." It's common enough and perfectly sensible discussion for retired seniors on a fixed income. My partner and I have been through it ourselves. The idea makes...

Rethinking City Universities: Resource Mining In A Hostile Wilderness?

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Downtown universities may pay lip service to student accommodation. They may even provide housing to new students making the transition from home and high school to a new kind of home in a different city. But  for many years, downtown universities have been able to...

Ottawa Evictions: Who Is Right? Humans Knock Heads With Corporations.

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There is a large scale eviction (105 units) scheduled for September 30, 2018 in Ottawa. The UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing and foreign media have taken an interest. Why? The United Nations holds that housing is a human right. The buildings are older affordable...

Hats Off To An Affordable Housing Builder Who Can’t Solve The Affordable Housing Crisis

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We'll leave our hat on first, an unusual act of mourning for the wreck of the USS Public Housing, driven quite deliberately onto the rocks. Conceived and capitalized as low income housing, with maintenance and other upkeep costs to be met by rent charged...

Collingwood Plans Dorms For The Bums In The New Wilderness: Unaffordability

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Industry operating in remote communities inevitably take responsibility for providing employee accommodation. But in tourist towns of Southern Georgian Bay? Really? The sad truth is that affordable housing is in short supply in the Collingwood/Blue Mountain region of Southern Ontario, where ski slope operators may...

Tempe AZ Squanders Affordable Housing To Coddle Wealthy Students

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Let's place our housing future in the hands of private enterprise, shall we? Let's all live in a housing industry's pipe dream of what homeowners truly want and deserve. Tempe, Arizona, City Council certainly dreams that dream. Mid century garden apartments with affordable rents? Of course...

UBC Profs Spoonfeed Affordable Housing Questions To Stump Politicians. You’ll Need A Bib!

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In Vancouver, Canada, a vibrant, modern city that has un-planned its way into a housing crisis, two respected university professors have unleashed a mind-boggling fireworks display of opinion, enlightenment and received-certainty in The Tyee, a respected British Columbia news and opinion blog. The purpose of the article?...

Head-In-The-Sand Cincinnati Ostrich Gets Affordable Housing Stuck To Its Eyeball

Out of sight, out of mind? By banning homelessness camps in public places, Cincinnati hopes to solve their affordable housing crisis. If you can't see it, the crisis must not exist. Turns out it that takes more than a city ordinance to get affordable housing...

California Votes Yes Or No On Rent Control. Ontario Went Both Ways: It’s A Useful Perspective

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The second to last time the Province of Ontario tinkered with rent control, it galloped madly off in all directions. All right, it galloped madly off in two directions, splitting city rental stock into 'controlled' and 'uncontrolled.' Mindful of a need to keep rents down,...

The ‘Workforce’ Housing Demand: Could It Be A Miscalculation As Well As A Slap In The Face?

Altofevo, northern region of Moscow
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The American housing industry, acting without doubt in enlightened self-interest, promotes the most profitable thing that you can be enticed to demand, so that they can supply it. Enter 'workforce' housing. The nation needs it. Indeed it needs 'workforce' housing so badly that it's only...

Unaffordable Housing? Some Other Dude Did It. Guilty Fingerpointing From The Housing Market

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Public transit takes the fall in an awkward, defensive article about the housing market in Toronto by one of Canada's top business newspapers. Toronto, for many years overly-conscious of becoming a 'world-class city', is moving rapidly to achieve that goal in the race-to-the-bottom of housing affordability. But...

Toronto Election Promise – 100,000 Affordable Housing Units In 10 Years

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Just hours before the registration deadline, Jennifer Keesmaat entered the race for Mayor of City of Toronto, scheduled for October 22, 2018. One of the reasons for her decision? Just days before, Doug Ford, the Premier of Ontario (and former City Councillor), announced that...

Real Life In A Tiny Home? It’s A World Cluttered With ‘Stuff’

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Why not downsize and live in a tiny home? It almost seems reasonable when you check out some of the beyond-cute photos that occasionally flicker into view. Some of us, blessed with first or second 'tiny' homes, are more doubtful. I own an aging sailboat...

Why Can’t Municipal Government Stay Out Of Rental Housing Regulation?

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Municipal governments in Canada's larger cities are starting to pay attention to rental housing. A low vacancy rate is the incentive for a market rental policy in Richmond, British Columbia. See Richmond News: Richmond to implement market rental housing policy: Coming up this week at...

India Leads The World In Affordable Housing Dreams. But Are They ‘Castles In The Air?’

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India is not just dreaming about affordable housing. They are making a staggeringly-expensive nationwide drive to provide 'housing for all' by the year 2022. And they are doing so in a free-market democracy, not a 'do-what-you're-told' autocracy. The challenges for a developing nation with the...

Exceptionalism: Self-Congratulatory Babble That Masks Affordable Housing Corruption

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In the developing world, corruption is a constant menace. By contrast in the developed world, corruption is generally considered to be less of an issue, thanks to . . . precisely what? Like the emperor without clothes, is the developed world imagining itself protected against...

Triumph Of The Housing Also-Rans: Proving Private Enterprise Can Do Affordable

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"Business done by government is invariably mediocre, inefficient and wasteful." That's the message of political touts for private-enterprise affordable housing. "Financiers, developers and the construction industry can run rings around government-managed affordable housing construction," they say. Perhaps they can. But will they? The answer, by...

Your Community: The Last On Earth To Climb Aboard the Modular Home Bandwagon

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Here's another theme, this one showing up in modular home-building articles we've been reading from around the globe. When it comes to factory-built homes, whether fully completed in-factory, or finally assembled on-site, every locale is far behind every other one in the world. The...

Who Gets Evicted And Why? Louisville Studies Its Ugly Housing Entrails.

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Evictions are a useful 'miner's canary' for the health of a city's rental housing. Instead of falling off the perch dead in a pocket of dangerous gas, the eviction canary stands up and sings about age, gender, colour, family size, income and so on,...

While UK Business Developers Disappoint, Hope For Community-Led Affordable Housing

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Small 'c' conservative hopes are waning that the private sector can fix the affordable housing crisis. In America, Low Income Housing Tax Credits are becoming a scandal as developers and financiers shuffle project ownership, pocketing government dollars that might otherwise bring down the cost...

Milwaukee Opinion: Alternative To Voucher Subsidies

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In a market economy where wages are not rising, housing is cursed to wear two masks — comedy and tragedy. The comedy mask is not so much the face of laughter, but an older notion of a happy ending. The happy ending is the ever-increasing...

The Many Colours of NIMBY: More Affordable Housing Causes Sloth Explosion

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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.

Scarce Affordable Housing Innovation Gets A Boost From Famed Alabama School

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In the United States, the mainstream private-enterprise building industry (let's call it 'Big Builder') is preoccupied with large, highly lucrative housing projects that range from market rate to above-market-rate (luxury). These days, Big Builder may throw small quantities of affordable housing into the mix...

Stubborn Persistence Wins Support For Self-Help Housing In California

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When finished, 41 households in Patterson, California, will move into affordable homes that they will help to build. Self-Help Enterprises is the sponsor of the project. The US Department of Agriculture is one of several partners. At the sod turning, the president of Self-Help...

America Has A Bogeymen Under The Bed: Social Housing. Austria Sure Doesn’t!

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However 'winning' the Cold War benefited America, reflections on the history of this period are gradually exposing costs incurred by the stoking of public fear. Today, a new generation of young Americans are shining a light under the bed and discovering that the 'socialist' bogeymen,...

Pro-Business Support for Sarasota County’s Commitment to Low Wage Earners

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It's unusual to see the business community commending politicians for their compassion and arguing for holding the line on taxes as a measure to prevent homelessness. Read more in the Herald-Tribune: Sarasota County makes a compassionate decision on taxes Business leaders saw the Sarasota County commissioners were...

How To Stop Evictions That Inflame The Affordable Housing Crisis

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I bumped into my super the other day. He was in a bit of a state because a tenant in my building was being evicted and the super was required to testify. I sympathized with the super. He’s pleasant and doesn’t like unpleasant situations....

Sydney, Australia, Wants Affordable Housing Cake While Eating It

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In an era when a global housing crisis demands leadership from national government, it seems reasonable to expect that local government would be one hundred and ten percent onside, prepared to invest substantially to support its vital labor resources before they are pushed out...

How To Stop The Insane Upward Spiral Of Land Value? Affordable Housing Turns To Land Trusts

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Stop the land price merry-go-round! Investors certainly want to get on it, but those in need of affordable housing very much want to get off. Land trusts are one way of stopping the merry-go-round for both investors and those in need of affordable housing. The laws defining...

With A Steeper Road To Climb, Africa Wants And Needs Affordable Housing, Too.

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We'll get to this story by way of an apology. Affordablehousingaction.org is a western society-based blog. It posts contributions to solving the affordable housing crisis from around the world, in part for their value to other nations. While we read African and Asian stories...

The Many Colours Of NIMBY: Melons And Chickens Explain Why Affordable Housing Is Unnecessary

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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.

Pull On A Pair Of Worn Shoes And Follow Families Down The Path To Homelessness

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Battles are fought for and against homelessness initiatives as well as affordable housing initiatives. These battles often play out in hearing rooms, committee rooms, legislative chambers, and particularly local city, town and village council rooms. In order to 'move forward with business at hand,' legislators...

When It Comes to Affordable Housing, Are Progressives Selling Themselves Out?

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Let's Play Occam's Razor! We'll begin by accepting the premise offered at a session of the Netroots Nation Conference that just wrapped up in New Orleans: progressives aren't talking about affordable housing, even though they should be. Apparently, progressives are happy to talk about health care....

Aussies Target All Income Levels In Build-to-Rent Project Planted On A Land Trust

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Tax credit and subsidized affordable housing projects need not be be solely based upon an ownership model. However, it seems that many developers would much prefer to avoid build-to-rent models. They concentrate on more lucrative profits in build-to-own projects that include some so-called 'affordable'...

Roots Of A Revolution: How Amazon Is Helping Build A New Socialist Movement

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The almost incomprehensible failure of Amazon to support the attempts of its headquarters city to build affordable housing has been the subject of ongoing posts on this blog. Given the wealth of Amazon, as well as the wealth of its founder Jeff Bezos, its hard...

Iowa Considers Prisoner Training To Support Affordable Rural House-Building

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Rural municipalities in Iowa are talking with prison officials about building low cost housing. With profitable higher densities and numbers, housing projects in cities attract most or all of the construction industry, making it difficult for rural municipalities to find the resources to build...
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