Home 2018 September

Monthly Archives: September 2018

Affordable Housing, Seattle & Toronto. The Tale of Two Cities

0
What tail? Why that stunted, useless appendage that abounds in all cities: unused, under-utilized 'lazy' land that has by design or by accident become the property of the city. Unnecessary, unwanted, useless land, not part of any foreseeable city plans that might otherwise earmark...

In England, A Three Year Housing Lease = Better Mental Health

In England, if you rent your home in the private market, your landlord can evict you at any time for no reason, just 'because'. With land prices soaring, more and more tenants are being evicted as property owners seek better returns on their investments....

The Affordable Housing Crisis Spawns Irish Intergovernmental Sparring. A Sign Of Things To Come Worldwide?

0
In a true crisis such as a war, leadership is hands-on from the top down. Only national governments have the power to find the funding and resources to make difficult things happen. In peacetime democracies, power often devolves downwards. National government may control the purse...

Unaffordable Housing Causes Cities To Leak Workers. Realtor Solution? Ethical Investment.

0
Realtors do not generally get into discussions about affordable housing. Their interests lie in real estate transactions. Still, their views do appear in the media from time to time. As an example, a realtor's off-the-cuff remark recently kicked off a ruckus in Australia. Read...

Arkansas Affordable Housing Trust Fund: A Funding Stream Not Optional But Essential

0
Like a majority of American States, Arkansas has created a Low Income Trust Fund to help it build affordable housing for those most in need. Unlike a majority of American States, Arkansas launched the fund by stuffing it with dollars, kissing it goodbye, and leaving...

Developer Loses, Community Loses. A Cautionary Affordable Housing Tale From Charlotte, NC

0
From the Charlotte Explorer comes a small, sad story in the midst of a global housing crisis. It illustrates in a nutshell why 'community interest' housing cannot be pieced off efficiently to private enterprise. A Charlotte developer acquired a parcel of land in the Cherry...

Lazy Land: What Is It? Where Can You Find It? How Can It Help The Affordable Housing Crisis?

0
'Lazy' land is usually, but not necessarily always, public land that is not really being used for a heck of a lot. In fact, it may be nothing more than an undeveloped lot owned by a municipality or other level of government that has...

Bed In A Box: Spanish Affordable Housing Bottoms Out. Last Stop Before ‘Life In A Coffin.’

0
At the bottom end of the 'tiny home' meme, there's a fine line between 'being cool' and 'being ghoul.' Worker days and vampire nights would appear to be on the affordable housing menu, if a Spanish developer can sell its jumbo-coffin-sized hive housing. By the...

Quick Fix? Housing First. For The Longer Term, Fort Collins Pinpoints Homelessness Causes.

0
How do you get from, "Hey, there's too many folks sleeping on our streets!" all the way to "Wow! We've got all our homeless stabilized in housing?" A current Fort Collins, Colorado, initiative projects a three-pronged approach. Housing First. That's getting homeless people as quickly as...

A Real Iowa Groundhog Day: Prison, Homelessness, Joblessness, Prison, Homelessness. . .

0
In the comic movie fantasy 'Groundhog Day' a newscaster is forced to re-live the same event over and over again as punishment for his self-important arrogance. In the real life tragedy that mirrors the movie, any error of human judgement, large or small, that results...

Every Home Needs . . . The Internet?

0
We have a 'next on the list of things we never get to' item at affordablehousingaction.org.  It is a useful definition of 'affordable housing'. This isn't going to be it. 'Affordable Housing' is a zombie squirrel a-dither in heavy traffic, no sooner squashed by a weighty...

Milwaukee’s ‘Worm Ouroboros’ (That’s The Snake Eating its Tail): The Affordable Housing Study That Ends Where it Began.

0
Low incomes are the greatest barrier to affordable housing. This is the position of affordable housing reports from time to time. On this occasion we've felt compelled to comment. The conclusion has a cosmic, zen-like quality, like the sound of one hand clapping. But we...

Cleveland Rediscovers Cartography. Visual Artists To Try For Pictures Worth 1000 Affordable Housing Words.

0
For those worried that cartography is missing in action, there is relief in sight. The Cleveland Foundation is setting out to reinvent it. Traditionally, cartographers work with known data and try to make visual sense of it. In Cleveland, artists who are not cartographers will...

California Dreaming? Europe’s Mature Rail Networks Spread Unaffordability, Not Affordability.

0
In California, 2018 has seen the rise and fall of an affordable housing initiative located next to transit nodes where higher density affordable housing could be enshrined. Lower wage workers would commute past newly gentrified neighbourhoods, from which they had been displaced, to fill...

Helping To Repeat UK History: Meet MAIDIC

0
MAIDIC came into being in 1841 to build affordable housing for the working classes. By 1900 it owned and rented more than 6000 dwellings in the London, England area. MAIDIC was a capitalist enterprise which made a profit from its rents. It was success...

Free Market Land Leaseholds. Can They Work To Keep Owned Housing Affordable?

0
Owning a home on leased land? These days, most affordable housing discussions of this method of home ownership focus on community land trusts, where the home owner has a strong guarantee that the land will remain available to the home for the foreseeable future. But...

New American Tax Law: Helping Poor Communities? Or Helping Gentrify Poor Communities?

0
It's a little unnerving to hear that investors are absolutely racing to capitalize on a new tax law billed as a benefit for poor communities in the United States. Why the unseemly haste? Do investors stampede towards anything except (swords held high) the fatted...

Kamloops Can Dodge NIMBY With Temporarily Permanent Transitional Housing For The Homeless

Kamloops British Columbia. How many homeless are sleeping under the stars tonight?
0
In an age of increasing homelessness, the alarm is sounding in civic councils. They are struggling to find constructive, supportive ways to tackle the problem of people with nowhere to live but sidewalks, parks, alleys and doorways. Kamloops, British Columbia, has recently decided to follow...

A Call For Creative Housing Solutions In Charleston Flat-Out Dismisses The Only One Which Ever Worked!

0
The Charleston, SC, author of an opinion piece on the need for imaginative housing solutions waxes nostalgic about his upbringing in a neighbourhood of purpose-built affordable housing. In the midst of a survey on affordable housing options (and the lack of them) in the Charleston...

ADU’s: What Are They? What Are Their Strengths For Affordable Housing?

0
ADU is the short form for Accessory Dwelling Unit. They are also known as second suites, secondary rental units, grannie flats, in-law flats, accessory apartments and probably many more local names. An ADU is an extra, self-contained dwelling unit, containing both kitchen and bathroom facilities....

Are Mixed Uses Nashville’s Affordable Housing Future? Major League Soccer Is Beginning To Think So.

0
Zoning has weaknesses. It is exclusionary in nature, making it easy to divide one kind of neighborhood from another. That can lead to 'all or nothing' controversies like the one linked below. It's recent development proposal for Cincinnati, Ohio — a city which enjoys...

Town Bonus: A College Economy -> Town Burden: Less Affordable Housing

0
For many towns blessed with a college or university, there is a certain pride in hosting an institution of higher learning. Far more important for the health of the town, however, is the contribution that such school or schools make to the town economy....

Can Intersectionality Pave A Pathway To Affordable Housing In Minneapolis?

0
Intersectionality. Affordability. Big words to do battle with homelessness. But from the bottom of the deepest trenches in that battle, the individuals involved are aware of the very real consequences that come from simply misunderstanding these terms. No place to live. Minneapolis is facing the reality...

The Housing Ladder: Housing Prices + Down Payment + Student Debt = You Can’t Get There From Here

0
Across the ocean or close to home the dilemma is the same: unaffordable housing is killing the chance of young people ever making it to the first rung of the housing ladder. A student organization warns about it in the Netherlands. DutchNews.nl: Fewer people start out on...

American Exceptionalism Lives Proudly On, Building Habitat For Humanity Affordable Housing

0
Some pretty darned exceptional Americans have donated sweat equity to help form no less than thirty-four little communities of good spirit and good work in the company of other exceptional Americans, as well as exceptional people of other countries around the world. Now former US...

Prediction: Building Housing For The Rich Will Solve Manhattan’s Housing Crisis. Or Maybe Not.

0
New York City's affordable housing crisis faces a major problem. Regardless of what kind of housing is built (social/public, market rate, luxury) the geography of the city means available space for new housing is extremely limited. One theory currently in vogue treats housing something like...

‘Affordable’ Expiry Dates: The Ticking Time Bomb Under US Affordable Homes

0
"Public-private partnerships can build American affordable housing more cheaply and more effectively than the failed 3/4 century experiment in public housing." Is it possible that the above premise was on life support from the moment it lifted off the ground? Why then design a system...

Gentrification: What is it? How Does It Contribute to the Affordable Housing Crisis?

0
Gentrification is a disease of affordable housing neighbourhoods. It has come about by a change in that great middle class 'home ownership dream' promoted by banks and developers who profit so greatly from it. Once upon a time, that dream was a house in the suburbs...

Limited-Equity Cooperative: What Is It? How Can It Help Finance Affordable Housing?

A fine Chicago building, originally built as a market rate co-op in 1924, it remains one.
0
What is a Housing Cooperative? It's a communal form of home ownership that allows cooperative members to buy an ownership share in a residential building. Those shares are bought at market rate, so this kind of ownership can be thought of as a Market Rate Cooperative. What...

In Idaho, Affordable Housing = Mental Health Stability

Mental health workers in Idaho are appealing for help to increase the amount of affordable housing in that state. According to the United Way's ALICE report*, Idaho needs thousands more affordable housing units for households who have lower incomes and high housing costs. People who...

Form-Based Code: What Is It? Why Is It Different From Conventional Planning? How Does It Help Affordable Housing?

0
Form-based code is a method of land use regulation promoted by the Form-Based Codes Institute, which operates out of Washington D.C. Urban planning is in many ways like flying blind. The characteristics of a new district are defined by a planning code which places general...

India->Trade Unions->Housing Co-ops->Thousands of Affordable Houses. Could It Happen Elsewhere?

Some of India's new, utilitarian housing shares a disease with these soviet-era Russian buildings. Their success at providing enormous quantities of housing comes at the cost of a certain lack of beauty.
0
India is the world's second most populous country and it is rapidly developing. Luxury houses are no longer just the palaces of a backward feudal state. Modern sub-developments and luxurious apartment complexes grace some of its cities, where the middle class is growing rapidly...

Right to Adequate Housing: What Is it? Who Is Promoting It? Why Will The US Likely Be Last On Earth to Get It?

0
All humans have the Right to Adequate Housing. Housing is not somebody's magnanimous gift, or a privilege, or a right that somehow must be earned. If you are human, you have a right to adequate housing. That belief is creeping slowly into law around the...

Sweat Equity: What is it? Who Uses it? What Does It Offer To Affordable Housing?

Photo taken at a Habitat for Humanity build in Miami. Read more about the role of sweat equity in Habitat for Humanity's programs.
0
Sweat equity undoubtedly pre-dates currency. When there isn't any cash, you can pay with goods. When you have no goods to pay, you can pay with the sweat of your brow. Sweat equity is a term which can be used to describe the capitalization of...

‘My Way Is The High Way’ Brings Homelessness Prevention to Denver

0
Denver is adding to its affordable housing programs by raising taxes from marijuana sales, beefing up a multi-million dollar fund to twice its original size. For other nations, states and provinces, the Denver experience shows how legalizing marijuana can help by targeting new affordable housing....

Public Housing Failure: Who Is To Blame? A Seattle Microcosm Of That Question

0
While public (a.k.a social) housing has been extremely successful in some European nations, it survives and prospers against a small 'c' conservative attitude that financially poor tenants are both philosophically and intentionally to blame when public housing is seen to deteriorate. Philosophically, pubic housing tenants...

Redlining: What Was It? And Should We Be Asking ‘What Is It?’ Because It’s Still With Us, And It’s Bad

0
As elsewhere, private banks in the U.S. are profit-driven, with the interests of their shareholders first and foremost in their hearts. Because of this, they have traditionally been reluctant to lend mortgage money to those who wish to buy houses in poorer districts and...

Portland’s Local ‘Right To Shelter’ Couldn’t Drain A National Ocean Of Homelessness

0
If you build it, they will come. And they did come, more than anyone expected. In a visionary, gutsy move, Portland declared in 2015 that nobody would be turned away from city shelters. But Portland's well-meaning initiative had not taken into account 'the magnet effect.'...

Affordable Housing: Can A City Be Both An Advocate And An Honest Broker?

0
Edmonton, Alberta likes the idea of doing its own online video channel to promote the programs that City Council has approved. However, a recent opinion piece in the Edmonton Journal uses the affordable housing crisis as a thorny example of how advocacy may clash with a...

Trailer Park Ploys: Selling Out In A Hot Real Estate Market. Is Zoning The Antidote?

0
Trailer Park residents are becoming an endangered species, even as their shrinking habitat is gradually being recognized as an effective form of affordable housing. Tiny homes? Tiny home communities? They're the flavour of the decade as cute and clever 'new' ways to tackle homelessness. Only, they...

The Affordable Housing High Jump Dilemma: Lower the Bar, or Raise the Ground?

0
Hand-wringing about the rising cost of affordable housing is by far the most common way of identifying 'the target' of the affordable housing crisis. But housing is almost always paid for from income. So is it the crisis of rising housing cost on the one...
Howdy,
Search exact
Search sentence

Recent Comments

    Meta