Monthly Archives: May 2022

An Affordable Housing Odd Couple Worth Monitoring?

fanciful layers of coloured substance create a pair of fantasy high rise buildings supposedly for some future race of hybrids formed from humans and animals
Still early days for a pair of city newly-weds, but . . . Should we remark on the potential of  a "V for Victory" link-up between the two cities, Vancouver, B.C. and Vienna, Austria, holding hands from halfway around the world? The subject of their...

Everybody’s Housing Crisis: One Way Out Of No Way Out

Dan Darrah, writing in Jacobin, takes us yet again along the North American housing superhighway which is speeding us towards an untunneled cliff face — the point where there is no wealth left available to transfer into housing. Two thirds of the population of both...

To Stop Housing, Mass Transit, Green Energy? Just Yell

Who knew that democracy could be so easily subverted by a few angry, determined voices? A recent article in The Atlantic explores in depth how America's democratic system can be held hostage to handfuls of people voicing neighbourhood concerns. As The Atlantic explains it, democracy...

Refurbishing Refuseniks: Public Housing Tenant Self-Defence

Those dratted American public housing tenants who won't drink the Kool-Aid! With the Race-To-Replace currently under starter's orders, big bucks and bulldozers poised and ready, who are these selfish folks who won't shuffle obediently towards the exit door? We'll take care of you. No, No,...

Co-Living: Necessary Economic Horror, or Cozy Social Benefit?

A cheery women carrying her child in a basket of laundry on an upper floor outside passageway
Numerous recent articles in the press have presented as a dropping of jaws and a slapping of cheeks in horror. The outrage: a forced trend of 'student-style' co-living, also called co-housing. These days it is pursuing youth into undignified adulthood and who knows how...

The Plague Of High Housing Prices Spreads Across British Columbia

Tim Richter is one of the leaders behind Vote Housing, a Canadian campaign to draw attention to the affordable housing crisis. He frequently reminds us that we have created the Canadian housing crisis, through policies and programs that have driven up prices in ownership...

United Kingdom Energy Security Strategy – What’s Missing?

external view of row houses in England
To mark Earth Day this year, the National Housing Federation (NHF) summarized developments in energy saving activities among social housing providers. We've chosen to pair the first subject covered: "Electric Heat Pumps – Your Questions Answered" with the lastAll of the subjects are covered here...

Breathing Health: Colorblind For All The Wrong Reasons

coloured map showing neighbourhoods in Boston
"You are what you eat" is a well known phrase that ties human well-being to healthy food. The deterioration of America's public housing in particular has added another important qualifier to health of tenants: "you are what you breathe." Air quality can also play...

Bristol UK Social Housing Bootstraps Wind Power

Against the skyline, giant cranes work next to the shafts of giant windmills under construction
The world is scheduling the abandonment of gas and petroleum power. So bring on electricity! That demand is being energized by activists and, increasingly, by government. And when governments are demanding about the need for new energy solutions, but otherwise unhelpful — even obstructionist...

Affordable Housing Brings Down Nearby Property Values, Doesn’t It?

view of low density housing in Alexandria Virginia
Does living near affordable housing boost property values or lower them? Christina Stacy and Christopher Davis, who are based at the Urban Institute in the United States, reviewed existing studies on the subject. Some of the studies found that affordable housing brought down property...

Nova Scotia Civility Strains To Accommodate The Homeless

upper floor of an abandonned house
For new arrivals, Nova Scotia offers a friendly sense of superiority not uncommon in the Canadian maritimes. It's a quiet certainty that "you've come to the right place." But that superiority is anything but exclusive. Folks seem happy to have you share in their...

Wrong Turns On The Road To Shelter In San Francisco

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) publishes a map with information about homelessness. The map indicates 161,548 people were homeless in California on any given night in 2020. HUD's mapsite also has a link to connect people who are experiencing homeless...

Social Housing Development – Thorough Research Pays Off

A Black and white photo of curve-fronted 6 story building with and archway into the social housing complex
Affordablehousingaction.org frequently trots out Singapore and Vienna as examples of 'how social housing could be done better.' Nor is this some unique trend. Governments support fact finding missions. As well, it isn't unusual for people who are deeply troubled by their own housing policies...

Death By Zombie Evictee: Miami Landlord Proxy Nightmares

Bloodstained ghouls in nurses uniforms stumble towards camera
Current Miami-Dade local politics feature some efforts to at least consider changes to the legalities of landlord-tenant relationships in an era when rents are increasing far faster than wages. City council politicians are seriously, even unanimously, exploring ways to reshape the legal framework that binds...

What Happens If NIMBY Takes Aim At Net Zero?

external view of mixed income housing development built at the turn of the century
Net ZeroSee the United Nations Net Zero Coalition for more on this term: Climate Action , Social Housing and NIMBY: what lies at the intersection of these murky futures? Well, given the current fad for 'mixed income' housing, we might well expect that, in...

Why You Are Sliding Towards A Home With An Open Air Roof

A woman & her dog under blankets on grassy parkland
Leftie, bleeding heart publications such as ourselves just know that the globe's problems, like homelessness, arise from rampant, unrepentant financializers who profit on the backs of the little guys. Well, here's a relief from our conventional mantra. Let's excuse the gamblers, speculators and financializers. They...

Canada: Local Tools To Implement The Right To Adequate Housing

A construction crane set against a city twilight
One thing you can say about local governments – they really can't turn away from the housing struggles of their residents. And to their credit, local governments in Canada have stepped up to lead innovations in homelessness programming, to prevent homelessness and to add/protect the...

Homeless RV Problems Reveal The Limits of Soft-Hearted Shrug

line of rv's parked on city street
Recreational Vehicles (RVs) are a subclass of generalized homeless problems and growing as all homelessness is in North America. An international view of officialdom seems to be that tents are far too tacky to be considered a home, (or even, for that matter, an individual...

Feeling Pissed About We The Police? Have A House On Us.

A pair of police officers in uniform, made more intimidating with their faces covered by mask and sun glasses
In North America, we're accustomed to Police Associations as reactive. Defending this officer or that from allegations of this or that. Lobbying this jurisdiction or that to prevent reduction of police budgets, avoid constraining police behaviour, scuppering ways policing is conducted (i.e. body cams)...

Sacramento, CA Fights For A Legal Right To Housing For The Homeless

A cart festooned with colourful objects including an American flag
Over the last year, California's state capitol, Sacramento has been working hard to balance a responsibility to find or create shelter for the city's homeless. It has been a challenge to balance compassion as well a safety for the homeless with the pressures from...

The Big Issue: Rewarding UK’s Lived-Experience-In-Chief

A 19th century engraving shows King John on one side of the table and a selection of English Lords on the other as the King signed the Magna Carta
It's only taken, what? — 900 odd years or so to make the change, but the United Kingdom has converted at least some corners of the National Office of Citizen Oppression into a means of honouring social achievement. (The original oppressor — the monarch —...

Getting A Grip On Profit In Rental Housing

Imagine for a moment that you own a home and you've lived there for 10 years. In that time, the value of your home has gone up. Depending on where you live, the value may have gone up quite a lot. Based on the new...

Government Broken Relocation Promises: Death Warrants?

Nursing homes have no desire to become custodians of tatty old furniture, near and dear to nobody's hearts but the owner's. But far from discouraging such an intake along with new residents, they often actively promote it. Why? Because moving homes for older, more vulnerable...

Homelessness Officialdom. All Dressed Up, But . . . Places To Go?

exterior view of home in deschutes oregon
A homelessness story out of Deschutes County points to a dilemma that local authorities are wrestling this these days as they receive funding from higher levels of government. As in other localities, it's not so much a homelessness story, but more of a 'lessness' story....

Civil Unrest: Too Busy Fighting Wars To Feed Citizens?

Martin Lewis, a United Kingdom money-saving expert, is reacting to the impact of compulsory belt-tightening in Britain for those who have no more notches between themselves and starvation. Britain's most vulnerable citizens are currently suffering a double? triple? quadruple? whammy that threatens to put millions...

Bleeding-Heart Seattle Finds A Homeless Gun to Its Head

A shadowy black and white figure points a gun towards the viewer's face
A Seattle City Councilmember tasked with leading up a homelessness committee, discovered that readily available police statistics on crime and violence were simply not part of homelessness decision making in the city. A left-leaning 'leave the poor homeless alone' mindset prevailed. Digging into police records,...

Sorting Out Who Does What In Housing And Homelessness In Canada

One of the more tiresome aspects of the housing and homelessness crisis in Canada is the issue of jurisdiction. It provides ample opportunity for elected representatives to say, “not my problem.” But if you have no place to sleep tonight, “not my problem” fails...

30 Year LIHTC Wallpaper Bubble Bursts 15 Years Early!

Sure, LIHTC has always been a successful government housing policy, allowing officials to 'brag now because we'll all be dead by the time the shit hits the fan.' There's a more regal way of saying this, thanks to Madam de Pompadour, favourite of King Louis...
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