Public and Social Housing

Posts concerning housing for people with very low or no income.  The housing is provided separately from the speculative private housing market on a permanent basis.

Does Paris Have A Method For U.S. Public Housing Madness?

The United States is gradually waking up to the fact that it has profoundly neglected the upkeep of its public housing. This hasn't mattered under several decades of neoliberal...

Mobile Unhoused: A Roof Overhead But No Fixed Address

Mobile Homes, from bus-sized RVs to the back seat of a car, offer another vision of homelessness, one which can be useful to both the homeless themselves and well...

A Tour Of Social Housing Revival In North America

The demolitions of Cabrini Green in Chicago and Pruitt-Igoe in St. Louis, two very large public housing projects, reflect decisions made by people who had never lived there. Some...

Marin California’s Largest Public Housing Project At Risk

Imagine living in a public housing project that is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places! Since public housing is generally vilified in the public press, this seems...

Singapore’s Public Housing. . . ❤️ ! But Also Some . . .☹️

Okay, we have occasionally gushed about the "amazingness" that 80% of Singapore's population live in social housing and actually own it as well. That gushing has stretched even to numbers of other...

Public Housing Authority Powered By Profit: Recipe For Train Wreck?

Traditionally, the U.S. as well as other countries have depended upon non-profit organizational status to protect arm's length government housing agencies that oversee and maintain public housing for low...

California Challenge: Quickly Build Massive Numbers Of Affordable Homes.

These days, elections in many countries feature political party commitments to build crisis-ending quantities of affordable housing. Somehow, once the dust settles, the promises fade away, or the "affordability"...

How Local Housing Markets Fuel The World Housing Crisis

Dan Darrah, writing in Jacobin, took the recent Canadian election as an opportunity to discuss the growing housing crisis for people with very low and no incomes. Even though...

Apologies: We Celebrated A Venerable Public Housing Birthday A Year Early

Those of us who are aging surrounded by aging family and friends often need forgiveness for getting birthday dates slightly wrong. So we're hoping we'll be forgiven by joyously...

How Victim-Bashing Has Become A US Housing Solution For The Poor

Governments in the United States (and likely pretty much everywhere else) depend on a docile underclass of unhoused and precariously housed citizens. In big cities, those applying for limited public...

Upzoning That Suits Housing Affordability: Off The Rack Or Made To Measure?

Upzoning! Brought to you by those developer-folks who once facilitated the American Suburban Dream! Now they want suburbanites to change their living spots, or at least nudge over a...

Squeaky Wheel/Diplomat: What Is Needed For A Public Housing Voice

A sprinkling of encouraging notes from several countries might signal a sea change in the treatment of public/social housing tenants. The trend continues for fixing up more of the...

US Public Housing Today: Necessity Is The Mother of Indifference

Necessity the mother of indifference? A far cry from the period following World War II, when necessity was very much the mother of amazing invention as countries rebuilt housing...

Updated: New Life For 100 Year Old Buildings?

In June 2020, affordablehousingaction.org reported about a renovation project at an eight unit tenement in Glasgow. Now, the BBC is providing an update on how it's coming along. The...

Cold Facts: While The Govts Snooze, The REITs Abuse And The Tenants Lose.

Any governments with housing responsibilities or any national housing activists with housing concerns should give a look to a CBC News four-part series on housing in the Canadian North....

Internationals Scammed By Thatcherism? Go Local For Details

Ireland, The United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and more: international victims of a Whiz-bang Goddess of Conservatism — Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979...

Is HUD Pimping Out Unoccupied Housing To The Private Sector?

It's a strange lawsuit on the face of it, Philadelphia low income housing activists taking on Marcia Fudge, the U.S. Secretary of Housing and her HUDThe U.S. Department of...

Getting To The Roots Of The COVID-Poverty “Link”

Eight months ago, The Neighborhood Developers (TND), a non-profit housing provider in the city of Chelsea, Massachusetts, shared news about the COVID infection rates at their properties. Chelsea residents have...

Should America’s RAD Be Renamed SLIT — Slum Lords In Training?

America's latest supposed solution to their embarrassing public housing problemEmbarassing public housing problem? Indeed, how did a program with its roots in the eradication of city slums in 19th...

Evaluating HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration

This post is about an evaluation of the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, which was commissioned by HUD (the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development). It was released...

Public Housing: “Lean And Mean” Clashes With “Green”

American public housing over the last few decades has been an underfunded study in ignoring basic tenant health and safety. But with a growing outcry about everything from lead...

Exercises in Public Housing Futility: Australian List Fiddling

Lineups to nowhere? Are they a sick joke? The "West" not long ago found reason to mock lineups in the "East" a.k.a. the Soviet Bloc. And fair enough, the...

HUD To Choose Safety Of Investors Over Public Housing Tenants

Not all that long ago, private landlords were to be the new caretakers of America's low and no income residents who could not survive in the free rental housing...

Grand Theft Auto: Authorities Steal Mobile Shelter & Job Access

It is disheartening to watch local governments warily circling an imagined threat like a dog sizing up an opponent, then pounce suddenly and brutally. This is particularly true when...

Poor Grades For UK Machine “Intelligence” Serving Council Needs

It seems a reasonable enough question: can some form of computer program be designed to serve, say social housing residents, better and more fairly than humans? Recently, the United Kingdom...

Scotland Steps Up On Social Rent Housing

The Scottish Government has issued a 20 year housing policy. This time frame, which extends well beyond typical election cycles, is unusual in itself. The document states unequivocally that...

Domestic Violence Costs Australia: Social Housing Can Help

Equity Economics, a research consultancy that supports the non-profit sector in Australia, has just issued a report that recommends adding 16,800 units to the country's social housing stock. The...

Dublin City Council Flirts With Public Housing For . . . All???

In countries that have been dominated by neoliberal thought for the past few decades, social/public Housing has been (and often still is) viewed as a rental dead end in...

Housing & Infrastructure: Big Democrat Cities All Hat And No Cattle?

However strong the several-decade influence of neoliberal "small government" philosophy, major societal needs — e.g. clean water, national road networks, housing for all — have historically been delivered by...

What is RAD? Is It A Brave New Future For American Public Housing?

The U.S. Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program is a hopeful attempt to combine a failing national housing voucher program with the profound failure of American public housing management and...

A Price Of Mixed Income Neighbourhoods: Soulless Density

What's a budget-conscious local government council to do? Spending on social housing is to be avoided at all costs, even when the locality already owns the land. It's too...

How Government Landlords Can Trash The Value Of Co-op Housing

Housing Co-ops are a tried and true means of creating affordable housing and shielding that affordability by keeping the enterprise away from the free market. Co-ops can protect both...

The U.S. Housing Crisis: Democrat Rot? Republican Rot? Both!

Conservative rot, or Labour rot in the U.K.? Conservative rot or Liberal rot in Canada? And so on. The question bears repeating with a change of political party names...

“NUMBY” Politicians Too Quick to Hear NIMBY?

If there's anything that everyone agrees upon, it's the inevitability of NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard). When the issue of new housing in a neighbourhood arises, almost nothing...

New Housing Next Door: Does It Kill Me or Cure Me?

Housing owners are rightfully concerned about how neighbourhood changes will influence what is probably their greatest investment — their home. Housing renters also have an indirect concern. If the...

Mapping A Route To End Domestic Violence In Canada

When you're tackling something as complex as domestic and gender-based violence, it's helpful to have a roadmap. Women's Shelters Canada and others have just completed a Roadmap for the...

“Ambulance Chasing” Lawyers Turn From Whiplash to Social Housing

"Ambulance chasers" is a derogatory term referring to opportunistic lawyers who see an opportunity to earn a fee from an accident situation that was in some way preventable and...

Why At Times We’re Only Comfortable Looking At Our Blog Name In The Mirror

Why the mirror? 'Cause the name don't make no practical sense no more. Like a chicken sitting on a square egg, affordablehousingaction.org has been cackling uncomfortably about "affordable housing" for...

Tenants Tickled Pink By The Privatization Of NYCHA? Not So Much

After decades of neglect, tenants of New York City's social housing have a pretty good idea of who to blame for the relentless dilapidation of their homes and lives....

Public or Private landlords: Which Do Rental Housing Most Efficiently?

An article in Sydney, Australia turns conventional wisdom upside down to consider where Australian governments might look to best support housing for tenants. In doing so, the article overturns some...

ITV In UK Catches Too Many Social Housers With Their Pants Down

When it comes to enduring poverty in disgusting, dangerous, unhealthy conditions, grovelling apologies to sufferers don't quite cut it. But at the moment in England, that's what's being served...

Public Housing: A Cause for Optimism, Not Pessimism?

All of us on planet earth are johnny-come-latelys to our own genetic makeup, forged over thousands of years of bare subsistence, scratching a living where we can. Not surprising,...

Better Public Housing: And You Thought NGOs Were The Good Guys

Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) are by and large created as non-profit organizations. That means they can balance a public housing project's books but are constrained from channelling a nice little...

Homekey Struggles to Overcome Homelessness AND Public Perception

As California's Homekey program is well aware, fighting homelessness is a three-pronged battle. Like an iceberg, the bulk of homelessness lies beneath the surface, invisible to the public. Addressing homelessness...

Province Ensuring Greater Accessibility In Public Housing

The Canadian Province of British Columbia is evaluating all of BC Housing's homes built since 2019 to determine which units deserve certification as both liveable and accessible. One indication of...

Didn’t Want To Be Evicted? (So Many Do.) Why Didn’t You Submit A Form?

  A "shake of the head" series of posts entitled "who dreams up these crazy rules anyway?" The CDC eviction ban (challenged in the courts) will end July 31, and the...

More Aging NZ Homeowners Looking Towards Public Housing. Why?

One in three New Zealand councils are looking to pry elusive rent subsidies dollars from the federal government in order to build social housing. The demand for social (or...

Public Housing As American Roadkill. Could It Ever Be Nursed Back To Health

Crippled by racism, mercilessly run down by anti-socialist Cold Warriors, the public housing traffic accident in America is now being pecked to death by roadside scavengers. Even those who...

Housing With Support – A Source Of Strength To Individuals And Community

In the late 1800's in western countries, if people had problems they might seek help from family, neighbours or the local church. There were also hospitals, asylums, poor houses...

Impeccably Balanced Communities: Practical Solutions Or Pipe Dreams?

Imagine a community with just the right number of Blacks, the right number of Whites, Hispanics, Asians, LTBQ2S, Transexuals, Low/Moderate/High Incomes, Fully Vaccinated, Unvaccinated, Sports Heroes, Bookworms, Social Media...

Leased Social Housing Shell Game: It Takes Years To Sniff Out How It Works

American Great Idea — Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC). Advantage: Guaranteed reasonably priced affordable housing for 30 years at an indirect cost to the government (Taxes never collected). Disadvantage:...

UK Social Landlords: How May I Love Thee? Let Me Discount The Ways

The UK last year published a white paper that outlined more "tenant-friendly" policies, which badly needed implementation on behalf of those who live in the nation's social housing. The...

Montréal Threatens: Developers, Mix Your New Build Housing! Or Else!

Developers feast on free market housing. Why not make them fix Montréal's housing crisis while they're at it? That seems to be the thinking of the mayor and city...

Hong Kong: How To Reclaim Those Idle Fields of Developer Dreams

There is almost nothing as powerful as a free-market speculator in a democracy where the laws of the land favour — to the point of worship — the predatory...

Vote Housing: A Campaign To Change Canada’s Housing System

The Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness (CAEH) is teaming up with five organizations in a campaign called Vote Housing, which aims to make Canada's housing policy an election issue. Why the...

Government Policies Create Winners & Losers In Housing Markets

How did homelessness sprout and then grow and grow? Why are tenants living in substandard housing, or paying unaffordable rents, or both? Why does a commitment to adequate housing...

Housing Support Payments: Landlords😄, Tenants😄, Taxpayers😖

The headline on this post could go further, reflecting winners and losers in the free- market housing support program game: Developers😄, Speculators😄, and those needy and waiting for support...

One Housing Standard For All?

One school of thought holds that future social housing ought to be built to a lower standard than housing where a higher price will be charged. This kind of...

Can A Corporate “Person” Treat The Homeless As Kin?

This post is part of a series about ways that people provide support to those who experience homelessness. The idea that "we treat everyone as kin" resonates through the...

Toronto Community Housing Workers Bargain For “Them,” Not Just “Us”

Well, we took out hats off to honour striking Chicago teachers who went to the bargaining wall demanding better conditions, including truly affordable housing, for students and their familiesKudos...

After 11 Years Of UK Tory Rule, Where Goes Public Housing?

The recent record of the Conservative Party in the UK has seen rejuvenation of public housing policies inherited decades earlier from Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. (To be fair, a...

Is It Possible? Middle Class Envy of Public Housing Quality? Yes

Affordablehousingaction.org operates out of an older mid-rise Toronto apartment building with large rooms and views over a park and lake. For all their desirable features, the apartments are wrapped...

In Vancouver’s Orwellian Housing World, Affordable Means “Not”

Orwellian? Think of the novel 1984. As in: War is Peace! Freedom is Slavery! Now add Vancouver's contribution: Social Housing is Unaffordable Housing! Elsewhere in the world, Social Housing means...

Annapolis: Infrastructure Detached From People? Worth Suing Over

A government's construction and maintenance of services necessary to the well-being of a national or local population is inherently socialist. In America, though not everywhere else, there's a general...

Vienna Achieves “Mixed Income” Within Public Housing, Not Beside It

In North America, as well as many other "westernized" countries, housing developers and government currently argue that "mixed income" is a very desirable social foundation for building strong neighbourhood...

Public Housing Needs Arts At Its Core. Who Knew? (Other Than Artists)

A Seattle, Washington public housing arts project provides an alternative meaning to "public housing" that has been much neglected in America. That meaning is a focus on "community" rather...

One Bright Idea To Clamp Down On Public Housing Lawbreakers

Policing in poor neighbourhoods of cities, no matter how large or small, is contentious. Public Housing neighbourhoods are no exception. And public housing tenants, particularly in Black dominated American public...

How Middle Class Miami Ran Over Public Housing On The Way Out Of Town

It was an unfortunate traffic accident. The American dream lay affordable and enticing in the suburbs. Middle America could afford cars to pursue it. Nobody gave thought to the...

Landlord Unfair: Who’s To Judge? England Believes “Lived Experience” Can Help

The recent United Kingdom Social Housing White Paper put public housing landlords and their managers on notice. A new era is to be born in which fair tenant concerns...

Robots In NYC Public Housing: “Big Brother Dog Is Watching You”

The use of a robot surveillance "dog" during a police intervention in New York Public Housing seems to have a human "creepy" value of 100% with complaints flying thick...

Should Private Investment In Public Services Replace Public Spending?

A recent article in Forbes asked whether value capture could be used to fund intensive case management and other supports as a way to speed up initiatives to end...

Postwar Public Housing: US Built A Failed Lower Class, Japan Created The Middle

There's a well-known saying: "you are what you eat." In postwar US and Japan, it might fairly be argued that you were how you were housed. Supposedly classless America...

Australia Ponders How Community Housing Benefits All, Not Just The Poorest

A recent article in Australia's Fifth Estate explores two important benefits that may accrue in the future from a more active program of building community housing.There's literally a whole world...

The Brookings Institute Compares Rental Housing Strategies Around the World

The COVID-19 pandemic in the United States has played havoc with that nation's housing, as it has in most, if not all, other countries in the world. This is...

Public Housing: Love It Or Leave It? America Can’t Make Up Its Mind

The new Democrat administration is proposing to broaden American infrastructure to include public housing. With such an act, is the country accepting that public housing is an essential public...

Repairing US Existing Public Housing: A Pact With A Toothless Devil?

Recently, America has been forced to confront two inconvenient truths that have nullified each other. First, it needs public housing — not to house all citizens, but at least...

New York City Requires Housing Broadband: Spirit Willing, But Flesh is Weak

Recent good news for rural America: billions of federal dollars have been promised to provide high speed broadband internet access that is currently as spotty as the rural housing...

Irish Plan To Implement Compassionate, Orderly, Permanent Refugee Reception

Global political upheavals have produced steady streams of asylum seekers and refugees hammering at the gates of wealthier countries. There is ample reason to believe these upheavals will continue....

Is Vancouver City Council Proposing To Dabble In Racist, Segregated Housing?

A belated recognition of urban aboriginal needs? Or a dismaying state-supported adventure in racist and economic apartheid? Vancouver, BC's city council has approval a First Nations construction project slated for...

In The Quicksand Of Housing Activism, Shared History Offers A Solid Footing

Looking towards a better future, why begin with a lengthy story of past failure? The question seems especially pertinent when no official record has been struck to carve the...

Why Canada And New Zealand (At Least) Need Public Housing For All

Imagine! A gambling chip you can plonk down on the casino table that is no gamble at all. Guaranteed to make money! Canada is close to perfecting that chip, with...

Do Public Housing Tenants Really Need Continous Ass-Kicking On Their Way Out The Door?

Just recently, we published a post questioning the (very old) wisdom of "up and out" policies, which impose work requirements on people who are living in public housing, with...

Even Without A Grand Master Rapper, New Orleans Shows Food Deserts Can Be Beaten

A modern view of old fashioned, much neglected, American public housing: push it into the trash. But there's a growing recognition that for all the hype for complicated government/free enterprise...

Benefits And Challenges of Green Social Housing As Low Income Security For UK

With housing firmly established as suitable gambling chip in the world's stock markets, it is becoming increasingly difficult for those with lower incomes to even rent it, let alone...

Can Vertical Forest Splash Save Netherlands Social Housing Cash?

There can be little argument that Milan's pioneering "Vertical Forest" building is a striking feat of architecture.Or rather, it will become one at some time in the future. Built...

Royal Commission in Victoria, Australia Calls For Public Supported Housing

A Royal Commission Into the Mental Health System in Victoria, Australia, has just issued its final report. In its two years of activity, the Commissioners received 12,500 submissions. The...

Speaking Up For Public Housing In Connecticut

One third of the households on the waiting list at the Housing Authority of New Haven live outside New Haven's boundaries. The Housing Authority is only allowed to build...

Mediterranean Holiday Homes To Be Expropriated For Social Housing

Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, Formentera. Familiar names to holiday makers who flock there in summer. These are part of the Balearic Islands off the Mediterranean coast of Spain — just...

We Had To Go To The Aussie Outback To Learn About Courses For Rental Tenants

Well, we didn't actually go, there, but we found a story published in Australia that turned out to be exactly to the point. As free market renters, it never actually...

Everywhere Public Private Partnerships Are Still Flavour Of The Millennium. Not In Dublin.

Has the City Council in Dublin, Ireland found a formula to replace Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), which have dominated neoliberal government thinking during this new millennium? Recently, Dublin's Council has...

Why Acquire Existing Rental Housing As Part Of An Affordable Housing Strategy?

This post considers the potential of a program to acquire existing rental units as part of an affordable housing strategy. The context is Canada, but the thinking could be...

Options To Avoid Watching A Loved One Fade Away Behind Glass

Aging Americans without a great deal of money might be curious to know whether Canada's medicare-for-all system helps out those whose futures include nursing home care. Canada's nursing home system is...

Housing Advocacy At The Highest Levels Of The Church Of England

The Church of England (C of E) has joined the chorus calling for more housing for people with very low and no incomes. This is one result of work...

Up And Out: Public Housing as Short Term Rehab vs. Destination Living

Public housing in America and Europe was originally envisioned as desirable, secure, adequate, long term housing for workers facing a World Economic Depression that lasted a decade in the...

Wrap-Around Support Program For Homeless Moms Gains Stable Housing

WoodGreen Community Services has scored another triumph in their award winning Homeward Bound program, with 36 new permanent rental housing units coming on stream in Toronto's Regent Park later...

Jersey City “Grows Up” Helped By World Economic Forum To Fight Food Insecurity

Food insecurity is a growing danger for the most vulnerable in many advanced countries. What do you do when you or your extremely low income family encounter a financial...

City of Toronto Helps Homeless-Loving Carpenter Follow in Famous Footsteps

In an age where social media allows everyone to preach the gospel of certainty for every possible lifestyle, social behaviour and religious belief under the sun, we wondered how...

Could “Social Housing For All” In California Crush A Truly Affordable Housing Crisis?

Two cities are commonly linked with the current outstanding success of social and public housing as a way of life. One is Vienna. The other is Singapore. In both places,...

When Homes Become Offices And Offices Become Homes: A Fantasy City Future?

In a topsy turvey pandemic world, many commercial office workers have seen their places of employment fragment and scatter backwards along commuter routes, down familiar residential streets, and in...

Social/Public Housing An Aboriginal Disaster? Why Not Papakāinga?

There would seem to be nothing quite as catastrophic as Inuit housing in Canada's far north, where much of the population was forcibly resettled much less than a century...
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