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.

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 wrap around...

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...

Empty Housing Not Just A Waste Of Shelter But Also A Community Disease

Empty houses plague not only cities, but the countryside. Some are empty because speculators are holding them for a quick turnover in a hot housing market.Try: City Of Vancouver...

Public “Housing Of Last Resort” Offers Advice on Community Rebuild

It's easy to dismiss the ideas and perceptions of those who live in "housing of last resort." Barricaded in poorly maintained apartments, crunching across needles strewn in hallways, harassed for...

Is Housing-Proud Singapore A Go-To For Urban Planning After COVID?

With COVID-19 exacerbating housing crises worldwide, it's hard to avoid being awestruck with Singapore's dramatic public housing successes.Try: How Singapore Got Public Housing Right That city-state has planned thoughtfully...

Elderly Need Care? Home Support is Better. Are Private Nursing Homes A Rip-Off?

The harsh realities of COVID-19 have besmirched a number of nations that have followed "small-government" policies to either starve essential social programs to death, or to pass them off...

Columbia, South America: Learning From Social Challenges In New Public Housing

The article linked below offers a view into public housing built in Colombia, South America. It is a part of the world that receives little coverage in the media...

The OECD Recommends More Social Housing. It’s A Global Need

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has just issued a policy brief about affordable housing. It begins with an 20 year overview of trends in housing affordability....

Good News For New York City’s Public Housing – A Long Time In The Making

The New York City Housing Authority, including its arms-length owner, New York City, have been caught between a rock and a hard place for many years now. The rock: an estimated...

Housing Financialization And Homelessness Taints The Far Side Of The World

New Zealand's housing crisis received some mixed attention a couple of years ago, with the announcement of a national scheme to address the issue with the catchy title of...

Do NIMBY, Bylaws, Stand In Way Of American Social Housing?

The American public is generally far more receptive to the idea of new public housing than either the politicians they elect, or the lumbering behemoth that is the Department...

New HUD Secretary’s Housing Experience Is A Mixed Message For Change

A recent article in City Journal attempts to put a hopeful twist on President Biden's choice for Secretary of the US Department Of Housing And Urban Developement (HUD). His...

COVID Housing Recovery in NYC: Non-Profits & Co-ops To The Rescue?

Post-pandemic turmoil in the housing market of America's largest city? Laissez-faire. Leave it be. Let the private sector, master of all housing matters, perform any needed recovery. . . ....

EU Moves Towards Tackling Affordable Housing Crisis For All Its Member States

"Rather than a fundamental right to be guaranteed for all, housing has increasingly been considered a market to make profits through speculative acquisitions and the so-called financialization of the...

People Bins: The Heartbreaking Betrayal In A Helping Hand For The Homeless

What's to be said about "temporarily permanent" measures such as the "people bins" being deployed in the German city of Ulm? Unlike trash, the bin occupants will be able...

What If New Public Housing In America Could Be Owned, Not Rented?

Shelterforce is an American publication promoting community activism in a number of areas, particularly housing. In a recent article, it poses the "what if" question framed in the headline...

My Venerable Couch Is Worth Nothing. But Not To Someone With An Empty Home

This writer, planning a move from a long-held apartment, is in a flop sweat. Too much stuff! Well, lucky me. At least compared to those on housing waiting lists, owning...

Can You Have A Million Dollar Public Housing Cake And Eat it Too? Singapore Wonders

European nations such as Denmark and Austria have done very well by housing large portions of their population in social housing. Nowhere, however, has the public housing been such...

How Singapore Got Public Housing Right

So how come public housing is such a perennial loser, reviled and disparaged by political parties of all stripes in some of the world's more advanced nations? Its demise...

Still Standing? A Lick Of Paint And Bob’s Your Uncle: Good As New Public Housing!

Refurbish decrepit empty housing, including dead-but-hasn't-fallen down public/social housing? Maybe it's a good idea. A growing number of nations worldwide, from those who think public housing is or was a...

Irish Cost-Rental Housing: What Is It? Is It Affordable?

"Cost-Rental Housing" as coined by the Irish Government, describes a new project funding scheme, based in part upon the way the City of Vienna funds its extremely successful social...

Public Housing Tenants Could Become Fodder To Feed Brave New City CBDs

Everywhere, one of the biggest non-human victims of the pandemic — second only to national health care systems — has been the central business district (CBD), together with transit...

An American Monument Calls For Public Housing To Go Mainstream

No, the call isn't coming from some little half-baked lefty publication like ours. Not even from a fully baked one. It's coming from a really large, really important centre-left U.S....

New Public Housing? Here Are Some Reasons Why Not.

The Brookings Institute is a respected centre-left think tank, so when it pipes up with an opinion that squelches America's faint but slowly growing calls for public housing, lefty...

What’s Hot And What’s Not In Seniors’ Housing? Ask The Public Housing World Pros

Just imagine you lived in a nation where public housing worked wonderfully for people with no income, low income, moderate income — in fact just about everybody. We're not...

A United America Needs Better Access To Public Housing

With the arrival of the Biden Democratic presidency in the USA, there are increasing calls for what can be described as "big government" solutions to the nation's problems. This...

Top-Down Promoted “Affordability” Definitions Run Aground in P.E.I.

When it comes to housing, what to make of the term "affordable" these days? Aided and abetted by the housing industry in search of funding, as well as national...

Truly Affordable Housing? Public Sector Can Do it Better . . . Or Maybe Not.

Who can best build truly affordable housing for low- and no- income citizens? The private sector? That's been a popular government assumption, tried and tested in Public Private Partnerships...

Employing Public Housing Tenants – Another Myth Bites The Dust

Here is groundbreaking research about tenants who live in social housing that deserves more attention. It challenges the notion that people who live in social housing are less motivated...

Affordable For All: The Challenge For New U.S. Housing Secretary

Recently, we posted a storyTry: Biden-Harris: Timely Dawn Of A New Day For Public Housing? Unlikely that assessed the chances that Public Housing would see a revival in America...

Featuring a Bizarre Welsh “Good News” Public Housing Story

Bizarre? Why, anything about public housing is bizarre if it departs from the circular firing squads that define interaction between government, public housing management and their tenants on both...
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