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.

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...

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,...

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...

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...

Canada’s Ugly Duckling Co-ops Still Swanning About In Pandemic

The desperate financial pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic have amplified a loud and growing chorus for social and public housing solutions to deal with unaffordable housing. For going on half...

A Public Housing Gym? With A Walking Track For Seniors?

When youth living at Gordonridge, were asked for their input on a gym complex being planned for the site, they asked, "Can we add a walking track for seniors?" This...

Be Best: Montréal Goes Toe To Toe With Housing Speculator Bullies

In an era of declining work security (never mind the pandemic!) it's not surprising that those worried about their late life income might consider "mom and pop shop" investment...

Multiple USA Crises: Could A New Public Housing Dawn Fix Them?

In the midst of a pandemic, Joe Biden has stepped to the plate. Could one powerful swing towards public housing renewal knock a series of national problems out of...

A Health Emergency On Top Of A Housing Emergency

Cynthia Puddu, who teaches at MacEwen University in Edmonton, Alberta, is calling for short and long term changes to housing and homelessness programs across North America. Before COVID-19, housing for...

Defund the Police? Why Not Just De-Militarize Them?

Uniformed police are an inescapable symbol of White prejudice and oppression in Black America, a searing image, which will not be erased in a single lifetime. Less obvious is...

A Drop-In Centre With A Housing Mission

Here's an article about the sale of a heritage rooming house building in a Toronto neighbourhood. The new owner is bucking the trend to gentrification and will continue to...

Too Many Empty Social Housing Units? Are Tenants Too Picky?

An article from Scotland and another from Ontario, Canada tell of different ways to manage waiting lists for social housing. Both offer the right to refuse an offer of a...

Guns, Jails And Violence: The Housing Connection

Gun violence is one of many failings associated with public housing. In his documentary, writer, producer and director Brian Schodorf challenges that notion. The program focusses on Cabrini Green, a...

Council-Built Housing: Pure Tomfoolery or Plain Good Sense?

Could your local city or regional council build its own housing? Why would it want to? One compelling argument is that, when it comes to truly affordable housing, it may...

“A [COVID] Factor That Came Late To Public Attention: Ventilation.”

Ventilation came late to COVID 19 public attention? Really? Not in this writer's Canadian household, where stories out of East Asia early last spring described in diagrammatic detail how...

Sure, Skip American Public Housing As A Failure. Just Choose A Better Model

With a Democrat as President, progressives in both Congress and party will be pushing for a return to public housing as a cure for some of America's housing woes. Has...

How Parliamentarians Might Get A Meaningful Taste Of Public Housing

What follows is a New Zealand article with all the sharp-edged whimsy of Irishman Johnathan Swift's 1729 anonymous publication of A Modest Proposal.Here is a summary of this satirical...

Can Two Lame US Public Housing Substitutes Limp Effectively Together?

Neoliberal "small" governments over the last 50 years have developed low- and no- income housing support that was designed to replace "big government" hands-on public housing. These solutions have, by...

Aussie Feds Drop Social Housing Ball. Has Victoria, AU Picked It Up?

If noise in the press is any indication of public concern, then Australia's press over the last six months has resonated with cries from all quarters for the construction...

Dublin On Social Housing: Let’s Do It Better, Like The Europeans Do

For any city, town or rural area re-thinking the benefits of social housing, it's important to acknowledge that what went wrong in the past can be a useful foundation...

Gary, Indiana Turns Out Public Housing Lights, Prays For Landlord Candles

U.S. President George H.W. Bush's description of charities as "a thousand tiny points of light" has taken a rightful place in history and literature as a truly hopeful and...

Canadian First Nation Seeks Sovereignty Through Housing

Indigenous people who are resident in modern nations may value their often unasked for (and sometimes unwanted) citizenship. But many, if not most, harbour a strong sense of maintaining...

Overlooked: Women’s Homelessness And Housing Need

In the months leading up to COVID-19, two groups of researchers set out to investigate homelessness among women. The researchers were concerned that women's experiences were overlooked. Both groups...

Greet Once-Employed, Now Homeless Hoards: No Salary, Not Even Tips

Good Value = Popular = Crowding = Exuberant Conversation = Infected Spittle-Spatter blown away in a patio wind, but sucked into deadly circulation when trapped indoors. The future of...

U.S. Pilot Project Smooths The Transition From Jail To Community

The Homecoming Project in Oakland, California matches people who are leaving prison with community hosts who provide housing for six months. The idea is to provide safe and secure...

While Waiting For Econ 101 Solutions, Welcome To The 1890 Slums

When it comes to the creation of affordable housing, particularly truly affordable social housing, neoliberal government thinking still prevails after 50 years of questionable results. The tried but not-so-true...

Public Housing: For Heaven’s Sake Let The Good Times Roll!

Is social housing a disease or a cure? Half a century spent pondering that question has left neoliberal governments around the world no closer to an answer. One thing is...

Sounding The Bell For Public Spending On Social Housing

For the past few decades, countries caught in the thrall of neoliberalism (e.g. America, Australia, Canada, UK, Ireland, etc.) have stood by the theory that governments have no place...

Update – San Francisco Considers Paying The Price For New Public Housing

A lot of attention following the U.S. elections has been focussed at the national level, where counting continues slowly and painstakingly. Not so in San Francisco, where some of...

Tenants Call For Green Kitchens In NYCHA Buildings

Tenants living in housing owned by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) have come up with a great idea to get the ball rolling on a Green New...

Irish Government Heavy Breathing Into Vacant Housing Owner Ears

Small-c government (or neo-liberal government, if you like) is a public entity that is infatuated with private enterprise. That goes particularly for the provision of truly affordable housing, for...

Birmingham Private Housing Authorities Abandon Special Needs Tenants

The U.K. government has over the past few years created loopholes for housing developers normally restricted by numerous by-laws. This extra freedom was created in order to encourage the...

Can Existing Social Housing Go ‘Green’ One Baby Step At A Time?

A local article from a Welsh newspaper paints in one corner of an enormous issue: 'decarbonization' of United Kingdom's social housing. Viewed from America, decarbonization or greening, or energy efficiency,...

Biden-Harris: Timely Dawn Of A New Day For Public Housing? Unlikely

For young progressives in America expecting great change from the replacement of a Republican President by a Democratic one, don't hold your breath while counting on the arrival of...

Reasons To Be Wary Of Home Ownership

Yes, there are people who wonder whether home ownership is all it's cracked up to be. This intriguing point of view diverges substantially from the idea that everyone should...

Housing Rental Assistance Stalls Out In Hot Markets. Even Warm Ones.

In countries influenced by neo-liberalism, governments are dedicated to self-shrinking. Rather than constructing and "owning" public/social housing, rental assistance programs have become the order of the day for supporting...

Silver Tsunami Greets Affordable Senior’s Housing That Isn’t There

Do you know that the writer of this article is a senior? You may not, but Google does. I read articles from around the world daily in publications from...

Transforming Canada’s 10 Year Housing Plan

Indigenous people in Canada are over-represented in the population of people experiencing homelessness. A lack of adequate housing contributes to this situation. The Indigenous Housing Caucus of the Canadian...

Flicking A Broken Switch to Turn Off US Public Housing? Doesn’t Work

Much of what affordablehousingaction.org publishes about social/public/council housing could in the US be considered palliative care for a dying industry and its long-suffering tenants. American public housing has been...

UK Pandemic Home Buyers Compete With Councils For Housing Deals

It is difficult to avoid shaking the head in disbelief. Some reports peg housing demand and housing prices as either stable or rising in the face of COVID-19.Here's a...

Who Might Jesus Look Like In A Modern Canadian Winter?

The face of a Second Coming in today's modern world might be that of a man more effectively able to preach by what he practices, rather then practice his...

Calls For Public Housing: Part Of A UK Economic Recovery Plan

In the early days of COVID-19, Guardian reporter Laura Spinney asked if COVID was a consequence of the economy, and not the other way round.Try: COVID-19: Brought To You...

New York Mayor Swallows Unexpected Lead Paint At News Conference

At a recent news conference, New York's Mayor learned that 9,000 NYCHA (New York City Housing Authority) housing units need lead paint remediation. Earlier counts put the number at...

Grappling With A Rural Housing Shortage

Residents of Gwynedd, Wales are looking for ways to overcome a housing shortage. It is tucked up next to Snowdonia National Park, which is popular with tourists. It's also a...

San Francisco Considers Paying The Price For New Public Housing

“The vision is that you can be a working class person who lives in San Francisco and pays a reasonable percentage of your income to rent.” It's déjà vu all...

A World of Affordable Housing Crises Before the Pandemic: What Next?

Over the last few months, the impact of COVID-19 has driven many events surrounding the universal human need for housing. Not surprisingly, crises associated with this fundamental need (and...

Prudent Business Operations In Non-Profit Housing?

As a company, Joint Ownership Entity NYC (JOE NYC for short) doesn't have a catchy name. You certainly wouldn't guess that it works with non-profit housing providers in New...

Successful Capitalist Welfare State Singapore Plans Tomorrow’s Benefits For All

Perhaps you're a go-along-to-get-along free market apologist for the poor treatment that your nation metes out to the elderly, the poor and the unwell. Possibly you've drunk the koolaid about...

Why Taking The Sting Out Of Debt Letters Isn’t Enough

The UK government is revising the rules for debt letters — those nasty surprises that arrive in the mail to inform you that you are behind in your payments...

Housing For Poor Built Beside Rich? It’s A Camel Through The Eye Of A Needle

Ah, yes, California! In a political climate famed (according to right wing sources anyway) for excessive liberalism amounting to self-inflicted commie-kazi, the truth is much more complex. NIMBY (Not In...

Social Housing Tenants Can Manage Themselves, Despite Govt Seal Of Disapproval

As regular as the sun rising in the morning, governments find the management of social housing to be incompetent. CEO of Toronto Community Housing Corporation? It may soon be...

Vancouver, B.C. Eyes A Cleanup Of Downtown SROs Through Public Ownership

Vancouver, B.C. is cursed with one of the highest costs of living in the world and blessed (a teeny tiny blessing) with a considerable quantity of still-existing affordable rent...

Intimate Partner Violence: New Directions For Programming

Governments looking to ramp up their programming to help people living with intimate partner (aka domestic) violence have a new resource to help with their planning. Anova and Changing Ways...

Green Matters: No Single Colour Of Paint Covers AU Tenant Energy Hardship

Energy hardship is a natural outcome of treating rental housing as a commodity, rather than sheltering it under a human rights umbrella. In many modern countries, the owner of...
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