Opaque "solutions"

Stories about housing strategies that will not help people with very low or no incomes and why such plans won’t help.

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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:...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Public Housing in DC . . . After A Decade Of Federal Underfunding

The headline for this post reflects a quote from the DC Housing Authority's (DCHA's) 2021 plan. Alas, the underfunding goes back much longer than a single decade. From 11,000 on...

The ‘Practical’ Tiny Home Soldiers On As The ‘Romantic’ Tiny Home Falters

Let us generally discard mobile tow-trailers and motorized caravans as 'camping adventures' and focus instead on the idea of a true home, but a 'tiny' one. Over the last...

Update: Can A Public Trust Help Solve NYCHA’s Multi-Billion Dollar Repair Woes? Not Really

Update: Following the New York City Housing Authority's (NYCHA's) latest plan to save itself (see post below), Kristen Hackett, a member of the Justice For All coalition, has voiced...

Urban Redevelopment: A Case Of Failing To See Who’s There

Shelterforce has just published an article about local residents opposing development in their neighbourhood in Camden, New Jersey. Far from being the typical NIMBY story, where people with money...

Just The Job To Provide Civilization’s Objective Of Health For All

Modern free-enterprise civilization has one resounding response to human health, "Get a Job, Ya Bum!" It is addressed to each of its human "civvies," either directly or by inference, and...

Do UK Planning Changes Spell The End Of Social Housing?

In the midst of the COVID-19 recovery, where rules change from one day to the next, the UK government is rolling out an array of planning reforms. The planning...

COVID-19 Cools The Short Term Rental Market, But . . .

Hamptons, a real estate company in the UK, reports that landlords there are switching from short- to long-term rentals. There is good news and bad news in this story. The...

Even As Temporary Housing, Shipping Containers Can Fail To Do The Job

"Temporary housing" has become a growing industry. It started when the UK government gave local councils a "duty to accommodate" people who were homeless. As the number of households...

Pardon Our Enthusiasm: The UK Momentary End To Homelessness That Wasn’t

So where did it come from — all the COVID-19 homelessness good news that actually wasn't? Affordablehousingaction.org thought that Everyone In, which directed local councils to provide housing for everyone who was...

UK Housing Development Deregulation: A Willful Celebration of Past Ignorance

The United Kingdom is in a unique position. It actually knows the truth about what happens when housing developers are handed their Holy Grail — the unrestricted right to...

What If FDR Had Beaten The Great Depression By Handing Out Toolkits?

America's greatest housing and employment crisis occurred after the 1929 stock market crash. We're facing another, perhaps even greater one today with the still uncontrolled COVID-19 pandemic. During the 1930's,...

Social Housing — Who Says It’s Affordable?

Thanks to COVID-19, your hours of work have been reduced and you've had to apply for emergency financial assistance to help make ends meet. You've been on a waiting...

How “Minor” Bureaucratic Delays Magnify Into An Eviction Life Crisis

COVID-19 has meant less work or no work at all for too many people. National governments have stepped in with emergency financial assistance. In England, two million people had...

Irish Government Re-Starts Evictions Midst Happy-Clappy Rental Smokescreen

COVID-19 got you penniless and unemployed? The Irish Government has legislation planned to get you dancing for joy. Soon, folks in arrears on the their rent payments will legally...

Bang-A-Pot COVID Key Worker Support Fades Towards A Housing Tragedy

Australia's COVID-19 response required some people to work, not from home, but at their job site. Similar to other countries, the government heralded these key workers, who included waste...

Court Trashes UK Universal Credit Testing That Refused To Learn – Updated

The national government in England set out to reform its existing social assistance programs under the banner "Universal Credit" in 2013. It planned a phased implementation over four years....

Homelessness In England: How Councils And Localism Make It Grow

Starting in 2010, homelessness in England began to rise. It wasn’t specific to any particular group. The numbers of people sleeping rough, the families with children, and the women...

Ireland Plans A Rebuild, But Not For People Who Need Housing

The government in Ireland has announced its COVID-19 recovery plan. Its promises for housing raise serious questions about whether the government is paying any attention to its electors. Housing was...

Court Trashes UK Universal Credit Testing That Refused To Learn

The national government in England set out to reform its existing social assistance programs under the banner "Universal Credit" in 2013. It planned a phased implementation over four years....

Churchill Was A Prophet And Leader For Victory In “World War House”

"World War House?" Churchill prophesied that war in 1909 when he was the President of the Board of Trade. He lamented landlords gouging tenants, a chronic housing condition which...

Universal Credit = Less Housing Security

Repossession rates are up amongst people who receive social assistance in England. Repossession in England is equivalent to eviction in Canada and the US. This rise in repossessions is being...

COVID Evictees Forced To Gamble For Shelter? Sigh, Same Old Same Old

Nation, an American publication, reacts with some horror to the fate that would seem to be inevitable for no-job no-rent households, and COVID-19 moratoriums on evictions begin to expire. Depending...

Social Housing Communities: Strong? Or Strongly Maligned?

Decades of 'small government' philosophizing has led to social housing community-bashing by the US and its fellow travelling Canadian and UK governments, among others. Suggesting that low and no income...

Care Homers: Lost In The Crack Between Homeless And Housed

The shocking state of care homes in many supposedly advanced countries have so far contributed a lion's share of COVID-19 deaths. Why have these poor standards of care, as well...

Remembering To Build Community Into Social Housing Design

If there's one thing that the COVID-19 has demonstrated, it is that humans are social animals who are prepared to die rather than go without community. This is a...

Will Social Housing Be Eliza Doolittled To Death?

Rattle a container of upper middle class citizens, and, like a basket of live clams, their shells will close to protect themselves. These are not paragons of social living,...

Consequences: How Canada Came To Bless Homeowners, Ignore Others

In one year — 2005 — The federal government of Canada guaranteed 746,157 mortgages to provide housing security for homeowners. How fared those unable to afford to buy a house?...

Take A Trip Into Democracy’s Dark Ages — Already Here And Spreading

From a romantic point of view, America's flower-child city has everything. San Francisco has atmosphere, sea views (when the fog has lifted), quaintness, vibrancy, and most of all success...

Housing Crises: Developers Love The Problem, Not The Solution

To hear the housing industry talking about it, they are the embodiment of all that is right about Adam Smith's economic theories. They build only to satisfy a public...

COVID-19 Brings New Urgency World-Wide For Rent Controls

Before COVID-19, there was evidence that investor influence, which dammed up attempts to prevent rent control measures, is crumbling. The past year in the United States, Oregon led the way...

Need An Extra Tax For The Poor? In The UK It’s ‘Too Many Bedrooms’

What better time to be thinking about a better social housing future than standing in a quicksand of failure from the past?

Renter Or Owner-Frog Cozy In Warming Water? Stop The Future Now!

Do you own? Or rent? (That would seem to cover most of you.) Take a look at your future as the commodification of housing ever-so-gradually turns up the heat....

Social Housing: Why Women Get Evicted When Some Other Dude Did It

You've lived in the same home for over 20 years, and always paid the rent on time. So why has your landlord decided to evict you? You live in social...

Homeless? Have We Got A Solution For You! (The Usual One)

Why bother to report yet again about riding people who are homeless out of town on a rail? After all, somewhere at this very moment an official is probably...

Sharing Shelter With A Corporation: Irreconcilable Differences?

Thinking about sharing as a way of keeping a truly affordable roof over your head while maintaining some control through home ownership?

Public Housing: Who Benefits? In The US, Even the Residents Are Betrayed

In America, it's hard to imagine a bright future for public housing, notwithstanding that few if any alternatives appear to match its capacity for sheltering low and no income...

Commodification To The Max: Renting In A Wildly Uncontrolled Market 

Not all that long ago, religions assumed responsibility for the less fortunate with local governments picking up the slack.

Bad Tenant Disease: Will Govt Bow To Canberra Neighbourhood-Poisoning

Will the government inevitably bow to developers eyeing The Causeway — a public housing estate extraordinarily close to where it's all happening in Australia's capital city? What an extraordinary profit-making...

NZ: Less Government Self-Puffed, So-Called Housing Solutions, Please.

Governments around the world have, for the last few decades, abandoned social housing as a kind of 'failure in progress,' helped along by conveniently diverting dollars for truly affordable...

How Deregulation Saved Screwed New Zealand’s Homebuilding Industry

You're not by any chance associated with a city council currently vulnerable to seduction by a housing industry solution to end all housing crises? Surely you've heard the battle cry:...

When It Comes To Preserving Social Housing, What’s So Bad About RAD?

Historically, the most effective way of creating new social housing has been national government-funded construction upon land removed from the free market. Sustaining that housing has been another saga altogether....

American Public Housing Authorities: Undertakers Or Futurists?

American Public Housing Authorities, form into a great big circle. Now lean forward and pat yourselves on the back. Oh. You're already doing that? What a clever little group of social...

Vancouver B.C. Perfects Affordable Housing Shell Game With A Micro-Pea

Leave it to a city which, by some measures, is the world's least affordable after Hong Kong. Leave what to them? Why, solving an affordable housing crisis without actually creating...

Less Is More: NYCHA Uses HUD Magic Math To Squander Public Housing

The great equalities of the future as described in George Orwell's book 1984 are almost upon us. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. The last is a...

Homeless & Need Housing? Get A List Of Places You Can’t Afford From Your Local Gov

Is homelessness getting your community down? You can stamp your feet, roll your eyes, express disgust, then play the blame game. In America, this technique of getting nowhere fast...

Would A Housing Industry Unchained Be An Emperor Unclothed?

The North American housing industry's current battle cry? Unchain us from pesky regulations, and we'll mass-build nations out of their affordable housing crises. There would appear to be no brakes...

Social Housing Reno: Service To Tenants? Or To Housing Industry?

Local Housing Authorities are finding themselves in almost-impossible situations when it comes to selling long-suffering tenants on the benefits of repairs and renovations. Why are social housing tenants frightened about...

The Mystery Of The Dog That Didn’t Bark — Social Housing

'The dog that didn't bark' is an important clue pointing towards the solution of a famous Sherlock Holmes mystery. Likewise, the 'dog that didn't bark' can be considered a metaphor...

1 Housing Voucher = 1 Social Housing Home. True Equality Or A Macabre Joke?

Housing support voucher programs suffer profoundly in the United States by being unacceptable to many — even most — landlords, whether landlords are legally allowed to ignore them or...

Affordable Housing Christmas In The Long Shadow of Scrooge

Communities across the US are crowding towards the mistletoe for a chilly smooch with uncle HUD,HUD — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development celebrating the late Christmas...

UK Council Housing: Beginning Of The End? Or End Of The Beginning?

The future of council housing in England has changed considerably since 1981, when 32% of all of the country's households lived in it. At that time, the government had provided...

London Mayor: Private Enterprise Can’t Solve Affordable Housing Crisis

Faced with an affordable housing crisis in his city, the Mayor of London, UK, has pointed out the fatal flaw when it comes to using PPPs (Public Private Partnerships)...

Queuing For The Social Housing Ark. Who Gets In? Theory And Practice

As the flood of unaffordability sweeps across nations, humanity queues up (not necessarily two by two) for a chance to stay high and dry under social housing shelter. Not enough...

Ontario’s New Housing Plan Wallows in Happy-Clappy Possibilities, Few Promises

The Ontario Government has just announced its housing program. The principal strategies? Building more housing and selling government assets. There is also a sweeping announcement about possible changes to...

Public Housing Tenants, Private Landlords, HUD: A Circular Firing Squad Shooting Blanks?

Before World War II, America never had the political will to allow low-income employed persons to live in public housing. Unfortunately, by immediately turfing newly employed wage-earners out, the federal...

Whodunnit? Flat-Foot Inspector HUD Says NYCHA Dunnit. Court Insists On Oversight.

In the spirit of bumbling inspector Clouseau, Inspector HUD has turned its magnifying glass upon its own shoes, and found them . . . shiny. But Inspector HUD is not...

Spending Promised Funding For Social Rent Housing Depends On Access To Land

In recent years, the UK government has relentlessly pushed a public/private partnership model to build the nation out of an affordable housing crisis. As time goes by, the meagre handfuls...
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