Opaque "solutions"

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

Aussie Mixed Development Will Build Bare Minimum Of Social Housing

Is it time to abandon the neoliberal religion? The coming of its messiahs were prophesied some 40 or so years ago. These saviours of society would be the financier-angels,...

What Can Privatized Public Housing Contribute? World-Class Rebuff

Private enterprise has to be good for something, otherwise nobody would bother with it. For shareholders, think and believe tasty profits. For public housing management, think and apparently expect...

Refurbishing Refuseniks: Public Housing Tenant Self-Defence

Those dratted American public housing tenants who won't drink the Kool-Aid! With the Race-To-Replace currently under starter's orders, big bucks and bulldozers poised and ready, who are these selfish...

Government Broken Relocation Promises: Death Warrants?

Nursing homes have no desire to become custodians of tatty old furniture, near and dear to nobody's hearts but the owner's. But far from discouraging such an intake along...

Mixed Income Buildings: Bogus Community Benefit?

An article in The Age serves up a commentary on questionable social housing community affairs in the Australian state of Victoria. The article's authors react to remarks by Victoria...

Grow Legal Dope In The Projects: NYC Politician Brain-Fart?

Never mind the practicality, what about the optics? Marijuana magnates have apparently been blowing befuddling smoke into the face of New York's rookie Mayor Eric Adams. Public Housing is America's...

US, UK: Public Housing Fire Disasters, How Do They Happen?

The world woke up to the horror of high rise building fires in 2017, when substandard cladding on London's Grenfell social housing tower turned it into a flaming torch...

Developer Outs RADical Neglect Of Public Housing Tenants

The Department of Housing and Urban Affairs (HUD) has been touting the win/win value of its RAD (Rental Assistance Demonstration) program. By converting public housing to various forms of...

New Brunswick & The ‘Deserving Human’ Right To Housing

Canada is so enamoured with the importance of human rights as embodied in United Nations declarations, that it has built a museum to showcase the lofty heights of its...

Denver Official Tent Communities: Admirable But Ephemeral

It's hard to picture (the following article allows that) one of Denver, Colorado's official homeless tent communities without noticing how ephemeral it is. A strong puff of wind might...

Are Tenants Subsidizing Home Ownership In The U.S.?

Don Layton is a Senior Industry Fellow at the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. He has just published two papers about housing policy in the United States. His...

What Next? Homeless Mass Dumpings To & Fro Between Warring City Clans?

There was a period in the 18th century Highlands in Scotland when the entire economy pursued by its men — warriors all — was to raid neighbouring clans. Half...

Investors Toddle To Play In A Public Housing Playpen. Who’s Going To Get Hurt?

Recent American news has featured a growing catalogue of consequences that stem from a certainty disguised as an experiment by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). That...

Irish Govt Strengthens Voice of Housing-Poor. How? Adding More Voices

Neoliberal 'small governments' see housing subsidies as the ticket to ride, allowing all — even the poorest — to climb aboard the housing train. No income? No problem. Government...

A Statistical Excursion Into Housing Experience In Canada

This post is about a new series from Statistics Canada, which is responsible for gathering and analysing data about residents. The agency regularly collects data about housing. When Canada...

A Building Burns In The Bronx: Who Is At Fault? Investors, Not Residents

The night and following day of the latest Bronx child-killer fire on January 8, 2022, there was already little mystery about those responsible for the disaster.  It was possible...

The UK Invented Zombie Housing 11 Years Ago. Nobody Really Noticed Until Now.

State Housing, Council Housing, Social Housing, Public Housing, what's in a name? Underlying them all is a social compact between a nation and its most vulnerable low- and no-...

Australian Capital Territory’s Housing Policies Don’t Stand Up To Scrutiny

Jon Stanhope is perplexed. He led the government in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) from 2001 to 2011. Since retiring from the scene, housing in the ACT has become...

The Life And Death Cabrini-Green Public Housing Projects, 25 Years On

In the late twentieth century, prior to its demolition, the Cabrini Green public housing buildings in Chicago had become the poster child of all that was supposedly wrong with...

Anything But Funding: Welcome To A National Housing Strategy A.K.A Idiot’s Delight

Here's a short and depressing story that features a need for truly affordable housing viewed via costing alternatives. Like everywhere else in Canada, the District of Nipissing has its homeless. What...

Enough Already with Ex-HUD Privatized Tenant-And-Rat Stories

Anyone browsing the nation's media outlets these days may notice increasing numbers of reports that combine a poisonous combination of the following words: tenants, lawsuit, rats, mould, sewage, lead...

Profitable Social Housing? Free Enterprise Sure Knows How!

Supposedly, the free housing market spawns developers who can do it cheaper, faster and more efficiently to produce a superior product. These are glories sung by the choir in...

The Predictable Failure Of The Public Housing “Fantasy Fix”

Here's a mashup of the public/social housing "Fantasy Fix." In the United Kingdom, so poorly have local councils and housing authorities been responding to tenant problems that the national...

Do Not Learn From Experience: The Rotten Core Of Neoliberalism

Suppose that 30 years ago, your government adopted a plan that, unbeknownst to everyone, works in theory but not in practice. Thirty years pass, and today we have practical evidence...

Shelter Misuse Of Public Funds & Reliance On Private Sector “Fixes”

A affordablehousingaction.org, we've already expended a certain amount of ink on the notion that the "private sector does it better," a favourite theme of neoliberal politics which has had...

Progress On The UK 2020 Social Housing White . . . Paper? . . . Wash?

In 2020, the UK Government was moved to take action on the poor, and still deteriorating, conditions in the country's social housing. A further cause for distress was what...

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...

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...

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...

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...
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