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Opaque 'solutions'

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

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

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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

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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?

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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 . . .

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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

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"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

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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

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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?

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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?

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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’

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'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

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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

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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?

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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

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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

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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?

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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’

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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!

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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

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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)

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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?

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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

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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 

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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

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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.

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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

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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?

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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?

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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

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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

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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

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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?

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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?

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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

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'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?

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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

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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...
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