Poverty

Stories about poverty and housing stability

Rise In Minimum Wage In The UK Puts More Caregivers At Risk

The minimum wage has just risen in the UKYou can read more about this in Positive News: What went right this week: the good news you should know about....

An Early Start On Reading To Break Out Of Poverty

The COVID pandemic drew our attention to housing issues. It also highlighted gaps in the education system. This put students who were homeless at a double disadvantage. Enter Phoebe Grant-Robinson,...

Australia’s Housing Crisis: How It Happened And A Path Forward

Reading the news these days informs us that we are facing multiple crises: climate change, housing and political discord are three examples. The level of political discord makes it...

Basic Income And Public Opinions About Homelessness

A small project in Vancouver, BC, which gave a lump sum of $7,500 to people who were homeless, has caught the attention of The Guardian. The Guardian does not...

Social Housing: We Know What It Means. Is It Time To Understand Social Energy?

A considerable number of folks in the United Kingdom, as well as other European countries, have been inclined to think of the human right to adequate housing as an...

A Precise Prescription For Ending Homelessness — And It’s Not Clearing Encampments

Here is a report about fixing the homelessness crisis. Unlike many articles, this one does not recommend clearing encampments and moving people onIf you haven't come across this sordid...

Newfangled Universal Credit In The UK Currently Unhelpful In Protecting The Poor

Many countries have benefit payment schemes that help those with low or no income to survive. One might prefer to say 'survive and prosper,' but that seldom if ever...

Are Forces Aligning For A Guaranteed Income In New York?

Proposals for guaranteed income programs have witnessed renewed popularity recently. Many pilot projects were rolled out during COVID shutdowns. They provided one way to flow money to people who...

Poor Canadians Will Wait Longer To Leave Poverty – Statistics Canada

Statistics Canada has just announced 2022 income data. It reports that Canada's poverty rate is lower than pre-pandemic levels and that Canada is on track to reach its 2030...

“Those Advocates Who Say . . .” Can Distort The Meaning of Homelessness

"Advocates say. . . " Are those unnamed advocates real or imaginary? Advocates of the facts? Or advocates of "alternative facts?" Pursuing a viewpoint, or running away from one? A...

Renters: We Have Seen Poverty, And It Is Us!

A little too early perhaps, to sound a version of Pogo's famous cartoon statement: "We have seen the enemy, and it is us." Yes, perhaps. But here at affordablehousingaction.org, where...

Homelessness, Housing First And Living In A State Of Lack

The article linked to this post is about what it's like to experience homeless in two cities in Ontario. It's also about what people experience when they leave homelessness...

Changing The Conversation About Poverty In A Wealthy Country

An eviction can change your life. It certainly changed Matt Desmond's. He witnessed sheriffs evicting a group of siblings who had been orphaned when their mother died unexpectedly. Desmond...

Los Angeles Tenants Speak Up For A Carbon Neutral Future

Tenants in Los Angeles want to reduce emissions and energy consumption. That wish is clouded by two concerns: their rents will go up a lot and/or they will be...

Helping Students Stay Housed And Stay In School

Hard on the heels of a post about Governor Newsome's end homelessness campaign in CaliforniaTry: Funding Houses For All Homeless. An Enormous Expense Or An Amazing Money-Maker?, here is...

Why Canada Needs A National Housing Benefit

In the days leading up to the 2023-24 Federal Budget, here's an article in the Ottawa Citizen. It promotes a proposed Canadian Housing Benefit to help people with very...

Bearing Witness To The End Of An Honourable Life

A warning to readers. This post might be a bit of a downer. Being the middle of winter and all, it's a time when tough stuff can be particularly...

Making Housing Payments Easier

For many of us, housing is the biggest single cost in a household budget. And, we do our best to make sure that housing costs are covered — if/when...

Struggling To Keep Your Home? You’re Not Alone

Many people are struggling to pay their bills. It's a hard reality to face, often because people believe it's their fault and reflects poorly on their character. Even though...

US Government Supports Zoning Reform To End Homelessness

Affordablehousingaction.org frequently identifies the need for national leadership to end homelessness. The first article linked to this post, Few Mayors Connect the Dots Between Zoning and Homelessness (Few Mayors),...

Australia Rental Housing Crisis: Criminals Breaking Back Into Jail!

Well, all right. There's a teeny bit of exaggeration in this headline. Prisoners in the Australian State of Victoria aren't actually breaking back into jail. They don't need to,...

Penny-Pinching From Poorest? Or Incompetence? Always Worth A Check

Perhaps you've heard of the Homeless Industrial Complex? At the very least it seems to be a phenomenon on North America's west coast. It's hardly as financially fattening as...

Why 2023 Is An Important Year to Strengthen Homelessness Services

The Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness (CAEH) is calling for a homelessness prevention and housing benefit to help bring homelessness in Canada under control. The number of people who are...

U.S. Government’s Action On Homelessness Heads Off In New Directions

Plans to deal with homelessness are not new in the United States, and the one that has just been signed by President Biden is certainly timely.  This post is...

Preventing Homelessness Among Young People In The Child Protection System

An article from New Mexico (linked below) describes an appalling systems failure. Young people in care (the care of the state) are not getting access to mental health and/or...

U.K. Human Rights??? Ten-A-Penny Warrants Authorize Thousands Of Home Invasions

What would a massive, countrywide betrayal of a Human Right To Housing look like? In America, such a betrayal might well trigger court cases which, backed by the U.S. Constitution,...

Katrina’s New Orleans Legacy: The Death of Public Housing. Good? Bad?

Everything went wrong for New Orleans with Hurricane Katrina in 2005, except for those private and public interests that extolled mixed income build-anew as a way of 'de-ghettoizing' social...

COVID Avoided Homelessness. Oakland Seeks To Keep Those Good Times Rolling.

Every cloud has a silver lining. COVID's emergency measures to keep the homeless indoors and able to follow social distancing protocols demonstrated an unexpected bonus for preventing homelessness. Not...

Steps To Close The Door On Private Rental Evictions In The UK

The Centre for Homelessness Impact (the Centre) has issued a report about renting homes in the private marketThere is certain irony in the timing of this report. For years,...

Link Between Homelessness And Poverty Exposes How US Education Cheats Children

In America, large numbers of homeless children do not receive schooling support to which they are entitled. Federal law requires it, but nationally, a considerable number of education districts...

Mobile Homes: Nifty, Thrifty & Growing Safer. But Climate-Change Safe?

For decades and decades, the Rolls Royce of trailer park living has been the mobile home. Single-wides and double-wides These designations are based on road widths. A single-wide is...

Reflecting Thoughtfully On Irish Housing And Homelessness Programs

A recent report has been published about housing and homelessness policy in Ireland. The report was commissioned by six voluntary agencies that are on the front line in delivering...

Homeless Prison Time? Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me.

Where, on a list of places to call home, does a prison fall? Right at the bottom for most. But, as it turns out, right at the top for...

High Interest Rates Add To Financial Woes Of People With High Housing Costs

Businesses that charge more than 60% interest on money they lends to customers are committing a criminal offence in Canada. Sounds pretty high, doesn't it? It turns out that...

The Plight Of A Homeless Veteran — Lucky Old Fart

Consider an American veteran who fought for his country. Getting on now. A loner who led a successful life: money, home, car, etc, until bad investments brought him down...

Courage, Democratic Process, And Freedom: Keys To Strengthening Tenancies?

In 2017 (around the time affordablehousingaction.org started posting), researchers from universities in Spain and Chile published a review of academic literature that investigated the connection between eviction, health and...

A Proposal To Raise Incomes For Canada’s Poorest Adults

Some people may dread reaching the age of 65, but it's a good news day for others. Why good? People who receive social assistance in Canada can look forward...

Universal Basic Income — Cherry-Picked. A Contradiction In Terms?

Recently we featured a post on a Universal Basic Income (UBI) experiment in Spain. We raised a question: why do Universal Basic Income plans seem to always be the...

A Plan To Lift Canadians Out Of Poverty

Autumn in Canada is filled with coloured leaves, cooler temperatures and harvests. It's also the time of year when the Federal Government starts preparing its budget for the next...

Public Housing: You Can Fool Some Of the People All Of The Time

You can fool 'some of the people all of the time' is part of a common sayingYou can fool some of the people all of the time, and all...

Spanish Economic Dancers To Take A Whirl At Universal Basic Income

The Spanish region of Catalonia will soon be taking a kick at the Universal Basic Income (UBI) can. UBI is invariably of interest to idealists, not to mention individuals...

Boosting Tenants’ Safety And Stability

Have you ever been in the situation where someone told you with great authority that you had to do some particular thing? Whatever it was, you didn't want to...

Experience Points The Way To Ending Homelessness in Canada

2022 marks the halfway point in Canada’s 10 year National Housing Strategy. It’s an occasion for reviewing and renewing the Strategy. Housing is something we all need, but despite being...

Sweeping Vancouver, B.C.’s Homeless Into Uninhabitable Rooms

When is a home . . . with a sound roof overhead, with windows and lockable doors and storage space and access to kitchen bathroom facilities . . ....

Inflation and Politics Undermine People With Very Low Incomes In Canada

Inflation affects everyone. Public opinion polls indicate that Canadians are cutting back on spending and/or deferring purchasesHere's a recent report from the Angus Reid Institute: Highest Inflation Rates In...

Can Eviction Prevention Programs Succeed By Paying Arrears?

If a tenant is behind in their rent, how important is financial assistance in preventing an eviction? It might seem that the answer is obvious, but as six researchers...

Truly Affordable Goalposts Need To Move Towards Tenants, Not Away

Rent-based-on-income 'TRUE affordability' has moved UP over time to 30% of income, not DOWN to that figure from some some higher value. The benchmark of true affordability in the...

UN Calls On Canada To Help Its Children By Upping Its Housing Game

The UN regularly reviews Canada's performance on human rights issues. Most recently, the rights of the child have been the subject of scrutiny. In the review process, Canada reports...

Homeless Jail Homeless Jail . . . Breaking The Cycle

The John Howard Society of Ontario provides support to people who are affected by the criminal justice system. Their mandate also includes research and public education. The Society's report...

Potato, Potahto, Tomato, Tomahto, Let’s Not Call Public Housing Off

Is it a name game or a blame game or a mixture of both? Let's look at the words. Developers as well as affordable housing activists from both ends of...

Civil Unrest: Too Busy Fighting Wars To Feed Citizens?

Martin Lewis, a United Kingdom money-saving expert, is reacting to the impact of compulsory belt-tightening in Britain for those who have no more notches between themselves and starvation. Britain's most...

How England’s ‘Right to Buy’ Supports Unaffordable Rents

'Small government' is the opposite of the 'nanny state,' where bumbling bureaucrats supposedly bludgeon struggling citizens with overmuch interference in their lives. 'Thatcherism,' 'Reaganism,' and 'Neoliberalism' are celebrations of...

Tackling Winter Food Insecurity With Low Tech ‘Green’ Innovation

Social housing landlords are often well-placed to help stretch the food budget of their tenants by providing/allowing space for tenants to 'grow their own.' Tips abound for community gardens...

Giving Money For Things That Turn Out To Be Priceless

No, this is not a post about buying something at a flea market only to learn that it is priceless. It's about what happens when people have enough money...

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...

Wanted: Leadership From Toronto’s Council To Make Thousands Of Homes Legal

This is a story that is more than 20 years in the making, years in which Toronto City Council could have exercised leadership to protect housing for residents with...

Renewing The Call For Universal Basic Income

There is a longstanding international interest in Universal Basic Income which can be traced back as far as the year 1516Try: Universal Basic Income Part 1: Applying A Justice...

Gardens And Grocery Stores: Tickets To Better Health

When schools closed at the start of COVID, community organizations jumped in to make sure that students in Baltimore's Cherry Hill neighbourhood had food to eat. One of the...

Shining A Spotlight On COVID And Girls’ Homelessness

"Despite the profoundly divergent impacts of COVID-19 globally, it appears that diverse policy makers, scholars, and community leaders can agree on one thing — the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated...

Built In 1769, Chase Lloyd Women’s Home Soldiers On In Spirit

What do you do when your mission dies an untimely death? Find another. Built in 1769 as a private residence, Chase Lloyd House in Annapolis, Maryland has been housing senior...

“Rural” Food Bank Stats Map Pandemic-Fueled Hunger, Housing Crisis

The City of Kawartha Lakes, Ontario wears it's muscular "city" hat on a largely rural area that other jurisdictions might be more inclined to call a region or county....

An Intriguing Shelter-Almost-In-Place Response to Weather Disasters

Whether a product of climate change or not, some weather disasters have been with us forever. Flooding is one particular inevitability, thanks to human habitation near water for transportation...

Could Small Post Offices Return With New — Financial — Purpose?

A Canadian article (which also might be found useful in the U.S.) extols the benefits of postal banking. Why raise the subject of banking in a blog focused on truly...

Pokie Ban Near Social Housing: Ugly Prejudice Or Blessed Nanny State?

Apparently the poor (particularly those living in social housing) cannot control themselves when it comes to pokies, unlike "normal" people, who apparently can. Otherwise the Wyndham, Western Australia council...

HUD-The-Suddenly-Helpful: Things That Make Your Blood Boil

Well, to be honest, the blood started to boil several months ago and it's been quietly simmering until this latest eruption. The initial cause was the news that U.S. private...

New Survey Shines Light On Homelessness And Housing Need In Canada

The Women's National Housing & Homelessness Network has just released a new study that documents how housing and homelessness affects women, girls and gender diverse populations in Canada. This...

Urgently Needed: A Safe Space To Treat Women Who Use Substances And Are Homeless

A charity in Dublin, Ireland has issued a call for a separate space to offer services to women who experience homelessness in that country. The organization, Merchants Quay Ireland...

Free Market Housing Assistance For Ex-Prisoners Is A Waste Of Money

Free Market Housing Assistance? Known by a variety of terms around the world (e.g. housing allowance, rent supplement, housing choice, Section 8 vouchers) that bridge the gap between an...

Affordable Housing Details You Might Not Have Considered: Fuel

Affordable housing is not just a collection of construction material and land costs. It’s a purse that must stretch to cover a rental or purchase . . . after...

Ideas To Make Canada’s Housing Market More Affordable For People With Very Low Incomes

A year in to the COVID-19 emergency, the Maytree FoundationHere's how Maytree describes itself: "Maytree is committed to advancing systemic solutions to poverty and strengthening civic communities. We believe...

Renter Inequality: Not That We Have Anything Against Democracy, But . . .

In the face of a report from a Canada-B.C. expert panel on housing affordability, here are some clues why grassroots democracy has difficulty addressing the province's, the nation's and...

In-Shelter Lawyer Puts Homeless Legal Help Where It’s Most Needed

One80 Place is a shelter for people who experience homelessness in Charleston, South Carolina. Unusually for a shelter, it offers on-site legal services. A full time lawyer and paralegal...

Pressing On With An Eviction Diversion Program That Works

Matthew Desmond came to our attention when "Evicted" — his book on the subject — was published in 2016. He's an expert on eviction as well as the destructive...

Affordable Housing Details You Might Not Have Considered: Education Bonds

Affordable housing is not just a collection of construction material and land costs. It’s a purse that must stretch to cover a rental or purchase . . . after...

U.S. Social Insurance: Where That Octopus Might Touch You

If you're not American, the country's social insurance complex of programs will most likely not touch you at all. But this post, and the following article/report from the Brookings Institute,...

County Level Data Available To Help U.S. Decision Makers

Data geeks have something really special to celebrate in the link attached to this post. Researchers at the Urban Institute in the U.S. have gathered, organized and published a massive...

Canadian Initiatives To End Youth Homelessness Earn UN Recognition

The United Nations Economic Commission For Europe (UNECE) has just recognized the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness as a Centre of Excellence on Youth HomelessnessBoth Canada and the United States...

Applications Rise For Social Housing By Families Fleeing Violence In Toronto

Victoria Gibson, who reports on affordable housing for the Toronto Star, has been watching the numbers of applications for social housing during 2020. The number of new households that...

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...

Helping To Target Assistance To Eviction-Threatened Renters

Advocates across the U.S. are calling attention to renters and their financial struggles during COVID. Some renters who are in arrears have been protected by eviction bans, although the...

Activists: EU Must Pursue Green Building Solutions Without Creating More Homeless

Homelessness in the EU has increased dramatically over the past ten years. The numbers are expected to rise as post-pandemic evictions put those out on the streets who have...

Unattainable Housing “Affordability” Definitions No Hope For Aging AU Women

What's in an affordable housing definition? Developers happily slice and dice the housing market into "affordability" segments. If they're clever enough, they may even attract government subsidies. Both government...

Universal Basic Income Part 3: Housing Benefit Model

This is the third of three posts about Universal Basic IncomePart 1 took a peek into an extensive report by the BC Basic Income Panel. Part 2 considered the...

Universal Income Part 2: Models and Forecasts

This is the second of three posts about Universal Basic Income. It reports on work by the Canadian Centre For Economic Analysis, which models the economic impacts of universal...

Universal Basic Income Part 1: Applying A Justice Framework

This is the first of three posts about Universal Basic Income. It is an idea that has been around for some time but often seen as out of step...

One Step To Open Up More Housing For Homeless Families

Speculation in housing places temptation in the path of investors in England. You have a three bedroom house. You could rent it to a mum with three kids. They...

New US Education Secretary With Personal Roots In Public Housing

Let's get right to the good news. Miguel Cardona, President-elect Joe Biden's choice as Education Secretary, is a public housing alumnus! He apparently describes his earlier self as a...

Youth Homelessness Part 3: Switching Gears

This post is the final one in a three part series of resources to plan for a COVID recovery that includes ending homelessness for young people and preventing it...

Youth Homelessness Part 2: Ask The Experts

This post is the second of a three part series of resources to plan for a COVID recovery that includes ending homelessness for young people.For the first article in...

Youth Homelessness Part 1: Where Are They?

This is the first of three posts about young people are who are experiencing homelessness. Each one highlights resources for planners and front line workers to use. The second...

Minimum Wage . . . Living Wage. Will Ever The Twain Meet?

"Minimum wage" is a common name governments use in their quest for wage "fairness." It is the lowest wage legally permissible to pay a regular employee.Some categories of employment...

Rep By Pop, or Rep by Wealth (Or Lack Of It)? Lived Experience For Pols

Of all the formulae we hear about parliamentary (or congressional) representation, one of the least mentioned is a test based on the wealth of the candidates. Normally, Rep by Pop...

A Handbook On Housing First From Finland

Finland is the only country where the number of people who are homeless is going down. The success has drawn a lot of international attention. Y-Foundation, a housing provider,...

How To Cut Financially Struggling People Off At The Knees: Let Me Count The Ways.

There is a significant range of views about social assistance, which provides emergency financial support. For some, the assistance is considered to act as a deterrent to getting a...

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...

A New-Born UK Child, Perceived And Treated As A Punishable Atrocity

Genital Mutilation? It used to happen. Still does. Sterilization? It used to happen. Still does. Deliberate infection by disease? It used to happen. Still does. Slavery? It used to happen. Still does. Child...

Poverty May Mean Hardship. Beyond Poverty, Destitution Is Life-Threatening

Poverty comes in many shades, from careful spending, through struggles to stretch limited income, serious belt-tightening and deeper into financial desperation. All the way to destitution. Destitution has been defined as...

Howling Wolves Outside? Sticks Or Bricks Housing Defines How You Cope.

Everybody knows that the older little piggies get, the more small-c conservative they become. Older piggies drift away from a youthful idealism and the need for change towards the...

Preventing Evictions As Part Of The Right To Housing

As part of a commitment to its residents, Toronto's City Council has confirmed housing as a human right and implemented programs support that commitment. With COVID-19 arriving on the...

A Land Trust For Rooming Houses

Toronto's Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust is buying properties in a rapidly gentrifying neighbourhood with the goal of making sure that homes are available to people with very low incomes. At...
Howdy,