Poverty

Stories about poverty and housing stability

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 Income.Part 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...

Breaking The Link Between Incarceration And Homelessness In Australia

Toward the end of the 20th century, when people experiencing homelessness became more visible, the programs to help them leave the streets quickly became overwhelmed. People asked, "where did...

Ontario Food Banks As A Measure of Housing Insecurity

3.2 million food bank visits in Ontario in the year before the pandemic: it's a hint of the scale of crisis approaching as we move towards a second year...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

Equality In Education Takes a Surprise Turn Towards Internet Access

COVID-19's focus on home has brought a lot of issues to light. Our homes are one of the reasons some of us are more likely to contract the virus...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Touting A New Chinese Export: A Housing Label — “Sandwich Class”

"Affordable," "Missing Middle," "Workforce". . . are you up to date on your housing labels? Knowing how housing is described can help navigate the fog of manufactured confusion that...

Aussie Power Project Turns Social Housing Tenants Into Sun Worshipers

Dismissing a useful future for social housing these days works most dramatically when raising the spectre of high rise projects. President Trump, as part of his 2020 campaign, has...

Working Together To End Homelessness

In Ontario, many agencies, governments and funders work to help people leave homelessness. They need to be able to work closely together to provide an effective and seamless service....

The Human Right to Adequate Housing: A Changing Definition Of “Adequate”

Adequate housing as a basic human right? Many countries have formally accepted this United Nations-promoted vision.Here's a discussion of adequate housing in UN Terms: Fact Sheet No.21, The Human...

Musical Chairs: When The Chairs Are Homes, No Fun When The Music Stops

How close is your bum to a seat when the music stops? Musical chairs is all about a lack of choice — shared by all the contestants in the...

A Study, Not Just Speculation, Links Poverty In Maryland To COVID Infection

A constant theme of pandemic reporting worldwide has been the greater number of COVID-19 cases in poorer neighbourhoods, compared to those which may be close by, but at least...

Lump Sum Payments Help People Who Are Homeless To Leave The Streets

Here is news of a promising study from the University of British Columbia about New Leaf, a program that distributes lump sum cash payments to people who are homeless. The...

Are Housing Costs Eating Away At You?

How does spending more than 30% of income on housing affect households with low incomes? How does it feel to borrow money to buy food so that your loved...

Good Census Sense: Sharing Wealth By Standing Up To Be Counted

People have been collecting census data for at least 2000 years. What began as simple head count has become quite sophisticated today. Why should we be counted? What good...

COVID-19 Recovery: Reversing Decades Of Labour Discrimination

Olugbenga Ajilore cautions that the national unemployment rate may not be the best measurement for planning the U.S.'s economic recovery from COVID-19. Ajilore, a senior economist at the Center For...

Canada’s Federal Government Commits To Ending Homelessness

Canada's most recent Speech From the Throne states, "the Government is now focused on entirely eliminating chronic homelessness in Canada." Governments in many countries acted during the early phases of...

OECD: Homelessness In Australia Ranks 3rd Worldwide

Australians have the highest median wealth in the world, yet they rank 3rd in the proportion of the population that is homeless. At $264,903 per adult, Australia's wealth is...

Internet Provider Grabs Headlines Helping Students To Get On Line

An internet provider in California and the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) have reached an agreement to provide free internet access until the end of...

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...

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...

Housing Yes, If Not Housing First: Key To Preventing Incarceration Return

An African American producer and documentary filmmaker describes the difficulties incarcerated women face in their attempts to avoid reoffending and being pushed back into the prison system. To explore the...

Welcoming A Tidal Wave Of Battlefield Migrants To Europe’s Pre-Existing Housing Crisis

The BBC has compiled a kaleidoscope of compelling voices to describe the incredible impact of a European migrant crisis that has changed how countries worldwide relate to their underclasses. In short...

The Hunt For Green Social Housing On A Shoestring: Wales Edition

Handfuls of social housing have been built as a nuisance requirement of any free-enterprise housing project in the UK. The failures of this coercive social housing program are many....

Can Solar Power Be A Cost-Saving Retrofit For Social Housing?

In some countries (America in particular), decades of neglect to social housing has presented an overwhelming mountain of repairs for many local housing authorities.Try: Can A Public Trust Help...

Eviction Reprieve For UK Tenants?

Private sector tenants who are in arrears in the UK have been given a reprieve from eviction until September 20, 2020. The tenants learned of this decision just two...

Delaware Experiment: Can Open Door To Public Housing Keep Former Felons From Reoffending?

For many years, U.S. governments at every level have been determined to provide no "free ride" for those newly released from various prison systems. One incredibly self-defeating consequence of these...

Evicted Oakland Squatter-Moms Buy That Vacant House — Updated

Fabulous news for the evicted moms. A totally meaningless victory in a war that desperately needs to be fought against house flipping?

Social Rents Reduced — Comeuppance for Newham Pontius Pilate Performance

In the UK, there at last seems a limit to washing your social housing hands. To be sure, the national government continues to get away with its scheme of...

Preventing Homelessness Among Young People: The Employment Factor

Witnessing young people experiencing homelessness in Vancouver led to the creation of Zero Ceiling, which is based in Whistler, British Columbia. Zero Ceiling’s programs to support homeless youth have...

Beyond Food Banks

"Pay the rent or feed the kids" articulates an extreme choice. Yet it is one that people with housing costs that eat more 30% of their income face all...

Homeless To Housing: Housing First. And Second? There’s A Big Time Second!

'Housing First' is a world-respected program designed to rescue individuals from homelessness. It has been very successful. Indeed, its success has been communicated to city councils everywhere to the...

What Is Social Infrastructure And Why Has COVID Made It More Important?

Traditional definitions of social infrastructure focus on a building and its facilities: a library, a hospital, a recreation centre. From Australia, however, a much broader definition has come into focus...

Praying To Protect Renters In Britain

Two members of the House of Lords in the United Kingdom have resorted to prayer to protect tenants who are at risk of being evicted. Skeptical about the power...

As the COVID Wolf Lurks Outside, Evictions Will Soon Push Millions Out The Door

What happens in a country like XXXX when YYYY renters are evicted? The Big Question is being asked in many countries around the world. Meanwhile, governments proceed as if...

Poor Folk Get Connected As COVID turns Homework Into Schoolwork

For several years now, it's been clear in America and other countries that internet access is growing in importance for providing individuals, old as well as young, to equal...

Will New Large Social Housing Projects Become ‘Food Deserts’?

For those low and no income residents lucky enough to win a lottery and move into one of the handfuls of subsidized housing, finding food will not be a...

Abrupt Endings: The Child Welfare System

Instant adulthood. That's what's expected of youth in Ontario's child welfare system. The idea behind the child welfare system is to provide stability for young people as they grow...

Housing Commodification Weakens Social Reproduction: The Undoing Of Cities?

Is social reproduction a suitable topic for an affordable housing web site? In the hands of David Madden, definitely. The term 'social reproduction' incorporates the activities and the processes that...
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