Building

Explores issues and events concerning the physical structure of affordable housing, its planning, creation, upkeep and preservation.

Tenants Call For Green Kitchens In NYCHA Buildings

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Tenants living in housing owned by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) have come up with a great idea to get the ball rolling on a Green New...

Can Existing Social Housing Go ‘Green’ One Baby Step At A Time?

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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

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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...

Internet Connections Broaden The Definition of Housing Infrastructure

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New housing salesperson to prospective buyer, "Wait a minute! Now you say you want electricity brought right into your home! That will be special order, and cost extra." Not a...

Who Might Jesus Look Like In A Modern Canadian Winter?

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The face of a Second Coming in today's modern world might be that of a man more effectively able to preach by what he practices, rather then practice his...

Aussie Power Project Turns Social Housing Tenants Into Sun Worshipers

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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...

Whatever Happened To Eel Grass Insulation? The Story So Far

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How does removing an existing and undeniably 'green' insulating product fit with a commitment to climate-friendly solutions? A recent article about climate-change-sensitive refurbishment of public housing in Nova Scotia contained...

23 Walls: Different Brutalist Strokes For Different Low Budget Folks

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Can flexibility added to brutalism be enough to make concrete walls into cozy homes? When the contest is fictional architecture,See: FICTIONAL ARCHITECTURE a real-life answer is not as important...

Cherished Steel Houses?

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Just when you think you've heard the last word about shipping containers, along comes a new story. Iron panels have worked very well as exterior cladding on houses in Iceland....

Green Matters: No Single Colour Of Paint Covers AU Tenant Energy Hardship

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Energy hardship is a natural outcome of treating rental housing as a commodity, rather than sheltering it under a human rights umbrella. In many modern countries, the owner of...

Czech Housing Good Enough For Yesterday’s Commies, Today’s Middle Classes

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Imagine: worried housing academics, historians, designers and activists agonizing and shaking their heads over the "new chic" — privately purchased and refurbished social housing apartments — unadorned brick towers...

Green Social Housing: Impossible Dream Or Old News?

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One way or another, many feel that social housing is too expensive for America, even as many other nations find ways to utilize this truly affordable form of housing....

Moab Prof Proves It Can Be Done — Energy Efficiency AND Affordability

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Climate change is a new reality facing housing. But with heartfelt cries for housing affordability ringing in government ears everywhere, are costly climate-friendly houses forever to be at odds...

Dallas Highrise Residential Parking: An Affordable Housing Burden?

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At affordablehousingaction.org we've not been overly impressed by the blanket condemnation of zoning bylaws by the housing industry. NIMBY neighbourhood attitudes, perfectly understandable, have become a convenient 'fall guy'...

A View Of Social Housing in Countries Where ‘Social’ Is Not Repugnant

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These days, not everyone in the world except Americans (the odd progressive aside), believe that social housing deserves to go belly up in a hand basket, or be otherwise...

Myth-Busting: What Makes You Think Tiny Homes Will Be Affordable?

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North America is a land of large housing lots. Not surprising therefore that their potential for doubling density causes affordable housing activists to pump their fists in the air...

Landlords Vs. Climate Change: How Will Renters Weather The Clash?

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Australia already appears to be suffering from the dramatic and devastating effects of climate change while being led, like America, by a government that refuses to see any sign...

Could Reviled Public Housing Beat Current National Affordability Programs?

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Useful articles on the subject of public housing have been a rarity in mainstream American publications. "Not in our lifetime," has been a characterization of a date when the...

Tiny Houses: A Figment Fit For The Imagination, But No Big Affordable Solution?

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In a lengthy, entertaining and informative article, Miles Howard explores the past, present and future of one form of dinky living. He focuses particularly on high tech gingerbread cottages...

‘Don’t Stop The Financial Music’ And Other Conservative Affordability Fixes

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Free market devotees are getting rather boxed into a corner these days when it comes to proposing solutions for affordable housing crises. There are still hopeful cries everywhere from the...

Calling All American Housing ‘Entities:’ Affordable Housing Challenge With Important Payoff

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Entites? Whether you belong to a for-profit, non-profit, or a TDHETDHE — Tribally Designated Housing Entity entity, two other corporate 'entities' have an affordable housing challenge for your consideration. Wells...

Protective Knights or Obstructionist Villains? City Councils Attack Affordability Crises

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These days, city governments must work to balance the demands of residents of all stripes, from the comfortable and complacent to the needy and struggling. They are forced to...

Trickle Up: A Watery Metaphor for Housing Price Change That Defies Gravity

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'Trickle-down' is the process that is touted to solve affordable housing crisis. It is the favourite viewpoint of the American housing industry and supported by the YIMBY (Yes in...

Rooftop Modular Affordable Housing Horrifies Top Floor Renter

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As a resident of a solidly-built, flat-roofed 1928 apartment building, a good-news modular housing story from the UK positively sends shivers up my spine. Oh no! We'll no longer be...

Beijing Rains On The Affordable Public Housing Parade

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For the past few decades, governments and businesses alike have made forceful claims that private enterprise can manipulate the free housing market to better house the world, from the richest...

Ventura County Swims Against Zoning Tide To Protect Trailer Parks

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From California comes word of more, not less, zoning restriction. That's rare good news for existing affordable housing in America's rapidly-declining stock of trailer parks. Governments from the feds (think...

Portland Prepares For Care And Breeding Of Affordable Grannie Flats

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Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), grannie flats, garden suites, call them what you will, can be highly affordable. Better still, in a crowded urban landscape they have a residential footprint...

The Oversized American Dream: Is The World Witnessing Its Passing?

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Spacious countries not lacking in wealth — the United States, Canada, Australia and other roomy elsewheres — dreamed big in the twentieth century. For many successful individuals, those lifestyle...

Guardian Public Service Awards: Good Housing News From A Great Paper

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Before getting into The Guardian Housing and Public Service Awards, an affordablehousingaction.org Top Affordable Housing Newspaper award to The Guardian itself. The Guardian is right up there in quality with the top handful...

“Taking The UK By Storm,” Modular Housing Flexes Its Affordable Muscles

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"Taking the UK by storm?" Well, we're introducing an industry magazine article today, and it's perhaps understandable that this particular piece of their prose is a little hypersonic, particularly...

Building Giant Thinks Tower Construction Outside The ‘Module Box’ Box

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P1030355.1 (factory) photo by lkajsdfl is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0 So. You have a local or regional need for affordable housing modules? Where should the manufacturing be sited? Let's take...

Can’t Do Affordable Housing Modules In California? No Matter, China Can

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Believe you can and you're halfway there — Teddy Roosevelt Whatever happened to 'can-do?' A recent UK story raises the issue, one that arguably applies on both sides of the...

Philadephia Wants Affordable Housing ‘No Sale’ Except For Non-Profits

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Housing investors in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania who've been taking the slow boat to free market profits may soon find themselves diverted onto an unwanted around-the-world cruise by city council. The slow...

Sydney, AU: Is There A Happy Medium For Affordable Housing Density?

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So, how long before a first rate city that can attract only second rate talent diminishes to a second rate city? Sydney Australia hovers close to the top of many...

DIY Broadband Levels Essential Internet Playing Field For Have-Nots

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Here's a good news story emerging from the shadows of those giant, hard-nosed internet providers determined to soak everybody to the max for their internet access. If that characterization...

Affordable Housing Needs Builders Even Before Designers. Wha . . ?

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It seems that pre-construction planning is a 'thing'. As opposed to planning before (in other words — pre) construction. That's just planning. Who knew? Not only that, pre-construction planning is...

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

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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...

Is An April Fool’s Joke A Warning Of Micro-House Reality?

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A Ketchum, Idaho April Fool's Joke this past April 1, 2019 saw a number of local dumpsters dressed up overnight as tiny homes, making a pointed statement about the...

US Affordable Housing Supply — Sabotaged!

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A recent study by two U.S. economists demonstrates how national homebuilders can effectively sabotage the free market, building fewer homes to their great convenience and profit. In response to cries...

Time To Recognize The Need For A ‘Green New Deal For Housing?’

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At affordablehousingaction.org we've expressed some concern that climate change activists may find themselves competing for limited funding with affordable housing activistsTry: Saving The World One Tree? Affordable House? At...

Chicago Housing Pride: Both Beautiful And Affordable

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Here's a peek at a new affordable housing development in Chicago.

Survey: Parking Your Shelter Overnight On The U.S. West Coast

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When a car is your shelter, parking is critical. It has become a particular problem on the US west coast, where the high cost of housing is forcing more...

Do Simple Housing Toolkits Beat One Grandiose Smart City Of Tomorrow?

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Dare we suggest that Google, or at least its sibling, is lumbering? Based on its proposal to revolutionize housing by wiring everything to everyone in a Toronto Smart City...

Live In A ‘Parasitic’ Home? Don’t Say ‘Ick’ Or ‘Euuw,’ It Might Well Be Affordable

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In the market for a 'parasitic' home? It might be a tough sell with such a name. People tend to think of parasites as bad, even though everyone is...

Thinking Big About Small Spaces

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Do you want to help out the Extinction Rebellion by reducing your fooptrint on our planet? Have you no ambition to live in a multi-thousand square foot home...

Will Award Make UK Social Housing Tenants House Proud?

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Some council house tenants in Norwich, UK, recently woke to discover they are living in homes with award-winning style. We're not talking about 'top of this year's public housing,'...

High Rise Fires: Rethinking ‘Stay Put.’ Can There Be An Escape Route?

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Two years after the Grenfell Tower disaster, the London Fire Commissioner ultimately responsible for how the fire was fought is advocating a serious review of 'Stay Put' advice to...

UK Builders See Brownfields, Self-Build, High Rise Affordable Opportunities

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Influenced perhaps by its physical location in North America, affordablehousingaction.org finds itself in constant pushback against a simple-minded housing industry view: if governments would only eliminate regulations, builders would...

Can An Affordable Housing Crisis Be Viewed As A Slow-Rolling Disaster?

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When it comes to affordable housing crises, there are are some potential benefits to be gained from viewing the crisis from a disaster perspective. This is particularly true where...

Wellington, NZ Modular Housing: Still Taxiing Towards The Takeoff Runway?

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On one hand, modular housing offers building techniques that can result in more affordable housing construction. On the other, homebuilders prefer to keep using construction techniques they understand which allow...

Tory Solution For UK Housing Sickness: Take Two Storeys And Call Us In The Morning

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What might those most concerned about affordable housing have expected from the recent Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, held in the shadow of a crash-out Brexit powered by a...

Community Land Bank + Community Land Trust = Affordable Housing

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Community Land Banks, under one name or another, have been around pretty much since the dawn of cities. They are the result of communities, through one means or another, acquiring...

Computer Aided Affordable Housing: Why Modularize When You Can Prefabricate?

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What's in a word?  'Modules' (or modular construction) seems to mean pretty much the same thing as 'prefabrication.' Aren't they both ways of describing some element of a building,...

Twain Not Meeting? Conventional Industry Technique Vs Modular Economy

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Everyone is happier working with the known, not the unknown, and the housing industry is no exception. For those building houses for the free market, construction know-how includes an...

Toronto Smart City: So Far Google-Linked Proposal Has Folks Over-Worried, Under-Impressed

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Sidewalk Labs' wordy, glossy, fluffy proposal for a neighbourhood development project in partnership with Waterfront Toronto

If At First You Don’t Succeed . . .NY Affordable Mega-Project 70 Years In The Making

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The saga of Essex Crossing began in the 1950's with the demolition of some of New York's historic gateway slums — the squalid welcome to America for waves of...

Cozy And Bearable: Is There A Just-Right Tiny Home For You, Goldilocks?

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Okay, so you don't want to live in a maxi-cupboard on a parking space foorprint, a.k.a  a Hong Kong apartment. But on the other hand you don't need a...

United Kingdom ‘BBB’ Housing: Boxy But Beautiful, Green But Affordable

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A United Kingdom housing project has achieved the unlikely: PassivhausPassivhaus, a tough but voluntary standard for energy efficiency in a building. Read more: What Is A Passive House? standards generally...

Affordable Housing Crisis Spin-Doctors Deliver A Faulty Prescription

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Let's take the following media declaration at face value: "4 Out Of 5 Americans say there is a housing affordability crisis." Based on a sample of 20,000 people that's...

Sci Fi Meets Congested City In Mind-Boggling Tokyo Housing Fantasies

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1931 was a good year for vivid imagination in Tokyo. It was the year that kicked off future-proofing in that city, now the most congested urban space in the...

Your Affordable Home Is Falling Down. Sorry, It Can’t Be Fixed. You Have To Move. Not.

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"But where will we go?" Scanning affordable housing stories worldwide, an article reports some unfortunate locale were residents are being evicted from social or public housing practically every day. Four constant...

Sweden Sniffs At Co-Living For Affordable Housing: Social Blessing Or Social Disaster?

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With housing becoming increasingly unaffordable, ingenious ways of reducing shelter costs abound. One trending fad featuring in the news media: co-living. A boon? A bust? There are two sides to...

Indiana ‘Friendship’ Co-Living: Extra Challenge, Extra Reward

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The search for housing affordability has recently focused attention on the benefits of co-living.Try: Co-living: What Is It? Who Does It? Why Bother? That co-living involves responsibilities as well...

Born Again Social Housing? Is It Possible? Scotland’s Done It

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America is where social housing went to die. Poisoned by the cold war that tarnished all things that remotely hinted of socialism or communism, social housing's slow death was,...

Developer Pioneers UK Affordable Housing Shell Game

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This modular housingHouses, or components of houses, that are constructed at an off site factory and transported to their final destination. initiative intrigued and impressed us here at affordablehousingaction.org....

UK Heavy Metal Housing: From Solo Practice To Concert Perfection

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The last few years have seen experimental 'cargotecture' experiments worldwide. The base of this affordable housing is the widely available shipping container, retired from seagoing duties but still full...

A Road To Housing Affordability Can Lead Through Climate Change

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A scramble to protect ourselves and our environment from climate change will almost certainly spawn geographic and technological benefits that will can make housing more affordable. A recent article in...

Plucky Norwich Council Bridges The Energy-Affordability Divide

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One of the arguments levelled against energy efficiency in affordable housing is the increased cost of construction. Savings realized through lower energy bills in the long term require higher...

Houses Of The Future? Sticks Win Out Over Huffing And Puffing Wolf.

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A seven story wooden structure built in Italy was rated strong enough to withstand a 1995 earthquake in Kobe, Japan, which destroyed some 50,000 houses. Watch It Not Fall...

A Green Future With Housing For All? Of Course It Can Be Done. But It May Take Baby Steps

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A fear looming ever bigger and nastier on the horizon is the possibility that affordable housing demands will clash head on with steps necessary to prevent an environmental catastrophe...

Affordable Housing: How Small Is Too Small?

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As cities grow and grow, there are only two solutions to supporting new population. One is familiar to many: suburb-surrounded cities with ever longer commutes from a hinterland stretching...

Supercharged By Boondoggle? Affordable Housing Via The Green New Deal

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America faces a bugle call to arms on many fronts such as immigration and terrorism. The call for affordable housing, for all that it is a matter of pressing...

UK Looks To Adopt Home Ownership Plan Based On What You Can Afford

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Swedish construction company Skanska, in partnership with well-known furniture retailer Ikea wants to build affordable housing in Worthing, Sussex, UK. 30% of the BloKlok partnership's modular housing project will be set...

Non-Market Permanent Affordable Housing: Practical Solution Or Pipe Dream?

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People with very low incomes face big hurdles when it comes to affording housing. With minimal resources, they have limited housing options and little control over their housing in...

Affordable Housing Massaged By Technology: Benefits? Or Techno-nerd Hype?

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Can government or charitable grants and subsidies fuel a housing revolution and overcome today's affordability crisis? If so, it's sure not happening yet, if ever. Alternatives? Turns out they're popping...

Amazon $18,000 Affordable Home, Delivered Free To The Doorstep You Don’t Have Yet

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Here's a useful little discussion on the future of mail-order housing (Step 2), as well as a surprising past. The article is by no means exclusive to Amazon's housing kit offer alone, and provides a checklist of things that are going to drive up the costs after you've nailed together all the boards that arrived at your curb side.

Free Market Affordable Housing: A Unicorn? IKEA & Padsplit Don’t Think So

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In no small part, affordable housing is a victim of housing industry propaganda, not actual facts. The housing industry, by and large, sings a two-note song. The high note: luxury...

Resilient City, Toronto Style

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"A Resilient Toronto is ... Home. A place where housing is a right, and every resident has a safe, decent, and affordable place to live." Compared with stories that...

K-W Housing: Is Affordability-By-Transit Dream Dying A Gentrification Nightmare?

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Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario is one of those inconvenient urban regions that glommed together without giving up its original city names, leading typists to cry out for an abbreviation. K-W is...

The ‘Double-Wide’ Concept Comes To Affordable Shipping Container Homes

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In the tiny, affordable house department, shipping containers seem to be always the bridesmaids, never quite the bride. The public is periodically introduced to intriguing new designs based on...

Affordable Housing Wars: True ‘YIMBY’ Can Outflank NIMBY

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By all means, let's hear it for true YIMBY. Hold that thought. We'll be coming back to it. True YIMBY? Does that mean there's a fake YIMBY? Of course there...

Lifting The Hood On Affordable Housing ‘Red Tape’

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Red Tape: Everybody hates it. Nobody needs it. When it comes to affordable housing, red tape is taking the blame for high costs. It is being disparaged by many actors...

Pirates, Cluster Housing and Affordable Shotgun Shacks In The Deep South

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An engaging personal journey into the American South touches upon the swashbuckling origins of a kind of deeply affordable housing. The author ponders whether 'Shotgun Shacks,' as they were...

Green and Mean — Sustainable Affordable Housing: Why Not Try Bamboo?

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Nations already struggle to provide affordable shelter for all. How does this objective fare in the face of a new worldwide urgency to find green solutions in all aspects...

NYC Plans To Shoehorn Affordable Housing Onto Teeny Quirky Lots

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What do you put on a triangular handkerchief of city land that has been vacant for decades? If New York City finds the right design, it will be affordable...

It’s Alive! Toronto Smart Neighbourhood Horror Sparks Lawsuit                      ...

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Remember why you left that small town? Where secrets about you were whispered behind your back because all your neighbours knew everything about you? Okay, you may not remember that...

Tiny Home Lovers: Passion In Spite Of The Trashin’

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Tiny house love? Let's leave aside the pixie cosplay in barnboard-sided flower box-festooned crooked-chimney peasant huts on roller skates. Of course people love them as they creep shyly into...

Aussie Public Housing History: One Architect’s Championing Of More For Less

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An Australian article linked below appears at first glance to be a 'sweep nostalgia away' anti-heritage, anti-sentiment dismissal of older architecture threatened with redevelopment. However, it instead turns out be...

3D Printing An Affordable House: Hope, or Hype?

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Imagine how much cheaper a house could be if it was built with a giant 3D printer! Perhaps you can't imagine, for the simple reason that it is really hard...

Can Factories Churn Out Affordable Homes Like Assembly-Line Sausages?

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The idea of modular housing has been around for a while. World-famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed the modular units shown above more than a hundred years ago. More recently...

Hoard Wealth Or Uphold Service? Shrinking Churches Eye Affordable Housing

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According to the National Trust for Canada, faith groups are the largest property owners in the country — not counting the federal government. But participation in organized religion is declining. Fully...

Positive Vibes For Modular Construction In New York City

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It seems that modular construction, at least in New York City, has been something of a colicky baby. Consider the following hopeful-trending-hopeless headline and article from CURBED NEW YORK: Modular Construction...

Ontario Pines For The Heady Affordable Housing Co-ops Of Yesteryear

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Social housing has been one of the few affordable housing alternatives in many countries. We're talking truly affordable rental housing here, and we're talking the massive quantities necessary to...

Heart-stopping Skylight Living Under Runways & Other Transport Corridor Affordable Housing Options

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Gaze upwards through the reinforced skylight of your condo high-rise tower, one that has been tipped to the horizontal and is buried under a major airport runway. The sky...

Back To The Future: CMHC’s Award Winning Floor Plans For Small Houses

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February 1, 2019. Homes for Canadians. The Canadian Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) 'THERE has long been an urgent demand in Canada for new, attractive designs of low or moderate-cost...

New Phoenix Yacht Club Takes The Float Out Of The Affordable Boat For Artist Live-Aboards

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Yacht racing has been likened to 'standing in a cold shower, ripping up hundred dollar bills.' Still, there's always the opportunity to save a dollar or two by living...

Affordable Apartments In Zurich: Neobrutalism(?) Rears Its Ugly Beautiful Head

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A cynic might claim that, beyond an interesting design, there is nothing new in a Gus Wüstermann all-concrete medium-rise affordable housing project in Zurich, Switzerland. The cement is long dry...

Let’s Hear It For The Hulks: Affordable Housing At Sea, Cruising To Nowhere In Particular

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Question for cruise affectionados: where do you get to enjoy the sea air, the company of hundreds if not thousands, guarantee of no waves large enough cause motion sickness,...

5 California Ideas For Housing The Homeless

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A California 'homelessness housing' design competition has announced winners from some 53 developers who entered a Los Angeles County innovation challenge. The winners are expected to use their prizes, which...

Nampa, Idaho: New Affordable Housing Factory Needs Assembly Line Robots, Not Builders

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There are many new and exciting things to encourage a region about its affordable housing possibilities when a new automated modular housing factory comes to town. In the case of Autovol, setting...
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