Preserving Existing Housing

physical issues around renovating and otherwise preserving existing affordable housing

A Landfill Diversion Project With Multiple Benefits

"Charlie? These windows don't fit!" This situation unfolded recently at a construction site in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The windows the contractor had ordered for a row of new homes weren't...

Saving Housing Stock From The Wrecking Ball

Meet Nathaniel Griffin, the mayor of Wellston, Missouri. One day he woke up and realized he had signed a deal that would see 20% of all of the city's...

UK: Empty Land, Empty Houses, Empty Right To Adequate Housing

There is a major impediment to the United Nations Right to Adequate Housing. It is a common occurrence everywhere, and a familiar sight to a more mobile segment of...

Taking Another Look At Regenerating Social Housing

In North America, the idea of regenerating 'public housing' is pretty much a dead duckPublic housing is not to be confused with 'social housing' in the United States. Social...

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...

NYCHA Public Housing 78 Billion Repair Bill: Is “Less Is More” The Only Hope?

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) seems much like the person at the coffee shop counter, endlessly recalculating a handful of small change in hopes that sooner or...

Why North American Public Housing Might Be Too Valuable To Tear Down

Why tear down existing North American public housing? Why, to build mixed income housing to replace it. It can provide ample private enterprise profitability to attract free market enterprise...

Social Housing Mould Killed Awaab Ishak. Will Institutional Apathy Kill Others?

In the wake of a two-year-old boy's mould-related death, what most struck the Manchester Evening News and the UK Charity Shelter, which shared a now internationally known investigation, was...

Glasgow’s Changing World, Zeal To Knock Down Existing Social Housing Continues

In spite of clear evidence that some or all knocked down social housing is never replaced in redevelopments...Try: The Life And Death Cabrini-Green Public Housing Projects, 25 Years On In...

How Can A Right To Housing Advance Without Preserving What We Have?

Both the United Kingdom and the USA soured on public/social housing coincident with the rise of Reaganism/thatcherism/neoliberalism and its emphasis on small government. In place of government incompetence, free...

An Internet Light Illuminates The Dark Art Of Ignoring Public Housing Tenants

Ignoring deplorable conditions in housing for low and no income citizens has become a worldwide technique for trimming local government budgets. In North America, it goes hand in hand...

Local Public Housing Climate Changes: Delivering Distress Or Support?

In societies where social/public housing tenants are treated more or less like dirt,  governments have a low bar of behaviour to meet when change threatens to upend the status...

Moulds Don’t Bother Many But For Some In Social Housing They Are Deadly

Check out the science and you will discover that the renewal of life on earth requires decay. By and large there can be nothing new without the breakdown of...

Refurbishing Derelict Housing: UK Gov? Or Blokes (Him/Her) With Hammers?

The UK is currently celebrating/bemoaning a sky-is-falling introduction to the new Prime Minister's Trussonomics.  That would be 'small government' neoliberalism shrunk to a squabbling anti-intellectual dot. Under Liz Truss, government...

Non-Profit Chicken Little Concern: Public Housing Sky Is Falling

For some reason we humans are initially inclined to think the best of each other as individuals. It seems a reasonable and understandable 'human' reaction. However, there are reasons to...

Toronto Area: Local Studies Support Calls For Housing Rights

As we are learning in Canada, adopting the Human Right to Adequate Housing marked an ending and a beginning. It's an ending because after decades of work, Canada's government...

Public Housing As A Monument Of Achievement For Future Generations

In North America, the idea of preserving public housing as a model of national achievement is absurd. It began and existed for a few heartbeats as a form of...

Appreciating What’s Good About Public Housing — It’s Physical Structure

Reaganism and Thatcherism (a.k.a neoliberalism) touted the theory that small government was essential to free enterprise. Within this mindset, social/public housing was an example of all that was wrong...

Aging UK: The Chickens Have Come Home To Roost – And The Coop Is Broken

More than 4.3 million homes in England do not meet basic standards of decency. It is more prevalent in the private sector, and among residents with lower incomes. Although it's...

A Tour Of Social Housing Revival In North America

The demolitions of Cabrini Green in Chicago and Pruitt-Igoe in St. Louis, two very large public housing projects, reflect decisions made by people who had never lived there. Some...

Want To Lower Crime Rates? Fix Up Housing

The City of Philadelphia began providing funding for low income homeowners to make basic system repairs to their housing in 1995. Now, research from the University of Pennsylvania demonstrates...

Public Housing, “Reverence For Pre-Existing Structures” Captures Architecture’s Top Prize

World-wide, it might seem that there are few opportunities to bring meaningful architectural design to the budget constraints of public housing construction. Certainly this lament can often be found...

Why Acquire Existing Rental Housing As Part Of An Affordable Housing Strategy?

This post considers the potential of a program to acquire existing rental units as part of an affordable housing strategy. The context is Canada, but the thinking could be...

Still Standing? A Lick Of Paint And Bob’s Your Uncle: Good As New Public Housing!

Refurbish decrepit empty housing, including dead-but-hasn't-fallen down public/social housing? Maybe it's a good idea. A growing number of nations worldwide, from those who think public housing is or was a...

A Drop-In Centre With A Housing Mission

Here's an article about the sale of a heritage rooming house building in a Toronto neighbourhood. The new owner is bucking the trend to gentrification and will continue to...

Whatever Happened To Eel Grass Insulation? The Story So Far

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...

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

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...

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

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

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...

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

"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...

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

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...

Resilient City, Toronto Style

"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...
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