Discrimination

issues and events related to the prevention or hindering of access to affordable housing based on race, skin colour, religion, health, income, age, gender, sexual orientation and/or other identifiable characteristics of individuals and families

When Realtors Were Forbidden From Showing ‘White Homes’ to Blacks. . .

An fine article in Axios serves to carefully enlighten the history of rules, regulations and restrictive housing practices that have underpinned racism in America. Approaching this short documentary account, try...

New York City Erodes Fragile Human Rights Protection For Mental Health Sufferers

The following Guardian article — a personal diary of one American with mental illness who was incarcerated against her will — is a vision of horror. . .  for...

How NYPD & NYCHA Together Hyper-Police Public Housing Residents Into Jail

Even within the crime levels expected from a poverty-stricken neighbourhood, the incarcerations contributed by a public housing building in that neighbourhood are far greater, creating pipeline from public housing...

Working From Home For Survival? Forbidden In Canada’s Arctic

"You can’t run a business from NWT public housing. Is that fair?" The question is asked in an article featured below about the rights of public housing renters in...

No-Housing Fix In Canada? Easy Peasy. Just Get a Doctor To Kill You

Seems we're not talking much about assisted suicide in Canada. Not as much as we might, given how it's becoming a convenient and very cost-effective cure for homelessness. Britain has...

Human Right To Housing: Four Steps To End A USA Eviction Crisis

In a country that is not yet a signatory to the United Nation's Right to Adequate housing, polls show that it has considerable support from the American population. All very...

The Poor: Thoughtful UK Opinion Roasts Murderous(?) Canadian Policies

We might have found the above headline suitable to describe Canada's relentless lip service without action towards the rights of indigenous people and their housing that Canada has selfishly...

No Camping! How U.S. Human Rights Give Recourse To Pushback From The Punished

In America, if a human right isn't enshrined to the U.S. Constitution, there's a tendency to think it can't possibly exist in any meaningful way. But times change everything....

Spotting Architecture That Encourages Homeless People To ‘Move On’

A recent affordablehousingaction.org post featured a town seemingly hell-bent on destroying its own quality of life — anything to get rid of those drug-crazed, brain-fried homeless folk who just...

Challenging Canada’s Denial Of Health Care: A Path To Housing Rights?

Ontario's Superior Court has issued a decision in a case with significant implications for the right to adequate housing. The case involves Nell Toussaint, who has been challenging the...

Erasmus: Students In Italy Give The Lie To Homeless Stereotypes

It is so convenient to adopt the conventional neighbourhood attitude to the homeless: they are all druggies with mental disorders and criminal habits. Not only that, they poop, too....

Museum Names Artist To Help Elevate Lives Lived In US Public Housing

The National Public Housing Museum (NPHM) has taken on a massive challenge: to interpret the history of life in American public housing. Over decades now, developers hungry for building room...

Challenging Number Crunchers To Say More About The Need For Deeply Affordable Housing

Canada's National Housing Strategy is about "giving more Canadians a place to call home:" "The goal is to ensure Canadians across the country have access to housing that meets their...

Developers + Political Buddies Build A Public Housing Pipeline To Jail

How to justify tearing down aging, but initially well-built, housing? Of course there are economic reasons for doing so. For example, there are developer profits from rebuilding to consider....

Supporting Vulnerable Populations To Thrive By Changing Housing And Health Care Systems

This post starts with an article from New South Wales, Australia, where statistics about levels of domestic violence during COVID have just been published. As the reporter notes, the...

Challenging NIMBY To Create Housing For All

St. John's, the capital city of Newfoundland and Labrador, is Canada's easternmost province. There, The Canadian Homebuilders Association — Newfoundland and Labrador teamed up with the City of St....

Rental Deserts – What Are They And Do They Matter?

Researchers at Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies have picked up the idea of food desertsFood deserts are areas that lack access to affordable and nutritious food. Read more...

US National Public Housing Museum’s Home Finally Ready For Takeoff

Pride is a strong foundation of community. NIMBY (Not in My Back Yard) popup defences appear spontaneously in neighbourhoods that have an awareness and belief in their local culture....

Reparations In Evanston, Illinois Start With Housing

For 50 years, from 1919 to 1969, Evanston, Illinois turned its back on its Black residents. It withheld opportunities that were offered white residents. Today, residents living in the...

Tracing The Legacy of South Africa’s Truth And Reconciliation Commission In North America

South Africa has a history of explicit discrimination — Apartheid — which was baked into its culture through laws and regulations. These laws authorized police and the military to use force...

Countering Discrimination In The Property Tax System

If you’ve ever wondered how systems and structures contribute to discrimination, this is a great story to read. It’s about a property tax auction in Baltimore. The City holds...

Indigenous Housing – Doing Better

Housing conditions in remote communities have been a personal issue for this writer, ever since working in Canada's north in the 1970's. At the time, the housing built for...

O Canada! The True North Weak And Diseased . . .

The headline above is a line from Canada's national anthem, unfortunately adjusted to circumstances. The impetus for such an outrageous(?) modification comes from a book review in nature. The review...

A History of Evolving Planning Prejudice in America

Adam Paul Susaneck is an architect. His research and its implications might be mistaken as a focus on 'building design.' But the scope of one of his current projects...

Literature Reviews – Why Do Them? What Do They Have To Offer?

Researchers from the UK Collaborative on Housing Evidence have just published a literature review about public participation in the planning process in the UK. Based on the evidence, the...

Breathing Health: Colorblind For All The Wrong Reasons

"You are what you eat" is a well known phrase that ties human well-being to healthy food. The deterioration of America's public housing in particular has added another important...

Does A Papal Apology Bode Well For Indigenous Housing In Canada?

On April 1, 2022, Pope Francis apologized for the harms caused to children in the residential school system in Canada. The apology came at the end of a week...

Finding Housing Opportunities In Daily Life

Winning a lottery is undeniably an opportunity. The sudden change in circumstances comes with its own consequences, not all of them good. As well, most people don't win lotteries....

North America Fair Housing Redress Is A Worldwide Guide

The histories of many North American cities are marred by institutional acts of unfairness and cruelty towards a catalog of colors, races and religions. In this current world of war...

Learning From A Housing Experiment In Hawaii

Did you know that Hawaii initiated an affirmative action program to protect Native Hawaiians from extinction and promote their culture in 1922? Would this program and the experience of...

Getting The Best From Supportive Housing

Supportive housing has become an essential component in programs to end homelessness. At the same time, it seems that we still have a lot to learn about what supportive...

Homeless Lured From Streets By Universal Bad Habits

What can possibly be positive about cigarettes, alcohol and illegal drugs? For starters, though known to be potentially dangerous to human health, they are undeniably effective pit-props that shore...

A ‘Green’ Opportunity To Make Homes Accessible

Disability rights activists have been pointing out that despite international agreement about accessibility rights, much of the built environment is not accessible. One of those activists, Graham Findlay, sees...

Why Race Matters In Homelessness Programs

When the U.S. Congress passed the McKinney-Vento Act in 1987, Black people were more likely to be homeless than white people. The Act, which was and is the framework...

Historic Housing Practices And Discrimination: The Case For Reflection

It seems that more and more people writing aboutt how housing is woven into racism and discrimination in the United States. Here are two recent examples, one from the...

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...

Disconnecting Housing Policy From Racism And Discrimination

Sophie House and Krystle Okafor are both based at New York University. Building on the work of contemporary abolitionistsAbolitionism is often understood to be about the abolition of slavery...

Public Housing Heroes From New Orleans

While there are a lot of stories about public housing in New York City and Chicago, those from the US south are much less common. This one comes from...

The Life And Death Cabrini-Green Public Housing Projects, 25 Years On

In the late twentieth century, prior to its demolition, the Cabrini Green public housing buildings in Chicago had become the poster child of all that was supposedly wrong with...

Updated: Crisis Response To Mental Illness And Homelessness Without The Police

Two days ago, affordablehousingaction.org published a post about work by Akwatu Khenti, who teaches and studies at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto....

Crisis Response To Mental Illness And Homelessness Without The Police

Recently, affordablehousingaction.org posted a story about mobile outreach teams, which pair police officers and health professionals. Together they respond to 911 calls where it seems likely that there could...

Phoenix Bike Share: Green And Healthy, Sure. But A Public Service?

Trapped in the public housing heart of a low income community on the wrong side of the tracks? With a little help from the community at large, why not...

Is Land Use Planning Accountable For Decisions That Help Some White People Get Ahead?

During the first months of COVID in England, media attention focused on the high rate of infection among Black and South Asian residents. The homes of Black and South...

On The Logic Of Locating Deeply Affordable Housing Close To Work Opportunities

If public housing is meant to be transitional rather than transformative Try: Public Housing Futures: Transitional Or Transformative?, it follows that public housing must be located within striking distance...

Gentrification – What We Know And What We Don’t

AJ Golio, a PhD candidate at Tulane University, has penned a thoughtful article in Shelterforce about gentrificationFor an explanation of gentrification, try: Gentrification: What is it? How Does It...

Embedding Police In Poor Neighbourhoods: Allies Or Spies?

Once upon a time (it can't be all that many years ago) many cities in North America required police officers to live in the community they policed. That was...

American-Style Racism: A Universal Human Condition, Without Boundries?

Not to belittle the microscopic investigations that are currently detailing all the tiniest wrinkles of discrimination which is an enduring shame to America — what was once, and may...

American Horror Story: Public Housing As Black Suffering And Pain

Candyman 1 and 2 are horror movies that fit into university curriculum on the subjects of . . . American racism The history of national hatred targeting Public Housing The...

Helpful Steps To Dismantle Racism In Services For Homeless People

Organizations in the U.S. that provide health care to people who experience homelessness recently issued a report about their work to change their discriminatory practices. You might think that the...

Growing Non-Market Housing Programs With An Eye On Equity

Advocates and community organizations are calling attention to inequities in the housing market in the United States. The burden of COVID-19 (who gets sick, who has to go to...

Own A Set Of Metric Drill Bits? No? Hang Your Head, Social Housers

At the turn of the 20th century, what sane middle or lower class person would want to own a house? It was a time before Mr. Fixit-ness, before battery...

Housing Equity: The Potential Of Community Land Trusts

Shelterforce, which supports community development initiatives across the United States, is running a series about community land trusts. The series includes an entry level article that explains what community land...

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...

Internet Inequality: Ugly Redlining Defines American Have-Nots

In America during the last century, bank lending practices discriminated against poor neighbourhoods, often predominantly black. The process became known as "redlining." The term comes from insurance maps where...

200 Car Headlights Shining In Your Bedroom Window: Blessing? Or Curse?

Surveillance is a touchy subject in neighbourhoods where a majority of citizens have good reason to believe they are the victims of prejudice. On the other hand, home security is...

Understanding Racial and Spatial Inequity In The Housing Market

The Urban Institute has just released Who Owns The Twin Cities, which analyzes residential ownership patterns in Minnesota's Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul). These communities have the largest...

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...

ITV In UK Catches Too Many Social Housers With Their Pants Down

When it comes to enduring poverty in disgusting, dangerous, unhealthy conditions, grovelling apologies to sufferers don't quite cut it. But at the moment in England, that's what's being served...

Sydney AU Exposes Developers’ “Decayed Public Housing” Lie

Two important lies have been heavily pushed by developers eager for new work over the last decade or two. Lie number one: Public/social housing is a fundamentally flawed social...

Is Institutionalization The Best That Can Be Offered To The Disabled?

While people with disabilitiesWhen speaking about people with disabilities, one wants to give preference to wording used in the disability community. Is it "people with disabilities" or "the disabled?"...

Los Angeles Looks For Middle Between NIMBY And YIMBY

NIMBY — Not In My Back Yard. Keep current by-laws. The neighbourhood is perfect just as it is. No more housing development, even though the city needs houses. YIMBY — Yes...

Can Biden Resurrect the Undead Section 8 Housing Voucher?

On the face of it, President Biden's new plans to help low and no income citizens in America seems reasonable: more Housing Choice (Section 8) housing vouchers. Unfortunately, housing vouchers...

Wanted: Friendly Robot Surveillance Dog To Invade Public Housing

Does a robodog need a loveable lolling tongue, a welcoming wagging tail? Maybe. Scientific American thinks the New York Police Department got it all wrong with its recent pretenda-puppy parade in the...

A Vancouver Housing Example: How Government “Hands Off” Doesn’t Work

There is persistent advocacy in many countries that is fuelled by housing development interests. It can be summed up by the idea of "just build more." In The U.S. there...

In Modern Society, Must Some Dance To Will Of “The Chosen?”

There was an uproar recently when Trumpian provocateurs in the U. S. House of Representatives proposed an American First caucus in order to (among other things) protect the country's...

One Bright Idea To Clamp Down On Public Housing Lawbreakers

Policing in poor neighbourhoods of cities, no matter how large or small, is contentious. Public Housing neighbourhoods are no exception. And public housing tenants, particularly in Black dominated American public...

How Middle Class Miami Ran Over Public Housing On The Way Out Of Town

It was an unfortunate traffic accident. The American dream lay affordable and enticing in the suburbs. Middle America could afford cars to pursue it. Nobody gave thought to the...

Robots In NYC Public Housing: “Big Brother Dog Is Watching You”

The use of a robot surveillance 'dog' during a police intervention in New York Public Housing seems to have a human 'creepy' value of 100% with complaints flying thick...

Cabrini-Green: The Frankenstein Monster of American Public Housing . . .Revisited

Ten years ago, the last building of Chicago's Cabrini-Green public housing project was torn down. During its lifetime, the 23 buildings housing more than 15,000 mostly black residents became a...

Post-Construction “Community Preference:” Right to Return Home? Or Racial Exclusion?

When it comes to American neighbourhood housing development, what does the term "community preference" mean? It's a policy that might be required by some level of government, or put in...

Is Vancouver City Council Proposing To Dabble In Racist, Segregated Housing?

A belated recognition of urban aboriginal needs? Or a dismaying state-supported adventure in racist and economic apartheid? Vancouver, BC's city council has approval a First Nations construction project slated for...

“Poor Floors” & Social Housing Apartheid: How Far Can Developers Be Allowed To Go?

How far can developers go to create phoney "separate but equal" housing projects? The answer is simple: as far as they like . . . when it's their money...

Does Architecture Deliberately Support Racism? MoMA Examines How And Why

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York is currently exploring the "bad and ugly" aspects of racist architecture as a prelude to a celebration of the "good"...

A Real Get Out Of Jail Card, Maryland Style

Some American social programs greatly benefit private enterprise that builds and/or manages the country's penal system. The term "benefits" in no way suggests that the jailing industry can (or...

America’s Next “New Deals,” Need To Be Not Only Green, But Black

Recalling the successes of FDR's 1930's New Deal, progressive politicians and their followers have a number of hurdles to overcome in re-inventing another New Deal from the myths of...

Housing Conditions In Canada’s Far North: Bad Enough To Make You Sick

When compared with Canada as a whole, people in the Territory of Nunavut are four times more likely to live in a home in need of major repairs. Homes...

Line Up Here – Giving Preference To Access Supportive Housing

Lineups to get into stores have become a fact of life with COVID restrictions. Our local grocery store gives preference to front line workers. All they need to do...

Green New Deal For Housing Part 5: Indigenous Approaches

This is the final post covering the Tyee's five part series about a green new deal for housing. The Tyee is based in Vancouver, where high prices are making...

Affordable For All: The Challenge For New U.S. Housing Secretary

Recently, we posted a storyTry: Biden-Harris: Timely Dawn Of A New Day For Public Housing? Unlikely that assessed the chances that Public Housing would see a revival in America...

Updated – A Different Way To Fight Housing Discrimination

A recent investigation by the BBC in England shows that landlords are continuing discriminatory practices against people who receive social assistance. A court decision on July 1, 2020 (reported...

Defund the Police? Why Not Just De-Militarize Them?

Uniformed police are an inescapable symbol of White prejudice and oppression in Black America, a searing image, which will not be erased in a single lifetime. Less obvious is...

Can Two Lame US Public Housing Substitutes Limp Effectively Together?

Neoliberal "small" governments over the last 50 years have developed low- and no- income housing support that was designed to replace "big government" hands-on public housing. These solutions have, by...

Would A Spoonful of Superiority Help the LGBTQ+ Community Go Down?

Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), formed to create affordable homes, have been justifying their existence over the past few years by extolling the superiority of mixed income housing. It's an...

Step Back From Bad And Ugly Of Public Housing To Celebrate The Good

The demonization of public housing residents in America has been a price paid by "small government" beliefs that the public purse has no role to play in either the...

10,000 L.A. Public Housing Units That Didn’t Get Built

A recent article in Mother Jones recounts a story from Los Angeles about 10,000 units of public housing that were never built. The article is about Frank Wilkinson, who worked...

Flicking A Broken Switch to Turn Off US Public Housing? Doesn’t Work

Much of what affordablehousingaction.org publishes about social/public/council housing could in the US be considered palliative care for a dying industry and its long-suffering tenants. American public housing has been...

Administrative Challenge To Black Housing Reparations In The US

By now, most people concerned about institutional discrimination in the United States have know about redliningSee more on the history of redlining here: Redlining: What Was It? And Should...

Sure, Farm Workers Can Social Distance Between Rows Of Tomatoes, But . . .

This summer, Ontario approached a limited control of the spread of COVID-19 and began to consider phased modification of its largely voluntary lockdown. But part of the population of...

COVID-19 Adds To The Impact Of Historic Discrimination

America's widest circulation newspaper, USA Today, has used its resources to find out who is being hit hardest by COVID-19 in the US. Picking six areas where there was...

Call A Public Housing Tenant Criminal Without Evidence? New Jersey Will Sue.

ThatcheriteA term named for United Kingdom Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, much admired in conservative circles for introducing drastic curbs on government social welfare spending. governments have for several decades...

Yonkers, NY, Traces Yesterday’s Past Black Discrimination That Now Kills Today

Recent protests in the US have focused on current discrimination against Blacks, as well its deep roots in American culture and society since Emancipation. The unrest has triggered calls...

Black Reparations? Housing Opportunities As A Suitable Direction For Action

California's 'woke' politics help it to be one of the first out of the gate with at least a lukewarm endorsement of long overdue Black reparations. It's a refreshing...

Update — Is Segregation Actually A ‘Progressive’ Political Tool For Retaining Power

An article linked below by a housing advocate from the US calls out progressives who suggest they are the political force most suitable for ending the race discrimination that...

Is Segregation Actually A ‘Progressive’ Political Tool For Retaining Power

This following article by a housing advocate from the US calls out progressives who suggest they are the political force most suitable for ending the race discrimination that has...

Laws Against Housing Segregation? Not Anymore, If HUD Gets Its Way

Some decades ago, The U.S. federal government outlawed overt segregation. The Veteran's Affairs directive that forbade government housing assistance to returning black WWII veterans is one example.For more about...

Could Reviled Public Housing Beat Current National Affordability Programs?

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...

Pittsburgh Plays God With Poor Folks. Feds and State Leave Them No Choice.

A slightly more fast and loose post, ranting completely understated

How To Be Wrong-Headed About The Right Kind Of Affordable Housing Assistance

"I'm sorry, Mr. Brewster Twillingate-Smithers III, but I will not rent one of my apartments to you because your income is zero, not withstanding your weekly million-dollar subsidy from the family trust."

Housing Racism: The Diseased Underbelly Of The American Dream

A new book written by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor surfaces how the American Dream of homeownership has played out for black people. Early in her career, Taylor worked as a housing advocate....

How Affordable Housing Might Add Substance To Talk of Segregation Reparations

Democratic candidates for the U.S. federal elections in 2020 have broached the subject of reparations for the continued mistreatment of black Americans that followed emancipation. So far, while there...
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