New To Canada? We’re Here To Welcome You. Sort Of…

Canada is officially rolling out the welcome mat for refugees from the Ukraine and Afghanistan. How do they fare when they get here? Quite well, thanks to local community...

Developer Wet Dream: Housing That Fails The Test Of Time

New York City is blessed with an enormous amount of public housing that has so far withstood the test of time. Yes, it needs 40+ billion dollars for repairs....

Getting A Grip On Profit In Rental Housing

Imagine for a moment that you own a home and you've lived there for 10 years. In that time, the value of your home has gone up. Depending on...

30 Year LIHTC Wallpaper Bubble Bursts 15 Years Early!

Sure, LIHTC has always been a successful government housing policy, allowing officials to 'brag now because we'll all be dead by the time the shit hits the fan.' There's a...

The Rise Of The Land Economy. It’s Shaping Your Future

You are a young person who has done all the right things. You've got a good education and a job that pays well. You're living with your parents to...

You Can’t Get There From Here – Learning From The UK’S Retrofit Journey

Four years ago a UK report advocated public housing as the optimal launch pad for a campaign to meet the committments to achieve decarbonization of homesBuilding decarbonization is a...

Canada’s National Housing Strategy – Heading Off In The Wrong Direction

Canada's National Housing Council has just released a report with a title that is hardly a headline grabber: Analysis of Affordable Housing Supply Created by Unilateral National Housing Strategy...

A Big-Bucks Seattle Plan To Shelter The Visibly Homeless

Businesses generally see visible homelessness as bad for business, sullying what might otherwise be 'beautiful downtown Seattle,' for example. Is it possible for the public interest in ending homelessness to...

Community Land Trust Purchases 40-Unit Building With NO Public Funding

The San Francisco Community Land Trust recently purchased a 40 unit apartment building, which will operate as a housing co-operative providing permanently affordable housing. The purchase is significant because it...

Are Tenants Subsidizing Home Ownership In The U.S.?

Don Layton is a Senior Industry Fellow at the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. He has just published two papers about housing policy in the United States. His...

Finding Money To Build Housing For People Who Are Homeless

It takes a lot of money to fund a housing project for people who are homeless. Where does it come from? In the U.S., there are consultants who specialize...

Hand-To-Mouth Philly Social Services Get Fast Cash Crisis Fix

In the dead of winter of 2019, the furnace at one of Why Not Prosper's homes in Philadelphia broke down. Why Not Prosper provides transitional housing to women who...

“Social Enterprises” Interlock To Build New Winnipeg Social Housing

A message of advice caught our attention in a report of new social housing under construction in Winnipeg, Manitoba. As a framework for the enterprises that have combined to finance...

When Developers Kiss & Cuddle With City Hall: A Cautionary Tale

Yes, free market developers might well be able to do "it" better, cheaper and in a more timely fashion than a public developer, such as a city government. If they...

Inclusionary Housing Policies and International Connections

Miriam Maina is a researcher at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. She previously worked at the Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa and is interested...

Investment Practices That Keep Money Away From Worthy Projects

A while back, affordablehousingaction.org reported on a credit union in Chicago. It was helping homeowners with low incomes to hang on to their homes in the aftermath of the...

Shelter Misuse Of Public Funds & Reliance On Private Sector “Fixes”

A affordablehousingaction.org, we've already expended a certain amount of ink on the notion that the "private sector does it better," a favourite theme of neoliberal politics which has had...

Skip The Fiddly Bits And Just Send Cash: A Poverty Fix Proposal

When a major U.S. news outlet proposes that the best antidote to poverty is "cold, hard, cash" it's worthy of a read. There's a certain irony in the followingAXIOS article,...

There’s Really No Room For Mr. Pea In This Housing Shell Game

Featured below, a no-doubt well-meaning article about the American housing, long and earnest, explains why that country can only manage its affordable housing crisis by building so-called "luxury" market...

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...

California Legislates To Support Land Trusts

A story from Next City reports on two pieces of legislation recently passed in California. They are intended to assist community based non-profit agencies buy housing. The first requires...

The Future Of Non-Market Housing: Charitable Foundations Need To Look In The Mirror

In the industrial revolution in England, housing conditions in big cities went from bad to worse. Crowding and disease were rampant and whole sections of cities were considered off...

Can Investor-Owned Empty Homes Solve A Toronto Housing Crisis?

Vancouver, B.C., is pretty consistently in the top two of the World's most expensive places to live. The reasons for its high housing costs are many. One significant problem...

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,...

Social Housing “Asset Recycling”: Privatization In Thin Disguise

There has been a hopeful inclusion of new kinds of "infrastructure" in Democratic proposals to shore up 21st century necessities. Beyond 19th and 20th century physical requirements for a...

Cuckoo Funds: Why YOU May Be Making Housing Unaffordable

There's a new term on the block, folks: Cuckoo Funds. Let's begin to describe it using a more mature and widely known "ugliness" — Vulture Capitalism. Vulture Capitalists are...

Should Private Investment In Public Services Replace Public Spending?

A recent article in Forbes asked whether value capture could be used to fund intensive case management and other supports as a way to speed up initiatives to end...

Does COVID Spur Unexpected Partnerships?

In the United States, local community development agencies and large health care organizations have been teaming up to improve health outcomes for people living in disadvantaged communities. COVID has...

New HUD Secretary’s Housing Experience Is A Mixed Message For Change

A recent article in City Journal attempts to put a hopeful twist on President Biden's choice for Secretary of the US Department Of Housing And Urban Developement (HUD). His...

COVID Housing Recovery in NYC: Non-Profits & Co-ops To The Rescue?

Post-pandemic turmoil in the housing market of America's largest city? Laissez-faire. Leave it be. Let the private sector, master of all housing matters, perform any needed recovery. . . ....

Truly Affordable Housing Infrastructure: A Tale Of Two Internets

Infrastructure? Two Internets? This post is premised on the idea that the events of the current pandemic have decisively demonstrated the internet as basic infrastructure for housing, as defined in...

Updated – Private Hospitals Invest In The Health Benefits Of Housing

Hospitals in the United States were partners in housing developments before the pandemic. As we reported in a post in 2017, Dignity Health in Sacramento, California found that investing...

Green New Deal For Housing Part 1: Connecting Housing Prices And Climate Change

The Tyee has published a five part series about a green new deal for housing. The Tyee is based in Vancouver, where housing prices are beyond the reach of...

Mapping Inequity In The United States

People looking for evidence of racial inequity in the United Sates need look no further than the National Equity Atlas. Data is organized using 31 indicators, of which three...

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...

Housing Speculation: Investment For Profit Without A Kinder, Gentler Side

There are some who believe that a useful distinction can be made between housing "speculation" and housing "investment."See at Huffington Post:Are You A Property Investor Or Speculator? A Quick...

Sure, Skip American Public Housing As A Failure. Just Choose A Better Model

With a Democrat as President, progressives in both Congress and party will be pushing for a return to public housing as a cure for some of America's housing woes. Has...

Birmingham Private Housing Authorities Abandon Special Needs Tenants

The U.K. government has over the past few years created loopholes for housing developers normally restricted by numerous by-laws. This extra freedom was created in order to encourage the...

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,...

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...

A Treasure Trove Of Local Ideas For Building More Affordable Housing

Local Housing Solutions is a web site designed to help people who want to take action to help make housing more affordable to people with very low incomes. It...

Mixed Use, Mixed Income Housing By Accident

In the decades following World War II, many governments invested in civic infrastructure to keep their economies growing and wipe away the bombed neighbourhoods, which were visible vestiges of...

Poverty For Profit: REIT Hard At Work In the Homelessness Mines

This post is a tale of two viewpoints. From the bastions of free enterprise? Confirmation that there is literally nothing on earth that cannot, with good conscience, be turned...

Tiny Points Of Light Can’t Put Housing Humpty Dumpty Back Together, But…

The much-worshipped self-regultory mechanics of the Law of Supply and Demand are failing to deliver the affordable housing that free market nations need. America announced its determination to pass the...

Housing Author Talks Political Anger And ‘Triangle Of Resistance’ To Affordability

The focus of the article linked below is the United Kingdom. But the problems it explores are mirrored in nations experiencing a housing crisis that national and regional governments...

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...

King County, Washington Faces Up To The Real Cost Of Truly Affordable Housing

Two years ago, the consulting firm McKinsey & Company delivered a controversial report to King County, Washington. It called for spending a quarter of a billion dollars a year...

When NIMBY Battlements Fall, Unseemly Victors Gorge On Plunder

Unseemly? Unseemliness? Unseemliness describes a maniacal gobble-fest between competitors for profits. In this terminology, the behaviour of a flock of seagulls fighting over a spilled bag of chips is . ....

Dallas Provides A Megacity View From The ‘Burbs: Past, Present And Future

A report from Dallas Texas enumerates some of the pros, cons, and one-day-hopeful pros again in a city that is a giant festival of sprawl. The report focuses on the...

Watch Out, Politicians! The Housing Crisis Is Coming To Bite Your Ass!

During the 2016 American Federal Elections, we called Affordable Housing the 'Elephant in the Room'.See: The Elephant In The US Election Room: Affordable Housing For all that it was...

Habitat for Humanity Middle Class Follies: None Too Impressive?

Housing For Humanity: a world-beating affordable housing charity now approaching middle age, which is no longer able capable of keeping up with the changing times? We certainly hope not. But...

Columbus, OH, Teeters, Then Topples: Housing For The Poorest . . . Or Federal Funding?

That there is a 'need' for housing across the American nation is largely self-evident. Housing developers would be heading out of business otherwise, and the largest of them at...

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

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...

Toronto: Affordable Housing For Anybody But The Rich . . . And The Poor.

Arguments can, and are, being made that national housing crises do not exist. Some simply reframe a generalized idea of 'affordability' to suit the argument. One from the United...

Boston: New Affordable Housing Funding . . Or Very Old?

Riffing off the widely publicized 'gifts' from California tech companies, Boston's Mayor Walsh is calling for a new affordable funding stream from local businesses. Read more in the Boston...

Driving 100 Years Down The Road With Low Income Housing Tax Credits

Quoting from an excellent, detailed article on the implementation of Low Income Housing Tax Credits in West Oakland, Pittsburg, PA: "With 9% LIHTC alone, the city would need...

Tenancy In Common: Why is It Affordable, And Some Might Say, Detestable?

Tenancy In Common? Well, first we need to make liars out of ourselves by admitting that it's not really affordable, at least not so far as affordablehousingaction.org is concerned....

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

'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...

A Crisis Of Shoes, Ships Or Sealing Wax? Florida Housing Money Can Fix It

In a time of growing housing crises, what possesses a state legislature to use its housing trust fund as a reserve to tackle other urgent matters, not once but...

Housing Has Always Been A Commodity, So What’s The Big New Deal?

Currently there's a great deal of hand-wringing about the 'commodification' of housing, in particular its link to exploding housing prices and to blossoming housing crises everywhere. Some go so...

UK Affordable PPP Problem: “One Of Our ‘P’s Is Broken”

Incompetence? Bad Faith? Obsessive fealty to shareholders?  Whatever the reason, local United Kingdom councils are starting to finger one of the 'P's in their Affordable Housing Public Private Partnerships...

Acquiring Land for Affordable Housing? Scrap That Idea!

Governments, for all their supposed powers, are clearly at a disadvantage when it comes to competing with private enterprise that has sniffed profit in the wind. Sandy Springs, a newish...

Affordable Housing: A Rose-Coloured Glasses Moment To Wrap Up 2019

It's a world in which a great many nations pay lip service to the human right to adequate shelter. There are some, including the United States, that don't acknowledge...

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

A slightly more fast and loose post, ranting completely understated

Portland Prepares For Care And Breeding Of Affordable Grannie Flats

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 Fuss About “Poor Doors”

Okay, we were as aghast as everybody else that "poor" doors had been installed in a publicly subsidized New York City building so that rich folks didn't need to...

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

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...

Charlotte, NC Explores The Other Side Of The Affordable Housing Coin

In a free market, affordability is transactional. It makes sense only if there are two sides to the transaction. A seller's price (fixed) is only affordable if a purchaser's...

Habitat For Humanity Breaks New Trail In Kamloops British Columbia

Habitat for Humanity, arguably one of the most respected and successful affordable house building charities in the world, is undergoing a sea change. Even with its ability to mobilize construction...

An Affordable Pox On All Your Tech Industry Charitable Housing

The headline seems a little churlish, doesn't it? Sneering at charitable contributions? We thought so. And yet it forms the core of a similar headline from the electronic publication:...

Inter-Governmental Wrangling: A True Menace To Affordable Housing?

From the Right: eliminate onerous government regulations and the free market will build us all out of affordable housing crises, providing the necessary housing for ownership by the "workforce,"...

Is The Marshall Plan A Model To Solve The Affordable Housing Crisis?

Following World War II, the United States committed 12 billion dollars over 4 years to rebuild Europe. It was then quite a chunk of the country's annual budget and...

Choking On The Cake Of Home Ownership

The underlying myth of home ownership in a capitalist economy is that you can have your cake and eat it. Having the cake means fulfilling a fundamental need: shelter....

US Affordable Housing Supply — Sabotaged!

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...

Getting More Affordable Bang From Your Rental Security Deposit Buck

If you are a renter, what use are you getting out of your security deposit? None. Your landlord is holding your security deposit as a trust. So, in theory at least, a...

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

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...

War On Affordable Housing: UK Government Still Leading From The Rear?

For a good chunk of the twentieth century, national governments in the UK and the US recognized a responsibility for ensuring that lowest-income citizens had adequate housing. Over the last...

India Housing Industry Binges On Affordability. Could It Be Fatal?

The Meal: hundreds of thousands of middle class affordable housing units of various stripes and colours The Tasty Hot Sauce: Government Subsidies The Unfortunate By-Product: Thousands upon thousands of empty housing...

London Mayor: Private Enterprise Can’t Solve Affordable Housing Crisis

Faced with an affordable housing crisis in his city, the Mayor of London, UK, has pointed out the fatal flaw when it comes to using PPPs (Public Private Partnerships)...

Housing Literally Under Water Might Burst A Housing Bubble, Trigger Recession

The housing market collapsed in 2008 and caused an economic recession in the United States, which spread to other countries. It was triggered when new homeowners found themselves 'under...

Three Takes On California’s Housing Crisis: Part 1

Part One considers the current clash of legal responsibilities between the two levels of government actively involved — state and local — focusing on Pasadena.

With the State Paving The Way, San Francisco Plans A ‘People’s Bank’

In April of this year, we featured a post on the City of Los Angeles's flirtation with the idea of a public bankPublic Banks: What Are They? What Might They...

Is It Affordable? Dodging About In London UK’s Hodgepoge Of Dodgy Definitions

Bamboozled by dodgy definitions of affordable housing, the City of London somehow has recently managed to slither away from building any truly affordable housing at all. But that was...

Oopsy: Outdated U.S. Law Funnels Loans For Poor To Help Gentrify Houses Instead

In order to discourage the banking practice of redliningTry: Redlining: What Was It? And We Should Be Asking ‘What Is It?’ Because It’s Still With Us, And It’s Bad,...

Loan Industry Spurs U.S. Toward Another Mortgage Meltdown

Will there be another mortgage meltdown, triggering a housing meltdown at the heart of a nationwide economic disaster? The U.S. government, pressured by special interests (not their citizens' interests,...

Chicago Partially Affordable Success Points To Ultimate PPP Failure

A promoted advantage of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) is the fact that their very design creates partially affordableWhat does 'partially affordable' mean? Terms such as 'truly affordable' or 'workforce' refer...

Researcher Drags Inclusionary Zoning Through The Mud To Good Purpose

An article in the Baltimore Sun puts the boots to America's current favourite way of building affordable housing — through inclusionary zoning projects that produce partially affordable housing complexes....

Seattle Affordable Housing Fund Lyft-Off?

As affordable housing crises have deepened, cities and regions have looked to create housing trustsSee the category Funding: Revenue Streams for other posts on this issue. to fund new...

Anchor Companies Forced To Address Affordable Housing Woes

A brief and so-called short feature presentation embedded at the beginning of the 1983 film The Meaning of Life takes corporate mobility to the absurd lengths only to be expected...

Why A President Can’t Do More To Fix The Low Income Housing Crisis In America.

This isn't a question of what President Trump would like to do, more the issue of what any President at this moment of time is actually able to do. Democratic...

Big Changes Cloud Horizon Of Fannie Mae And Freddy Mac

Two financial and housing industry giants, the federal government-created mortgage guarantors, Fannie Mae And Freddie Mac,The Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA), aka Fannie Mae and the Federal Home Loan...

Affordable Dream Or Investment Nightmare? SC Offers Low Earners Pot Of Gold To Buy Housing Rainbow

A recent and superficially very generous offer to boost low-income South Carolina residents onto the housing ladder has been described as “One Of The Best Deals We’ve Ever Had."...

In London, UK, New Social Housing Projects Stand Up To Be Noticed

The public face of much-touted public private partnerships (PPP) is a local county council. For several decades now, local councils have been expected to maintain rental housing stock for...

Planning Ahead For The Great Public Private Partnership Poop-Out

Yes indeed, the leopard may change its spots. And the scorpion crossing the river on the back of the frog may not sting it, so that they both drown....

Canadian Cities Want More Balanced Federal Affordable Housing Strategy

When Canada's sleeping giant (in this case, its federal government) finally awoke to a variety of housing crises in 2017, it did so with a 10 year, 40 billion...

Affordable Housing In Trailer Parks? ROCk On, America!

These days, a flood of buy-and-destroy developers as well as vulture rental packagers threaten the existence of a longstanding North American affordable housing institution — the trailer park. Trailer parks...

Chicago Ponders the Problem of Seducing Developers To Support Affordable Housing

What to do when coercion does not convince developers to participate in affordable housing projects, with the result that they wriggle off the hook by paying an 'in-lieu-of-participating' fee...

The Cost Burden Of Pursuing Distant Opportunity: Unaffordable Housing

Getting on the success bandwagon by upping stakes and moving to a new location has always been pricy. Whether it's anecdotal history from the gold rush, or more recent...

British Columbia Tax Successfully Cools Vancouver’s $$$$$ Housing Market

There's a long list of cities world-wide looking for ways of reducing overheated housing markets. Vancouver, rated by some measures as the second most expensive city to live in...

Can Unsubsidized Apartment Construction Rescue Struggling Middle Class Buyers?

For the past few years, the American housing industry has been open and unapologetic about the focus of its members, both corporations and individuals. The industry prefers to profit...
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