Truly Affordable Social Housing, Paid For By The Free Market? Dream On

Why go to Australia via Canada in order to understand the USA's RAD (Rental Assistance Demonstration program) — the social housing rescue initiative of Department of Housing and Urban...

Taking Up The Challenge To Build More Affordable Housing In The U.S.

With a limited number of builders in a local housing market, it is possible to build enough homes to sustain high profit levelsTry: Why Are Housing Starts Falling Short...

Better Social Housing Management: Two’s Company, Three’s A Crowd?

Richard Blakeway, Housing Ombudsman for England, has issued a report chronicling the poor service meted out to social tenants by their landlords. Blakeway is making a case for retooling...

Getting The Best From The U.S. Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program

The Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program (LIHTC by common usage, pronounced Lie-tek) has become the major source of affordable housing supply in the United States. With commitments to community...

London Maps Show Brownfields

There certainly exists evidence that 'cross-subsidy' is an affordable housing liability rather than a benefit. Architect Anna Minton and others have gone so far as to suggest that cross-subsidy...

Public Housing Redevelopment With Private Funding — London UK

What happens when public housing projects become run down? For a while now, the dominant answer has been 'redevelopment'. Tearing down old buildings and building new homes has proved...

Public Housing Redevelopment With Private Funding – Toronto Case

Do you recognize the building pictured above? If so, you will have some history with the redevelopment of Regent Park, a large public housing project in Toronto. At the...

Is Modularity The Future Of Social Housing? New South Wales Goes All In

Over-hyped? Under-Delivered? There's no question that factory-built, road-transported modules delivered to the construction field provide a significant challenge. Conventional builders struggle with the new pressures of just-in-time mega-parts delivery....

Make America Great In Social Housing: Follow China’s New Lead?

To hear America talk about it, that nation is in a contest for top dog of the world. Maintaining its influence, it remains firmly committed to a capitalist, free-enterprise...

UK: Keeping Social Tenants Safe While Building Affordable Homes

Should we pick a fight with Octopus Real Estate, a United Kingdom firm eyeing profit from building much needed social housing, which aims to bring free market partners in...

MPHA Leads The Way With ‘Deeply Affordable’ Neighbourhood Housing

The following Youtube video created three years ago explains how Minneapolis became the first major North American city to break the ironclad, almost universal bylaw 'protection' of single-family neighbourhoods....

Highest Ever Fine Handed Out To Big UK Social Landlord. What’s Going On Here?

L&Q Housing is a social housing landlord that rents out some 105,000 homes in Britain. The United Kingdom's Housing Ombudsman, newly armed with the recently passed Social Housing Act, slapped...

Introducing Affraudable Housing — Affordability Based On At Least One Piggy Bank

Affraudable housing is becoming more common these days. All that is needed is a bad attitude, some small math skill, and a willingness to pull the wool over hopeful...

Seattle Neighbourhood Densification: Bring On the Mid-Rises! . . . Hunh?

Here's a meander towards an unexpected quirk in the news. In some countries, the local press tends to be infected by NIMBYNIMBY = Not In My Back Yard hostility....

California Rich & Poor: If We All Live In A Yellow Submarine, Will We Despise Each Other Less?

Affordablehousingaction.org has been following one of the few currently active 'social housing' projects in the USA. With a touch of good old American self-interest, activists have decided that a...

YIMBY Triumphs! But Will More YIMBY Housing Add Up To More AFFORDABLE Housing?

The YIMBY breakthrough that everybody is buzzed about has delivered results to the City of Aukland, New Zealand. Unlike other major New Zealand cities, Aukland bit the YIMBY bullet...

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass Tells A Whopper. It Helps Price The Cost of Solving Homelessness

The whopper: 1.3 billion dollars. Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass appears to be committed to telling homelessness like it is. For example, in a recent speech aimed partly at the...

Chasing The Almighty Dollar To Build Affordable Housing

When developers in the United States are putting together the funding for an affordable housing project, they may tap local or state housing trust funds. Trust funds are generally set...

Converting Private Rental Housing To Social Housing – The Whys And The Hows

Here is another call to purchase existing housing to accomplish social objectives, this time from EnglandFor an example from Canada try: Canadian Bank Speaks Up In Favour Of Social...

Getting Local Governments On Board With Building Affordable Housing

The State of California recently put its local governments on notice when it rejected virtually all of their housing plans. Faced with growing numbers of people experiencing homelessness, the...

Penny-Pinching From Poorest? Or Incompetence? Always Worth A Check

Perhaps you've heard of the Homeless Industrial Complex? At the very least it seems to be a phenomenon on North America's west coast. It's hardly as financially fattening as...

Ending Homelessness In Los Angeles – An Assessment Of Local Leadership In Action

Los Angeles has a large and growing number of people experiencing homelessness. To its credit, the city took steps in 2016 to increase the supply of housing that would...

Linking Social Rent To Landlord Responsibility: Two Competing Crises

The following article is a useful look at the two pips that squeak in the social housing game when a nation's rate of inflation climbs into the stratosphere. That...

Building More U.S. Deeply Affordable Housing . . . Without Ongoing Support?

North America, like so many corners of the world, is facing a critical lack of deeply affordable housing. Much more needs to be built, but building costs are rising, and...

Assessing The Potential Of Co-operatives To Expand The Supply Of Non-Market Housing

What is the potential for limited equity housing co-operatives to add to the supply of the non-market housing stock? The two kinds of housing co-operatives that get aired in...

How Canada’s Housing Crisis Affects Newcomers

Canada made a big deal of welcoming refugees from Syria in 2015. Settlement services and communities geared up as the country prepared for a host of new children in...

We Admit It, We’re Shallow, Sucked In By News Of Booby Alley Social Housing

After succumbing to an attack of pre-adolescent giggles, we've smartened up. We know perfectly well that Booby Alley does not celebrate those with overly-endowed chests, nor are they those...

Large UK Lender Stops Lending For Second Homes – Is This A Big Deal?

The Leeds Building SocietyBuilding societies are member-owned financial institutions. When you make a deposit with the Building Society, you become a member. They offer banking and related financial services,...

Social Impact Bond Tackles Homelessness In Western Australia, Wins Big Time

The results are in for Aspire — the first Australian social impact bond to address chronic homelessness. Aspire provided three years of intensive treatment and support for 575 people...

Housing Speculators May Run But Can’t Hide From Canada’s New Taxes

In 2018, Canada began taking the gloves off to deal with speculators who are buying and selling housing as casino chips, rather than homes. With some of the highest...

Deeply Affordable Housing Is Needed – Is A Donation The Best I Can Do?

This post starts with an story about Mères avec pouvoir, which supports single moms in Montréal, Québec. The wraparound services include help with child care, education and housing. The...

Supportive Housing In Denver Helps Lift Homeless Towards Housing

'Supportive housing' has its supporters and its detractors. The article linked to this post is by supporters. In this case, the supporters are researchers from the Urban Institute. The...

Feds Do Warfare. Time To Attack Unaffordable Housing?

The Canada Mortgage And Housing Corporation (CMHC) is the country's federal housing agency. In the roughest sense it is the equivalent of the US Department of Housing and Urban...

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...

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...

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...
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