Ownership

Issues and events related to affordable owning, ranging from ownership from those most in need through ownership by financially secure individuals and families facing prohibitively high housing market prices

A Year For Celebrating Historic Social Housing Firsts?

There are some perennially familiar annual record breakers: World's most expensive city in which to live: Hong Kong World's most crowded city in which to live: Hong Kong . . ....

Climate Change And The Pandemic Drive Interest In Land Trusts and Co-operatives

News from Reuters appeared recently about low cost housing co-operatives in Thailand, which have been supported by the Thai government since 2003. As a consequence of climate change, more and...

2008 Housing Meltdown: Lessons for The Land-Grabbing Little Guy

Since the world is largely full of losers, with mere handfuls of winners (think Olympics) chances are as you read this that, although you do not carry a card...

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...

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...

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...

More Aging NZ Homeowners Looking Towards Public Housing. Why?

One in three New Zealand councils are looking to pry elusive rent subsidies dollars from the federal government in order to build social housing. The demand for social (or...

Vancouver, B.C. As A Public Landlord: One Hat in a Two-Hatted City?

The City of Vancouver, BC has, as a responsible landlord, found itself going head to head with the authority tasked with extracting the most profitable solutions for the development...

Oopsy, Homeless: Covid Frontline Workers Give The Lie To Meritocracy

Lurking in the depths of conservative thought, the idea of a meritocracy is never far from the surface, at the very least as a convenient excuse for inaction. Merit-based...

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. . . ....

What If New Public Housing In America Could Be Owned, Not Rented?

Shelterforce is an American publication promoting community activism in a number of areas, particularly housing. In a recent article, it poses the "what if" question framed in the headline...

Can You Have A Million Dollar Public Housing Cake And Eat it Too? Singapore Wonders

European nations such as Denmark and Austria have done very well by housing large portions of their population in social housing. Nowhere, however, has the public housing been such...

UK Public Housing? PPP Fails. Let’s Try PCP Based On CLTs

Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), given free rein for several decades, now clearly define how they can serve a particular set of needs — where the term "Public" stands for...

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...

Reasons To Be Wary Of Home Ownership

Yes, there are people who wonder whether home ownership is all it's cracked up to be. This intriguing point of view diverges substantially from the idea that everyone should...

How UK Housing Assistance Creates Ugly, Dodgy Investments

A recent article in The Guardian forms a basis for our headline. That article connects financial incentives for first time buyers to a plague of ugly, shoddy new build multi-unit...

So You Think It’s Tough To Rent In Your City? What About . . . ?

As cities cores become higher, denser, and more gentrified, the American dream is changing shape. What was once the lure of a single family home on a private lot...

Looking For Affordability? Try Success. Go North, Young Dreamer

Affordable can homes be realized from lower prices, but also higher income. Advice to young Americans once counselled to 'Go West" to make their fortune? These days, you might be better off going north.

Low Density City Neighbourhoods Fingered as World Economic Nightmares

From a worldview of a gang of teenagers trying to break a record for the number who will fit into a car (and haven't noticed they're parked too close...

Co-Ownership: Pride Cometh Before The Fall

Apologies for the doom-laden headline, but there's seldom a chance to use a pithy poetic-sounding phrase, particularly one that containeth that sophisticated 'eth' sound. After all, a sleazy single...

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....

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...

Repairs R Us: Habitat For Humanity Diversifies Onward

In the free markets of today's democracies, housing is an investment, not a human right. To build housing in this commodified environment is to pursue profit, not to reaffirm...

‘The Soo’ City Councillor Hammers Home Affordable Refurbishing Scheme.

Can't get elected as a city councillor in The Soo?The Soo is the nickname of Sault (pronounced 'Soo') Ste. Marie in the province of Ontario If you're a carpenter...

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...

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...

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,"...

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 3

Part three looks at some of the unexpected consequences of an American Fever-Dream — home ownership, but not just any home: bigger, more unique, prestigious and. . . for reasonably well off citizens . . . affordable.

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...

Hoping To Find Housing Rental or Purchase Relief In The ‘Hood?’ Think Again

Is that fixer-upper in a depressed city area your only hope for climbing onto the housing ladder? A recent New York Times article explores the stacked deck that faces...

Affordable Housing Crisis Spin-Doctors Deliver A Faulty Prescription

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...

Baby Boomers – How Do They Fare In the Housing Market?

A recent edition of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's (CMHC) Housing Market Insight looks at housing trends among baby boomers in the Greater Toronto area. Baby boomers are...

Housing For Young Aussies: Buy A Home? Bad Choice. Rent? Worse.

Without a parents' basement to inhabit while saving for a house down-payment, millennial Aussies entering the housing market are facing a bleak future. Rising rents are taking such a...

‘Schoolboy Economics’ Wrongly Validate A Housing Non-Crisis In The UK

We've seen several articles recently that address a conspiracy-theory notion of an affordable housing 'crisis'. Note in the previous sentence how the quote marks around affordable housing 'crisis' tend...

New Zealand Employee Affordable Housing Supplied By An Unusual Company Town

Company towns have a special relationship with their citizens. They are usually, though not always, born out of necessity: their remote location. Why create a town in the middle of...

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

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...

Young Professionals Failing To Bite On Topeka Housing Ownership Lure

Over-the-hill American heartland cities are currently licking their lips at the prospect of the reverse migration of talented young professionals from increasingly unaffordable coastal boom towns such as San...

Hey Buddy, Got A Dime For An American Dream? Panhandling For A House

Panhanding on street corners for coffee (or beer)? Not okay! Panhandling for a step up onto the housing ladder, particularly if the handout is enormous? Now you're talking! A National Association...

Bad News For ‘American Dream’ Buyers. Your Home Ownership Strategy May Suck, Big Time.

The American Dream (which was once something elseThere’s a Wikipedia post about the American Dream from a range of perspectives.) has for a while time now been to 'own...

Who Buys Houses From Aging Boomers? Not Skint Millennials, That’s For Sure

The housing market, most unfortunately, is absolutely everywhere. As well, it's absolutely stuck in its everywhere place. (With rare exceptions, nobody buys a house — should they be able...

One Way To Beat The Heat In A Hot Housing Market: A Community Land Trust

America is a land with no constitutional right to housing, but a pressing need for it, nonetheless. What is a house? With no constitutional definition, it's becoming ominously clear that...

NIMBYite Baby Boomers Go Out With A Bang, Not A Whimper

"Affordable Housing? How quaint. Of course. Only take it somewhere else. Otherwise I personally guarantee to shove your XXXX up your YYYY until you bleed buckets and scream for...

20-20-20 Vision: Screw The Carrot. Montreal Brings The Stick To Affordable Housing.

Forget tempting financial carrots to coax developers into supporting affordable housing. Montreal, Quebec is planning to bring the big stick to multiple housing developments in the city. Incumbent mayor Mayor...

For Whom the Bell Tolls: Dare We Say For Revered Habitat For Humanity?

Habitat For Humanity is universally admired — a wildly successful hands-on religion which combines charity and sweat equity in its clarion call to service. Over the years, volunteers have...

Rent-To-Own And Housing Affordability: Just Who Profits?

Depending on the city you live in, affordable rental housing can be difficult to find, let alone 'rent to own' housing. However, any housing wrinkle may be worth a...

Paid Up Home In 3, Not 30, Years? How Does A Co-op Trailer Park Sound?

Public funding, foundation grants, sweat equity, donated land, land trusts, all these and more play a part these days in attempts to piece together affordable housing projects aimed at...

Developers Discover ‘Missing Middle’ Housing Possible Without Subsidies

Thanks to housing industry lobbying, the affordable housing crisis that requires government subsidies has expanded upscale from traditional definitions of affordability. The gravy train of subsidies everywhere encompasses 'missing middle'...

Reflected In The Shiny Mirror Of Capitalism, Third World Poor See Themselves Without A Roof Overhead

If capitalism is ever to successfully embrace and uplift the third world poor, it will have to reinvent its understanding of land ownership and human shelter in a slow...

Affordable Housing Details You Might Not Have Considered: Finding Two Houses Instead Of One

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...

Can We Say Too Much About Community Land Trusts for Affordable Housing?

Actually, we don't really feel we can say too much about the potential of Community Land trusts. Just at the moment, virtually all national governments around the world seem far...

Need Affordable Housing On A Tight Budget? Here Are 3 Things The Free Market Can Do For you

Eager to climb onto the first rung of the 'housing ladder'? Not convinced by the snarky attitude of blogs like affordablehousingaction.org, that spend column inches eye-rolling at the sanity...

Say It Ain’t So! Missing Middle Gobbles Up Habitat for Humanity Homes

Habitat For Humanity, the affordable housing fundraiser par excellence, the folks who perfected volunteer sweat equity, have thrown up their hands in California and cried 'uncle.' The bottom line: in...

Austin’s Push Towards Land Trusts: Encouraging Sign Of The Times

In a reflection of the rapidly worsening national affordable housing crisis, city councils across America are scrambling to put together strategic plans for coping. What follows is an article highlighting...

Hardship Post San Mateo CA, Considers Compulsory City Gambling To Woo Employees

Compulsory city gambling??? But how else do you describe taking general city revenue to run lotteries with housing loans as the prizes? The saddest thing about this proposal is...

Pipedream Or Prescription? How Maine Government Might Loan Its Way Out Of Affordable Housing Crisis

With affordable homes at the mercy of the housing market, the basic human need for shelter is pitted against retirement savings and family wealth. The problem exists in Maine,...

The Lightbulbs Go On In New Zealand: Oh . . . You Mean THAT Kind Of Affordable Housing

'Affordable' housing? Just what does it actually mean? Current confusion over the term 'affordable housing has been deliberately fomented by some of the major players in the homebuilding sector,...

While Home Ownership Guts Social Housing in the UK, Australia Tests A Hopeful New Ownership Model

In some western democracies the social housing experiment has been hampered by cold war attitudes, particularly in America. The national mindset: anything smacking in some way of big government...

The ‘Working Poor’ Who Can’t Afford Housing? Folks You Wouldn’t Expect

A Trulia Research Special Report recently updated an earlier exploration of professions which were struggling with affordable housing issues. For many it's a difficult choice: either impoverished by housing and living...

The Housing Ladder: Housing Prices + Down Payment + Student Debt = You Can’t Get There From Here

Across the ocean or close to home the dilemma is the same: unaffordable housing is killing the chance of young people ever making it to the first rung of...

American Exceptionalism Lives Proudly On, Building Habitat For Humanity Affordable Housing

Some pretty darned exceptional Americans have donated sweat equity to help form no less than thirty-four little communities of good spirit and good work in the company of other...

Limited-Equity Cooperative: What Is It? How Can It Help Finance Affordable Housing?

What is a Housing Cooperative? It's a communal form of home ownership that allows cooperative members to buy an ownership share in a residential building. Those shares are bought at...

India->Trade Unions->Housing Co-ops->Thousands of Affordable Houses. Could It Happen Elsewhere?

India is the world's second most populous country and it is rapidly developing. Luxury houses are no longer just the palaces of a backward feudal state. Modern sub-developments and...

Young, And Want To Climb Aboard The Housing Ladder? How Long Before You Reach The First Rung?

You know those big multi-storey fire escapes on old buildings? The ones where the last ladder has to be lowered to the ground from above? If you're young and planning...

Stubborn Persistence Wins Support For Self-Help Housing In California

When finished, 41 households in Patterson, California, will move into affordable homes that they will help to build. Self-Help Enterprises is the sponsor of the project. The US Department...

How To Stop The Insane Upward Spiral Of Land Value? Affordable Housing Turns To Land Trusts

Stop the land price merry-go-round! Investors certainly want to get on it, but those in need of affordable housing very much want to get off. Land trusts are one way of...

Aussies Target All Income Levels In Build-to-Rent Project Planted On A Land Trust

Tax credit and subsidized affordable housing projects need not be be solely based upon an ownership model. However, it seems that many developers would much prefer to avoid build-to-rent...

Risky Lending Practices In India: Deja Vu All Over Again?

Recent house financing developments in India make a case for looking beyond a country's borders when looking for best practices for financing and constructing affordable housing. Risky lending practices, buying,...

“Manufactured” Homes: Inexpensive False Hope For Affordable Home Ownership?

With the prefabricated housing offering affordable housing possibilities worldwide, it's hardly surprising that 'mobile home parks', 'caravan parks', 'trailer parks' and similar solutions are being repackaged as 'manufactured home...

The Affordable Housing Blues . . . or Cheap Housing: Crabgrass On The Manicured Lawn Of Human Desire

Don't gimme shelter. Gimme neighborhood slow-taxiing housing values finally lifting off the runway into the free market stratosphere, dragging my house along with with them. I'm stuck in a down-market,...

How Library Systems Can Help Address Affordable Housing Crises

Increasing density seems the only option for building affordable housing in the downtown core of many cities. Even smaller homes in higher towers may only temporarily be affordable, if...

When The Affordable Housing Tipping Point is Reached, What Next? Does the City Die?

Apologies for yet another California story. But since the state is ground zero for both affordable Housing and for homelessness, things may well happen here before anywhere else. On to...

‘Naturally-Occurring’ No-Subsidy Affordable Housing. Too Bad It’s Dying!

In North America, it's a natural pastime to kick around trailer parks. Now playing on Netflix: 'Trailer Park Boys' — a festival of bumbling, lamebrain mishap-prone wanna-be criminals milking...

Bristol, UK: Building Less Affordable Housing In Order To Build More

A contradictory headline describes the dilemma of the City Council in Bristol, which is trying to move quickly to provide affordable housing for their community. The need may be...

United Kingdom Civic Housebuilding – History Shows How To Build

Shelter, a UK based charity, published New Civic Housebuilding 2017 to present an approach to building affordable housing using strategies used successfully in the past. The report argues that developing...

Weep, Affordable Housing Activists! Here’s A Practical Benefit To House Flipping

The free market buying and selling of housing for profit (flipping) is the single greatest cause of today's affordable housing crisis world wide. Mom and pop flipping is bad...

Brandon, Manitoba Affordable Housing: Goldilocks And The Three Bylaws

The housing in the first bylaw was too large. The housing in the second bylaw was too small. But the housing in the third bylaw was just right. Goldilocks...

A Non-Profit Develops City Owned Land: Good News For Affordable Housing?

Imagine an NGO lifeboat offering to rescue Toronto and Vancouver, bringing news that they can help build the affordable housing that they so desperately need. The key is the land...

Miami Wants To Lead A National Parade Towards Affordable Housing Land Trusts

How do you stop land and housing speculation in a democratic country committed to accumulating individual wealth through housing investment? Faced with skyrocketing real estate prices, inflated further by foreign...

Affordable Housing: Human Right? Human Desire? Or Somewhere In Between, Lost In translation?

Not long ago, there was a growing crisis of housing affordability. To pay more than 30% of your salary for rent was to expose you and your family to...

Yearn To Move To A City With Affordable Houses? Chase That Dream Quickly. It’s Disappearing.

Over time, different countries have evolved their own famous pockets of unaffordable housing. In America, San Francisco. In Australia, Sydney. In Canada, Vancouver. In the United Kingdom, London. As time...

Manufactured Homes: Affordable Housing? Or A Dodge To Avoid New Construction?

Mobile home parks, a.k.a trailer parks, a.k.a manufactured home parks: call them what you will, over time they've attracted a reputation based on their failings, while their successes have...

Downsizing (Or Should It Be ‘Resizing’?) The American Dream

The postwar housing boom that brought Norman Rockwell's idealized America to a ring of suburbs around every North American city was not built upon 2000-3000 sq ft. ranch houses...

Manufactured Home Communities: Take Out The Trash And Rethink The Affordability

$70,000 home ownership? It's still possible in 'Manufactured Home Communities'.  That phrase captures solid industrial strength paired with cozy neighbourhoods. Apparently, some 37,000 such communities around America enjoy this kind...

Miracles of Modern Affordable Development: 2 buyers + 1 home = 2x cheaper!

Corporate developers (are there any other kind?) pledge allegiance to shareholders, not fellow citizens. They are compelled to maximize profits and minimize losses. If involved in a public/private partnership...

Builder Mag Dishes On Who’s Who Affordability-Wise

From Builder, a magazine catering to the building industry, a recent article purports to provide THE REAL DATA ON ENTRY-LEVEL HOME BUYING AFFORDABILITY  (link below). For affordable housing advocates, one might...

Dollars To Help Affordable Housing Buyers: Does It Quell The Flames, Or Pour Gas On The Fire?

Financial assistance for home buyers can come in several forms. On the surface, government cash handouts or tax relief strongly appear to make housing more affordable. But those with...

Four Kinds Of Affordable Housing That Can Work In A Democracy

Social housing has been largely abandoned by democracy. Or at least by those democracies that have participated most fervently in the East-West Cold War, where socialism became viewed in...

British PM On Unaffordable Housing: Land Bankers To Blame

In a recent speech committing to more British affordable housing, Prime Minister Theresa May was quick to find culprits everywhere, but not so much on her own doorstep. The...

Suburbia: Unaffordable Downtown Housing Eats At The Heart Of The American Dream

We are bringing up (and often helicoptering) children in an age of smart-phones, X-boxes play-dates and supervised after school care. Letting a child walk alone five blocks to school...

An American Godfather Of Affordable Home Ownership On Public Land

Thousands of homeowners have purchased affordable homes in Burlington, Vermont, beginning in the 1980's when senator and presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders — then mayor of Burlington — introduced a land...
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