People

Issues and events which impact directly on the people who need affordable housing

What is RAD? Is It A Brave New Future For American Public Housing?

The U.S. Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program is a hopeful attempt to combine a failing national housing voucher program with the profound failure of American public housing management and...

Home Based Public Housing Job Training By Torch Light

Hard to imagine benefits from a pandemic. But in the field of education, the reality of structured formal training at home have suggested new horizons for educational opportunity. Home schooling...

Mapping A Route To End Domestic Violence In Canada

When you're tackling something as complex as domestic and gender-based violence, it's helpful to have a roadmap. Women's Shelters Canada and others have just completed a Roadmap for the...

Violence and Home

The stay at home orders, which were a key strategy to managing COVID 19, drew widespread attention to the violence that occurs at home. This post discusses who is...

Domestic Violence? Got To Leave NOW! How About A Sleeper Bus?

Library Buses, Street Outreach Buses, Food Bank Buses, Disaster Displacement Recovery Buses: mobile social services has a long and distinguished career of providing low budget, temporary relief for human...

Public Housing: A Cause for Optimism, Not Pessimism?

All of us on planet earth are johnny-come-latelys to our own genetic makeup, forged over thousands of years of bare subsistence, scratching a living where we can. Not surprising,...

Toronto Filmmaker Captures Homelessness As Lives Lived

When filmmaker and Photographer Jason Cipparrone encountered his city's poverty in a long lineup at Toronto food bank, it was a new experience for him. Cipparrone was struck by...

Housing With Support – A Source Of Strength To Individuals And Community

In the late 1800's in western countries, if people had problems they might seek help from family, neighbours or the local church. There were also hospitals, asylums, poor houses...

Applications Rise For Social Housing By Families Fleeing Violence In Toronto

Victoria Gibson, who reports on affordable housing for the Toronto Star, has been watching the numbers of applications for social housing during 2020. The number of new households that...

Strengthening Community: Centring On Communication

This is part of a series about community. Growing and sustaining a community brings benefits to the participants, provides a means of personal development and builds hope and resilience....

Can A Corporate “Person” Treat The Homeless As Kin?

This post is part of a series about ways that people provide support to those who experience homelessness. The idea that "we treat everyone as kin" resonates through the...

The Right Chess Moves Took A Young Boy And His Family Out Of Homelessness

A 10 year old boy in the U.S. isn’t homeless any longer. His remarkable skill at chess has turned his family’s fortunes around and allowed them to leave a...

Building Kinship to End Homelessness: Connecting Through Shared Joy

This post is part of a series about ways that people provide support to those who experience homelessness. The idea that "we treat everyone as kin" resonates through the...

Strengthening Community: A Tenant’s Story

This is part of a series about community. Growing and sustaining a community brings benefits to the participants, provides a means of personal development and builds hope and resilience....

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...

Ontario’s Disastrous COVID Care Home Response: For-Profit Did It Worse

In the great contest over who does housing better, "for-profit" developers and managers compete against government managed construction and maintenance. The referee is . . . one of the above?!?!...

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...

Philadelphia: Beating The Bushes To Find Landlords Pays Off

After hundreds of calls to landlords, Philadelphia's Office of Homeless Services has been able to put together a housing program to assist people who are homeless to leave the...

Building Kinship To End Homelessness: Reaching Out From A Tent

This post is part of a series about ways that people provide support to those who experience homelessness. The idea that "we treat everyone as kin" resonates through the...

Building Kinship To End Homelessness: Connecting Through Experience

This post is part of a series about ways that people provide support to those who experience homelessness. The idea that "we treat everyone as kin" resonates through the...

Webinars And Remote Meetings – Getting on with Housing Business When You Can’t Get Together

There is no question that the internet has made it easier for people to stay connected during the COVID pandemic compared, for example, to how it was during the...

Truly Affordable Housing As Essential COVID Worker Reward?

Year two of a coronavirus pandemic. The hollow metallic sound of periodic pot banging no longer echos through Toronto city streets. We're apparently not so proud of ourselves any...

Khaleel Seivwright Has Hit The Big Time! Who? You Need To Know.

At affordablehousingaction.org we were quite taken with Toronto's Khaleel Seivwright when he hammered his way onto the local homelessness scene. So much so in fact that some might consider...

Building Kinship To End Homelessness: Connecting Through Construction

This post is part of a series about ways that people provide support to those who experience homelessness. The idea that "we treat everyone as kin" resonates through the...

COVID’s Economic Effects Come Home To Roost

Across Canada, we're somewhat envious of the Maritime provinces, which have managed to keep their COVID infection numbers to a minimum. However, COVID's economic effects are definitely being felt...

Building Kinship To End Homelessness: Reaching Out Through Art

This post is part of a series about ways that people provide support to those who experience homelessness. The idea that "we treat everyone as kin" resonates through the...

Building Kinship To End Homelessness: Connecting Through Archeology

This post is part of a series about ways that people provide support to those who experience homelessness. The idea that "we treat everyone as kin" resonates through the...

Is Your Lived Experience Valuable But Ignored? Convert It To “Lived Data”

For many who hope to influence how governments and other institutions provide their services, the term "lived experience" is gaining prominence as a means of determining just what kind,...

Building Kinship To End Homelessness: Connection Rooted In Faith

This week, affordablehousingaction.org initiates a series of posts about projects where people provide support to those people who experience homelessness. The inspiration for this series draws from an indigenous definition...

Homelessness & Emerging Techno-Sin: The Techno-Devil Made Me Do It

Dispensation is apparently no longer available in a world where technology is the new religion. In Ontario, Canada very recently, the techno-priesthood was half querulous, half scolding as it lowered...

Irish Plan To Implement Compassionate, Orderly, Permanent Refugee Reception

Global political upheavals have produced steady streams of asylum seekers and refugees hammering at the gates of wealthier countries. There is ample reason to believe these upheavals will continue....

Do Public Housing Tenants Really Need Continous Ass-Kicking On Their Way Out The Door?

Just recently, we published a post questioning the (very old) wisdom of "up and out" policies, which impose work requirements on people who are living in public housing, with...

Unattainable Housing “Affordability” Definitions No Hope For Aging AU Women

What's in an affordable housing definition? Developers happily slice and dice the housing market into "affordability" segments. If they're clever enough, they may even attract government subsidies. Both government...

Elder Housing: Can Singapore Try For Something More Than Homage To Aging Frailty?

Singapore is a world-famous success at creating high quality, affordable public housing for all, not just the poor. Its principal focus from the beginning has centred around families, given...

Even Without A Grand Master Rapper, New Orleans Shows Food Deserts Can Be Beaten

A modern view of old fashioned, much neglected, American public housing: push it into the trash. But there's a growing recognition that for all the hype for complicated government/free enterprise...

Preventing Future Homelessness: A Door Opens For Youth To Attend School

Family Promise of Clark County, Washington has teamed up with local schools to operate a learning centre for children and youth who are experiencing homelessness. The learning centre provides...

The Hollywood Star Who Was A One-Man Employment Agency For The Homeless

And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And Cain said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper? Many don't realize that one famous Hollywood...

Options To Avoid Watching A Loved One Fade Away Behind Glass

Aging Americans without a great deal of money might be curious to know whether Canada's medicare-for-all system helps out those whose futures include nursing home care. Canada's nursing home system is...

Jersey City “Grows Up” Helped By World Economic Forum To Fight Food Insecurity

Food insecurity is a growing danger for the most vulnerable in many advanced countries. What do you do when you or your extremely low income family encounter a financial...

Public Housing As Architectural Activism: A Sydney Working Example

From Sydney, Australia to Ontario, Canada: celebrating a new Ontario Association of Architects president with a Down Under query about the role of architects in public Housing. Are we...

Public “Housing Of Last Resort” Offers Advice on Community Rebuild

It's easy to dismiss the ideas and perceptions of those who live in "housing of last resort." Barricaded in poorly maintained apartments, crunching across needles strewn in hallways, harassed for...

Updated – Minimum Wage Hikes Can’t Touch Affordable Housing Crises

Recently, we described an initiative in New York state to assess the impact of raising the minimum wage. The people who crunched the numbers reported that adding $2.00 or...

Elderly Need Care? Home Support is Better. Are Private Nursing Homes A Rip-Off?

The harsh realities of COVID-19 have besmirched a number of nations that have followed "small-government" policies to either starve essential social programs to death, or to pass them off...

A Thousand Tiny Points Of Sawdust Help Home Schooling In Decatur Public Housing

There is nothing new about the need to support education for lowest income families. Schooling is seen everywhere as the ticket out of poverty. Alas, in the US three...

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...

A Grand Canyon University Viewpoint On The Special Ed Needs of Poor Children

For American's students with physical and/or mental handicaps, their need, as well as their right, to forms of special educational support have been long established. Not so, unfortunately, for...

Unexpected COVID “Gap” Year Threatens Employment Future For Aussie Youth

In the uncertain future of every youth, the only true constant appears to be the increasing cost of housing. It suggests that tomorrow's adults will be shivering little match...

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...

What’s Hot And What’s Not In Seniors’ Housing? Ask The Public Housing World Pros

Just imagine you lived in a nation where public housing worked wonderfully for people with no income, low income, moderate income — in fact just about everybody. We're not...

First Voice Advocates Speak Up For Housing

Many people in Canada have experience of being homeless.It's an experience that is gradually being honoured, rather than vilified. Try: Between A Rock And A Hard Place: Remembering People...

New US Education Secretary With Personal Roots In Public Housing

Let's get right to the good news. Miguel Cardona, President-elect Joe Biden's choice as Education Secretary, is a public housing alumnus! He apparently describes his earlier self as a...

Support For A Struggling Single Person? Don’t Hold Your Breath

Bella DePaulo, writing in Psychology Today, is calling attention to a group of people who are largely excluded from social assistance programs in Canada and the United States: single...

Updated – Domestic Abuse: Can/Should Social Landlords Handle It Better?

In the early days of COVID-19 we described temporary measures in Scotland to assist people experiencing domestic violence. Two groups led the design and the implementation of the temporary...

Minimum Wage . . . Living Wage. Will Ever The Twain Meet?

"Minimum wage" is a common name governments use in their quest for wage "fairness." It is the lowest wage legally permissible to pay a regular employee.Some categories of employment...

Employing Public Housing Tenants – Another Myth Bites The Dust

Here is groundbreaking research about tenants who live in social housing that deserves more attention. It challenges the notion that people who live in social housing are less motivated...

Post COVID, The Wired & The Wireless: New Neighbourhoods & Locations

As the old real estate saying goes, "The three most important considerations when choosing a home are location, location, and location." The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly turned that saying on...

Connecting Housing And Health – COVID Helps Provide Links

Chelsea, Massachusetts is a neighbour to Boston. Its level of COVID infections is 918/10,000, the highest in the state. Like other communities with high infection rates, Chelsea residents are...

Canadian First Nation Seeks Sovereignty Through Housing

Indigenous people who are resident in modern nations may value their often unasked for (and sometimes unwanted) citizenship. But many, if not most, harbour a strong sense of maintaining...

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...

Overlooked: Women’s Homelessness And Housing Need

In the months leading up to COVID-19, two groups of researchers set out to investigate homelessness among women. The researchers were concerned that women's experiences were overlooked. Both groups...

Greet Once-Employed, Now Homeless Hoards: No Salary, Not Even Tips

Good Value = Popular = Crowding = Exuberant Conversation = Infected Spittle-Spatter blown away in a patio wind, but sucked into deadly circulation when trapped indoors. The future of...

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...

Enhanced Mental Health For Seniors In Public Housing

Patrick Raue is using his research to help seniors to stay connected. It is proving helpful to tenants living in public housing. At any time, it's important to keep connections...

Silver Tsunami Greets Affordable Senior’s Housing That Isn’t There

Do you know that the writer of this article is a senior? You may not, but Google does. I read articles from around the world daily in publications from...

COVID-19 & The Full Granular Horror of Public Private Housing Partnerships

Years of public housing destruction in the U.S. have been justified by a faith-based principle: that private enterprise can spend public money more efficiently and effectively than governments to...

Are Housing Costs Eating Away At You?

How does spending more than 30% of income on housing affect households with low incomes? How does it feel to borrow money to buy food so that your loved...

Intimate Partner Violence: New Directions For Programming

Governments looking to ramp up their programming to help people living with intimate partner (aka domestic) violence have a new resource to help with their planning. Anova and Changing Ways...

An Artist’s Perspective On Community And Housing: Undervalued And Overdue

Artists of many stripes often expect and receive a rough ride when it comes to public understanding and appreciation of their work, let alone in convincing someone or anyone...

Housing Authorities See Benefit In The Education/Training Biz

Crises of affordable housing in many countries are bringing a new appreciation of the importance of government-financed social housing for low and no-income citizens. Where countries such as the United...

Right Housing Concept, Wrong Clientele?

Here's a senior's housing project in Portugal with a different approach to its personal alarm system. Retirement residences and nursing homes commonly have buttons for residents to push or...

Domestic Violence And The Poverty Trap

In Australia, COVID-19 has dealt a double blow to people who experience domestic violence. The lockdowns have made it much more difficult to leave and/or avoid violent partners. At...

Social Housing At Odds With Architect Pride: Recipe For Community Failure?

A daring architectural experiment in Greater Manchester in the 1970's is a cautionary tale for those looking towards a new era of social housing. At a time when shoddy...

Philadelphia Homeless Moms And Children Commandeer City Houses

Over the last few months, the saga of a Bay Area empty house occupied by homeless single moms with children has made national headlines in the U.S.TRY: Evicted Oakland...

Evicted Oakland Squatter-Moms Buy That Vacant House — Updated

Fabulous news for the evicted moms. A totally meaningless victory in a war that desperately needs to be fought against house flipping?

Survivors Of Domestic Violence Win The First Battle In Their Fight To Stay Local

A group of mothers fleeing domestic violence took the council in Lambeth, England, to court. The issue? The moms’ right to be on a waiting list for social housing...

Women’s Experience Of Homelessness: What Are We Missing?

A colleague of mine always asks two questions: what are we missing and who is being left out? These questions are especially important in an era where funders and...

Groundbreaking Decision In Vancouver For People Who Are Homeless And People Who Are Two Spirited

Tamara Loyer runs a drop-in for trans women in Vancouver. Loyer welcomed the announcement about a housing project that will be dedicated to people who are transgendered and people...

COVID-19 — England Steps Up Fight Against Domestic Violence And Sexual Slavery

The National Government in England has joined other countries in announcing additional funding for programs to assist people who experience domestic abuse, which has risen significantly during the COVID-19...

Staying Home Is Not The Centre Point Of All COVID-19 Responses

Governments in Canada's far north have taken a different approach to the COVID-19 epidemic. They are encouraging residents to resume traditional practices of living on the land, rather than...

A Chorus Calling For Social Housing In Victoria, Australia

Over 250 individuals and groups have given input to an Inquiry Into Homelessness that is being conducted by the Victoria state government in Australia. Public housing is prominent among...

Domestic Abuse: Can/Should Social Landlords Handle It Better?

The COVID-19 response draws attention to our homes and how we live together. Some issues that we were struggling to fix before have been made even worse. Domestic violence...

Gender Responsive Standards For Housing, Please!

A groundbreaking meeting was held recently between two UN bodies, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and UN Women (UN/Women). The two groups are talking about developing...

COVID-19: Staying At Home To Stay Safe From The Virus May Be The Least Of Your Worries

Being at home may avoid COVID-19, but it's not safe for people who live with a partner who is violent. The French media outlet MTV found that reports of...

Finding The Path To Belonging

Researchers based at Calgary's Elizabeth Fry Society have completed a report about how indigenous elders and knowledge keepers help people to forge paths to leave homelessness. The report focusses...

I’m Here. Job’s There. Personal And Planning Views Of Public Housing Spatial Dislocation

Two stories provide different perspectives on the handicap of spatial dislocation for tenants of American public housing. Decisions made to site public housing projects were and still often are...

Choices For Indigenous Women Seeking Safety In Remote Communities?

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has recently published a report about intimate partner violence in remote communities. The report reviews existing academic research and arranges it thematically.The themes...

Tacoma Looks To Solve A Student Housing Crisis — If Landlords Cooperate

Increasing numbers of college age students are either homeless, or hovering on the edge of it. Tensions over this problem have been rising in American institutions of higher learning,...

Canada’s National Inquiry Of Missing And Murdered Indigenous Women

The reports linked at the end of this post document the work of the national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls in Canada. They are based...

In A City Wilderness, Can A Business Build An Oasis For Its Employees?

After studying a problem, most governments attempt an organized response that includes a timetable for implementing different phases of the solution. All very well, but where does that leave a...

Moab Prof Proves It Can Be Done — Energy Efficiency AND Affordability

Climate change is a new reality facing housing. But with heartfelt cries for housing affordability ringing in government ears everywhere, are costly climate-friendly houses forever to be at odds...

Bureaucracy Loves The Pros Though They Won’t Fix Housing Affordability

Bureaucrats must sigh with relief when one of the half-dozen or so major homebuilders the United Kingdom walk through the door with a project proposal. The same sentiment is undoubtedly...

US Housing Vouchers Don’t Work. Time To Turn Back the Clock For A Better Idea?

The following article begins with a personal adventure in attempting to utilize a Housing Choice (Section 8) voucher in order to rent an apartment. These vouchers were created in...

Evicted Oakland Squatter-Moms Buy That Vacant House

Fabulous news for the evicted moms. A totally meaningless victory in a war that desperately needs to be fought against house flipping?

Welcome To A Magical Orlando Experience: For You, But Not Theme Park Workers

The tourist industry is vital to the economies of many countries. Orlando, Florida is one of those places in the U.S. However delightful it can be for visitors, working...

Montreal Students Build DIY Muscle To Create Affordable University Housing

Montreal, Quebec is unusual among Canadian and American cities: it has far more renters than owners. Like many other cities though, the amount of rental housing is not keeping...

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...

How Canadian Landlords Skate Around Renoviction Laws

There are legal renovictions and illegal renovictions. Many countries allow renovictions — a term that describes landlords throwing out renters in order to renovate rental housing.For more on renovictions,...

Minimum Wage Hikes Can’t Touch Affordable Housing Crises

These days, a class of experts we'd like to call "People With Another Great Idea" have been pleased to point out that while housing costs are largely fixed, incomes...

Little To Ask: The Simple Pleasure of Affording To Return Home

Two recent in-depth articles in Shelterforce provide a snapshot of an unexpected argument that has come up, thanks to gentrification. Gentrification displaces long time inhabitants of a neighbourhood, particularly the people...

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...
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