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

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

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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

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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...

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

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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

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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

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

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

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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...

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

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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,...

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

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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

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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

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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?

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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

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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

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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

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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?

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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...

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

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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

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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...

Resilience: What Is It? What’s It Got To Do With Affordable Housing?

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Resilience is a measure of how well a crisis, calamity, or catastrophe can be withstood. As the term is used in this blog, it comes in two flavours. Community resilience...

Canada’s Federal Housing Initiative: Dancing Booties On Feet Of Clay

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Faced with country-wide housing crises like much of the world, two years ago Canada claimed it was at last standing up to be counted, after decades of little or...

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

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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

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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

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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:...

Bloomington, III, Conference Hears Solution to ALL NIMBY Problems

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At a recent conference, Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY) advocates have been given a preview of the ultimate NIMBY solution. Up until now, NIMBY protesters have voiced their opposition...

U.S. Unemployment At 50-Yr Low: Good News For Affordable Housing

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To make sense of this story's headline, you have to be prepared to accept that housing can be made more affordable by raising the income of anyone trying to...

Atlanta: Having Your Affordability Cake And Eating It, Too

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Housing crises worldwide are demanding responses on a scale that transcends free market developer interest (We'd rather build luxury homes!) as well as low hanging fruit (Make granny flats...

Teachers: Who Can Afford To Battle The Modern SchoolChild?

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Two kinds of affordability afflict the modern teacher. Can teachers afford the school lifestyle? That's life in an ongoing social experiment where, learning aside, students blunder about to hone their...

Harvesting Humans For Profit In The UK

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One of the currently most successful human harvesting activities in free enterprise societies can be found in the United States — private jailing. Because the collection and control of humans...

The Extinction Rebellion Vs. Affordable Housing: Adversaries Or Soul Mates?

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These days, a great deal of visionary thinking is being applied to newly appreciated human concerns such as Climate Change, the Green New Deal, the Extinction Rebellion and other...

Three Takes On California’s Housing Crisis: Part 2

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Part two of a three part series on California's housing crisis published in the California Globe moves to Los Angeles to take a personal look at those most affected by the housing crisis — the homeless.

Growing U.S. Student Loan Crisis Partly Fuelled By Unaffordable Rental Housing

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The growing cost of higher learning in America leaves many graduates crippled by student loan debt throughout young adulthood and, for some, well into middle age. Recognition that this...

Wellington, NZ Modular Housing: Still Taxiing Towards The Takeoff Runway?

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On one hand, modular housing offers building techniques that can result in more affordable housing construction. On the other, homebuilders prefer to keep using construction techniques they understand which allow...

Homeless While Working: A Growing Urban Tragedy In Advanced Societies

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A widespread misconception about the nature of homelessness needs urgent correction. It is an understandable, and unfortunately highly convenient, misconception. It puts the focus on a small handful of...

Could Guaranteed Income End Accidental Evictions From Affordable Housing?

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My decidedly middle class in-laws recently received a small windfall inheritance. Their action? To splurge on a bucket list trip for Mom, Dad, and two kids to celebrate the...

Hodan, Please Don’t Go Back Where You Came From. We Need You Here!

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Let's talk about a kick-ass Somalian from Minnesota, a new member in the House Of Representatives. We must mean Ilhan Omar, the new member of the U.S. House of Representatives,...

High School Students Build . . . Affordable Housing?

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Wow! How times change. When I was in high school I was entrusted (barely) with building a wall lamp from aluminum strips, decoration added by precise and delicate hammering...

Sweden Sniffs At Co-Living For Affordable Housing: Social Blessing Or Social Disaster?

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With housing becoming increasingly unaffordable, ingenious ways of reducing shelter costs abound. One trending fad featuring in the news media: co-living. A boon? A bust? There are two sides to...

Local Governments & Businesses Plan To Push For Fed Affordable Housing Leadership

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At the latest Group of Seven(G7) get-together in Biarritz, France, Trump and his aides made it clear that official federal policy, regardless of the views of the American people,...

Indiana ‘Friendship’ Co-Living: Extra Challenge, Extra Reward

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The search for housing affordability has recently focused attention on the benefits of co-living.Try: Co-living: What Is It? Who Does It? Why Bother? That co-living involves responsibilities as well...

Born Again Social Housing? Is It Possible? Scotland’s Done It

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America is where social housing went to die. Poisoned by the cold war that tarnished all things that remotely hinted of socialism or communism, social housing's slow death was,...

Housing Crisis? Who Cares In The UK? Apparently The People But Not The Politicians

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During the 2016 American pre-election campaigns we noted that affordable housing was an 'elephant in the room' — something that politicians were presumably aware of, but nobody was discussing.See:...

Affordable Shipping Container Housing: Comfy Microhomes Or Homeless Prison Cells?

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Quirky Architectural Think-Toy For an affordable housing solution? Or barely habitable concentration camp cage for homeless children? It would seem that shipping container housing can be both. Just as a pile...

The Many Colours of Nimby, Hearsay Edition: Sacrificial Seniors Lure Jackals

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Well, we've sunk so low as to offer up a hearsay NIMBY. We'd rather not, of course, but in this case ...

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

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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...

Outside the Box: Humboldt County, CA Thinks The Unthinkable

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Has Humboldt County California gone commie? Or maybe just half as sinful — socialist? The major purpose of government at all levels is to collect individual problems into solutions for...

Supercharged By Boondoggle? Affordable Housing Via The Green New Deal

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America faces a bugle call to arms on many fronts such as immigration and terrorism. The call for affordable housing, for all that it is a matter of pressing...

The Cost Burden Of Pursuing Distant Opportunity: Unaffordable Housing

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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...

Explaining First-time Homelessness Rise In Boise, Idaho

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According to some, there is no housing crisis in AmericaTry: Turn Menace Into Myth: How To Bigfoot An Affordable Housing Crisis. It takes a pretty blinkered view of housing events...

Helping Baby Boomers Go Very Slowly, Gracefully, And Affordably Bust

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What do Baby Boomers Need? Fresh air and sunlight (which we all need). But surprisingly, seniors, along with the rest of us, need surprisingly little as it turns out. A...

Institutionalizing Homelessness: Bangor, Maine, Hands Out Tents

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On one hand "Make India Great" is coming close to providing true housing for an entire population of one and a third billion over a span of 7 years.Try:...

American East Coast Liberalism, A Dogma For Preaching, Not Practice

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Let's take a most 'Christian' (supposedly charitable) interpretation of a certainly-Christian teaching: 'Ye shall know them by their deeds.' (Mathew 7:16). Use it as a lens with which to...

California Homelessness: ‘Housing First’ Masks A Greater Problem

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Housing First is a much respected world wide housing program. It has been so successful in helping individuals who are chronically homeless to leave the streets that its approach...

Australian Journalism Inspires A Rumination About Rooming Houses

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Traditional boarding (or rooming) houses are NOAH, and they suffer for it. They cannot be barred by NIMBY activists, because they are already IN the neighbourhood. Yet they offer affordable housing in an era of affordable housing crisis. And though rooming houses invariably add to neighbourhood density, they do so in a relatively nonintrusive way, unlike a high-rise sun-blocking apartment tower.

UK Supreme Court Rules On ‘Intentional Homelessness’

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In 2011, Terryann Samuels, a mother of four in England, was faced with a difficult decision. She could 'top up' her public rent assistance with £150 of her basic...

New Jersey Non-Profit Demonstrates What Community Can Do That Government Can’t

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When it comes to affordable housing, New Jersey's bickering between municipalities and the state have set a national benchmark for the lowest possible standard of government commitment to a...

Affordable Grannie Flats Are ‘In.’ Flop Houses? In Minnesota, Not so Much… Yet.

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Simple solutions have a way of finding themselves. Some reports suggest that at ground zero of the affordable housing crisis — the state of California — grand schemes for generating...

Affordable Housing Crisis: Miami Hits The Bad Times Big Time

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If your city is looking to become world-class these days, unaffordable housing looks to be a promising way to get there. Sooner of later, your metropolis may have a...

South Bend Inconvenient Truth: More ‘Red Tape’, Not Less, For Affordable Housing

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Our headline misuses the term 'red tape.' That usage falls in line with the way affordable housing interest groups such as the homebuilding industry are complaining about 'red tape.'...

Students Contribute To The Affordable Housing Crisis. Can Colleges Help Solve The Problem?

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To say that students contribute to a housing crisis is not meant to suggest that students are less worthy of affordable housing than others. This does tend to be one...

Housing First, Helsinki Style

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The Guardian has just published a story about Finland’s remarkable success in lowering the number of people who are homeless in the capital Helsinki. We’ve covered stories about Finland’s success...

Foreigners Needed To Buy Canada’s World Class Unaffordable Housing

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'And the least shall be greatest. And lo, in the fullness of time, the least did indeed become both least and greatest. And they most thoroughly wished that they...

Affordability To The Rescue Of The New Marxists. Who Are They? The 1%, Of Course.

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Marx was a classical economist who predicted that capitalism would self-destruct, then offered some predictions about what might replace it. It was Lenin, not Marx, who proposed putting capitalism...

$$$ College Housing? $$ But Scarce Off-Campus? Student Union Eyes Third Way

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These days, college and university students are often burdened by loans necessary to higher education tuition. This financial problem is only growing. That's because, for those without a convenient...

American Police Take On Ugly Role As Eviction Advocates

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Remember 911? That was the number you were meant to dial in an emergency if you wished to summon the police? These days, you need to be careful what...

The Stubbornly High Number Of American Women In Jail: Is Eviction A Factor?

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It seems that the lucrative harvest of quasi-felons that enriches the American jailing industry is growing disproportionately female. Further, the lack of affordable housing may play a significant role...

Hospitals Still Spending Millions Treating People Who Are Homeless

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In 2006, Malcolm Gladwell penned the story of Million Dollar Murray, a veteran who found home in the streets of Reno, Nevada. He also spent a good deal of...

‘Grannie Flat’ Boomlet Is About Affordable Housing And . . . Grannies!

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Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are separate living suites within a principal residence, or standing alone somewhere on the property of that residence. A recent report from California has suggested...

Affordability Through Homesharing Can Be More Positive Than You Think

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Room sharing, flat sharing, or house sharing by students can be a delightful experience. Still, stories abound of horror-show partnerships that mar this often-necessary college-age adventure. The misfortunes of a...

Can You Get There From Here? Plugging Low Income Americans Into Affordable Housing

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An individual or an agency interposes itself between you and your objective and offers to help. Sure, you can hope for convenience, but hardly ever a cost saving. Help when...

Student Housing Woes: Worthy Of Worry Or Wrong-Headed Whining?

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To an American student complaining about unaffordable housing, a sensible college administration might point out that earning a degree can well add an extra million dollars or so to...

Public Investment In Australian Affordable Housing Pays Off

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It's an old story which still holds. You have to spend money to make money. A consortium of non-profit, government and industry groups found this out after they commissioned study...

Hey Mistah Barista! You May Be Able To Afford the World’s Most Expensive Cities!

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We're taking a little excursion into the housing affordability stratosphere today. Not because we wish to wallow in the land of unaffordable living. We're bringing a little comfort to...

Homeless And School Association: Wisconsin’s New Normal?

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Faced with low wages and unaffordable housing, people become homeless. Some have children. School districts find themselves struggling to accommodate students who are homeless. It's a predictable problem, and...

Never Mind ‘Where’s Waldo?’ Where’s Charlie? Not In The Hospital Again!

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Sometimes a personal perspective is the best way to bring statistics to life. This is particularly true when activists connect two complex situations together in a useful way. For...

SF Success Requires Gentrification Plan To Include Existing Neighbours

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Even California's legendary neighbourhood NIMBYNot In My Back Yard activists have had difficulty withstanding the relentless pressure for gentrification in downtown neighbourhoods. In 2015, San Francisco took steps to...

Amsterdam To Plug Loopholes That Gobble Up Affordable Rental Housing

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Build on surplus city land! It's an idea growing in popularity in different countries as a way of addressing the world-wide affordable housing crisis. That crisis reflects an ever-decreasing stock of...

Developers Discover ‘Missing Middle’ Housing Possible Without Subsidies

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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'...

Affordable Housing Details You Might Not Have Considered: Moving

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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...

Affordable Housing Details You Might Not Have Considered: Parking

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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...

Affordable Housing Details You Might Not Have Considered: Application Fees

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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...

Vancouver B.C. Podiums Second In This Year’s World Unaffordability Steeplechase Cup

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Number One? That would be perennial favourite Hong Kong, admired universally in a class of its own when it comes to unaffordability. The Unaffordability Steeplechase silverware is permanently installed...

UCLA Launches New Program For Affordable Housing

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If you are someone toiling in the trenches to develop affordable housing, you'll know it's a complex business, with a fair bit of learn-as-you-go. You've probably seen enough professional education...

Affordable Housing Details You Might Not Have Considered: Public Transit

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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...

Homelessness: Not Only A Bigger Problem Than You Think, But Bigger Than Homeless Themselves Think

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A reasonably well dressed person walks purposefully past you on the street. Are they homeless? Why on earth would you think so? They aren't huddled in a doorway under a...

Legal Rooming Houses: Part Of The Affordable Housing Puzzle In Toronto

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The plucky Scarborough Community Legal Clinic is back in the news, reminding Torontonians about people living in rental housing that is illegal in most residential districts in the city:...

Affordable Housing Details You Might Not Have Considered: Access to Banking

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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...

Need Affordable Housing? What ‘Big Government’ Could Do For You.

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Way back when, remember Big Government? Oh. You think Big Government is still with us, a bloated zombie from a failed twentieth century socialist experiment, still hard at work draining tax...

Affordable Housing Details You Might Not Have Considered: The Bay Area’s ‘Pay By Distance’

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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...

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

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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...

For Rent: The American Dream

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No surprise, really, that the American Dream of single family home ownership in a nice neighbourhood has always been for rent (minus the ownership portion, of course). Homeowners can carelessly...

Churning: A Preposterous Reinvention Of NYC Public Housing Problems

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A recent article in CITYLAB features a pundit with a narrow vision of New York City's public housing problems: he feels there's just not enough churning. Churning? It's a rental...

The Middle Class Unaffordable House: Are There Middle Class Income Solutions?

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Most explorations about the affordability crisis in a nation seem to turn on the cost of housing. Ever more expensive building materials are assembled by ever more expensive labour...

Cities Can Unite To Force National Government Action On Affordable Housing: An EU Perspective

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An intriguing, wide-ranging article from Ireland reports on a recent affordable housing conference for European Union cities. The conference was held in Vienna, Austria, which in itself is a...

Get Out Your Wallets, NIMBYites! Here Comes Affordable Housing Cap-And-Trade

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All right, all right, there's no need to panic yet, neighbourhood Chicken Littles. The sky is not falling, nor has affordable housing cap-and-trade invaded your exclusive housing corner of...

Old News Is Bad News: Toronto Seniors Facing Consequences Of Unaffordable Housing

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Toronto City staff are updating the city's housing strategies, on their way to a new affordable housing plan for the coming years. We can only hope that this major North...

Why Don’t We Plan For Slow-Rolling Emergencies When We Know They Are Coming?

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Unaffordable housing is, for an increasing many, an inconvenience. A major home life and work disruption, quite possibly. A temporary upheaval that may affect lifelong happiness, no question. But when...

Decline Of Business Resilience Linked To Lack Of Truly Affordable Housing

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Resilience is an important survival mechanism for individuals and families. Resilience usually implies not just enough to survive, but more than enough. When it comes to maintaining a roof...
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