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Government and Politics

The intellectual, ideological, negotiating, regulatory and decision-making frameworks in which decisions are made affecting the loss or gain of affordable housing in a community.

Boston Supports Affordable Housing Access By Supporting Affordable Food

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The necessities of life come in silos.  A buyer of accommodation cannot expect to find a juicy bargain in the auto parts market. Even the poorest must compete for...

Rentierization: Landlords & Speculators With Their Foot On The Gas Burning Your Dollars

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What exactly is 'rentierization' (aside from being this year's Grand Loser in the catchy word creation contest)? An newly-published study by the University of Sydney and the University College London...

A Peculiar, Militant Source of Vancouver Homeless Support. Is It For Real?

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Vancouver B.C. neighbours have recently invented a compassionate new way of saying NIMBY to the homeless. Forget the old, "I hate you. I don't care where you live as long...

How Deregulation Saved Screwed New Zealand’s Homebuilding Industry

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You're not by any chance associated with a city council currently vulnerable to seduction by a housing industry solution to end all housing crises? Surely you've heard the battle cry:...

Green Social Housing: Impossible Dream Or Old News?

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One way or another, many feel that social housing is too expensive for America, even as many other nations find ways to utilize this truly affordable form of housing....

Boutique Affordability: What Is It?

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Boutique affordability is a natural outcome of a concerted housing industry campaign to devalue the term 'affordable.' Background In the most general sense, the use of the term affordable, if not...

NZ Study Probes Political Pratfalls At ‘Housing Crisis’ Hurdles

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A 'housing crisis' implies that some kind of problem exists. Exactly what is that problem? The answer to this fundamental question shapes how people think about it, how politicians...

A 12-Step Program For Woke Housing-Crisis Nations, Courtesy Of Ireland

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Much of the world, if not all, is addicted to housing, even to the point of declaring it a human right. It seems to be part the natural human...

Developer Wit Dream: Save The Planet By Killing Zoning. Good Joke!

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Zoning laws were developed to prevent anybody, including builders, from building just anything anywhere. Reasonable enough to prevent housing next to health-endangering industry, and to build buildings to basic...

Dallas Highrise Residential Parking: An Affordable Housing Burden?

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At affordablehousingaction.org we've not been overly impressed by the blanket condemnation of zoning bylaws by the housing industry. NIMBY neighbourhood attitudes, perfectly understandable, have become a convenient 'fall guy'...

Millions of Europeans Suffering Common Affordable Housing Crises

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The following article provides readers with an insight into the current state of national housing crises across Europe. For largely unilingual North Americans, the article is a window into a lot...

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

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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...

Affordable Canada? Do Your Homework. Beware of ‘Some Measures’

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Who'da thunk it? Canada, according to 'some measures,' is home to the most affordable city in the world. Aha! thinks this writer, as usual far too impatient to read the...

Rent Controls — Panacea Or Pariah?

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Some governments are introducing rent controls as a response to the housing crisis. This is a hotly contested measure. Landlords and developers say rent controls discourage adding stock to...

Affordable Housing Insanity: In Jersey City, You Can Be Too Poor To Be Poor

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Too rich to be poor? Now that's a concept that's easy to understand. Too poor to be poor? In all the world, it's apparently only possible in Jersey City, New...

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...

Landlords Vs. Climate Change: How Will Renters Weather The Clash?

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Australia already appears to be suffering from the dramatic and devastating effects of climate change while being led, like America, by a government that refuses to see any sign...

Could Reviled Public Housing Beat Current National Affordability Programs?

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Useful articles on the subject of public housing have been a rarity in mainstream American publications. "Not in our lifetime," has been a characterization of a date when the...

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...

“Thanks, But No Thanks:” Austin TX Scorns State Affordable Housing Bribery Cash

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The willingness of governments to scrape affordable housing responsibility off their plates finds an almost perfect match with 'small government' philosophy, founded on the idea that 'private enterprise can...

Can Renters Survive Without Commodified Housing? Berlin Aims To Find Out

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The vast majority, 85%, of Berlin's citizens are renters. These days, rising rents are squeezing the life out of them. So Berlin is looking to impose a rent freeze...

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

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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...

Is Opportunity Knocking For Affordable Housing In Canada?

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In October 2018, Canadians went to the polls. No party emerged as a clear winner. Advocates with long experience are saying this presents an opportunity to make housing more...

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?

3 North America Countries Make A Chicken & Ostrich Climate-Burger

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The buns of our proposed climate burger features the famous Chicken Little twins. That would be Mexico and Canada, running around the barnyard and crying "Climate Change is coming,...

Housing De-Commodification vs Disneyland: Goofy Wins Out!

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It's not our fault. More reputable media made us do it. So we are reporting a 'Mickey Mouse' affordable housing solution in the world's most expensive city, Hong Kong. The...

Looking Down Your Nose At Poor Folks’ Housing Woes? Yes, It Is Your Problem.

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You don't have to be wealthy to look down your nose at others. For example, a movie title was co-opted to describe an entire generation of unionized British industrial...

Occupier California Moms Evicted Quietly, Peacefully. (They Must Be Canadians!)

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A far cry from the raucous civil disobedience housing occupations more than a year ago in Berlin, California's 2 moms + kids illegal occupation of an empty housing investment...

The Many Colours of NIMBY: Keeping It Green For Everyone

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In our little series of posts covering NIMBY attitudes, there are two elephants in the room, one 'good,' the other 'bad,' which we seldom talk about.

Protective Knights or Obstructionist Villains? City Councils Attack Affordability Crises

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These days, city governments must work to balance the demands of residents of all stripes, from the comfortable and complacent to the needy and struggling. They are forced to...

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...

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

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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...

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

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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!

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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...

Beijing Rains On The Affordable Public Housing Parade

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For the past few decades, governments and businesses alike have made forceful claims that private enterprise can manipulate the free housing market to better house the world, from the richest...

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...

2019: The Year Of Housing In Abundance?

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Groan. Mutter. Snarl. Pardon us while we work up a mad-on at the headline of an article from Sightline: "2019: THE YEAR ABUNDANT HOUSING TURNED THE CORNER" Surely Sightline means:...

California Eviction Fight: Is The Housing Owner Blameless — Not A Villain?

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We recently posted an article about two women and their children who were squatting in an empty house in Oakland, California, in defiance of the building's owners. The women...

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

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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.

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A slightly more fast and loose post, ranting completely understated

Affordable? Look To Habitat For Humanity to Walk The Walk, Talk The Talk

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Once upon a time we believed that the purpose of a definition of 'affordable housing' was clarity. We realize now that these days, the purpose is really confusion. The...

How To Be Wrong-Headed About The Right Kind Of Affordable Housing Assistance

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"I'm sorry, Mr. Brewster Twillingate-Smithers III, but I will not rent one of my apartments to you because your income is zero, not withstanding your weekly million-dollar subsidy from the family trust."

YIMBY: Let’s Get High!

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Let's face it. YIMBY stories are scarce on the ground. So scarce that a first reaction on encountering one is: "They said what? That's unbelievable!"

Urban Planning Trapped In The Zoning ‘Solution’

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When it comes to building more affordable housing, zoning has a high profile. An article in the New Yorker argues that by focussing on zoning, we miss the importance...

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...

Will Canada-wide Public Housing Wait Times Prod More Construction?

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Too much to expect, we assume, for Canada to announce the arrival of a huge burst of actual housing on National Housing Day. Maybe some kind of national surprise...

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...

Housing: Asset Or Necessity? Disobedience May Define It, Along With The Future of Capitalism

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Two homeless mothers together with children have occupied an empty house in Oakland, California. Currently, there is more housing held empty by investors speculating in Oakland than there are...

Is An Oregon Park Upkeep Proposal Really An Attack on Affordable Housing?

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Leaf-shaded walks, flower beds in profusion, well stocked duck ponds: how does such an admirably eco-minded beautification plan get affordable housing activists calling 'fowl?' The answer lies in a proposed...

Philadephia Wants Affordable Housing ‘No Sale’ Except For Non-Profits

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Housing investors in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania who've been taking the slow boat to free market profits may soon find themselves diverted onto an unwanted around-the-world cruise by city council. The slow...

Sydney, AU: Is There A Happy Medium For Affordable Housing Density?

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So, how long before a first rate city that can attract only second rate talent diminishes to a second rate city? Sydney Australia hovers close to the top of many...

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...

Freer Housing Is ‘Fairer Housing.’ Yowza!

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It's not often that we copy exact chunks of headline from an article we'd like you to explore. (Not the Yowza! That's all our own work.) But otherwise, the...

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

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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,'...

Affordability Was Always Bottomless. Arlington, VA Makes It Topless

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The current American federal government has little or no interest in a national affordability crisis, preferring to hack relentlessly at federal funding instituted by previous administrations. Not surprising, perhaps, that...

California ADUs: A Step In The Right Direction . . . But, A Baby Step?

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A state with particularly serious housing problems, California is exploring as many ways as possible to increase a supply of affordable housing. California, as well as several other states, have...

Distracted Politicians — Beware Generation Rent!

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UK politicians are distracted. An opinion piece in the Daily Telegraph, inadvertently tells us just how distracted they are. The article itself is behind a paywall, but the headline and...

The Many Colours of NIMBY: Musical Houses — NIMBY Goes Statewide

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Hats off to a Colorado landlord for thinking big. Read about a man who, in the face of housing crises across the country, wants to call the entire state his backyard and simply limit the number of houses allowed to be built in there every year.

British Council Housing, Born 100 Years Ago. Success? Failure? Somewhere In Between

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Governments are vital agents of social and economic change, not foot-dragging deep state bureaucracies committed to interfering with visionary private enterprise. Really? Mariana Mazzucato, an American economist, has earned growing international...

Kudos To Chicago’s Striking Teachers. They Broke The Law To Kick Social Ass

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Chicago teachers settled their recent strike in part by ignoring their legal requirement to bargain only for wages and hours and other strictly technical issues related to their employment...

Crying Out For U.S. Federal Support Of City Affordable Housing Initiatives

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Two big U.S. city councillors write about some of the steps that cities across the country are trying to implement largely on their own, in the absence of meaningful...

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

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At affordablehousingaction.org we've expressed some concern that climate change activists may find themselves competing for limited funding with affordable housing activistsTry: Saving The World One Tree? Affordable House? At...

Is Government, Not Free Enterprise, The Engine Of Innovation?

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Could the solution to the world's collection of increasingly serious affordable housing crises find a solution in the risky, adventurous initiatives of your everyday garden variety government? The free-enterprise promoted...

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 Many Colours Of YIMBY: Yes, It’s What The Neighbourhood Needs

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We've found a collaborative neighbourhood YIMBY in Chicago that invests in the faith that mixed income neighbourhoods can be a better places to live than single-income-bracket ghettos. Granted, NIMBYites in this rapidly gentrifying neighbourhood had their say, with some of the usual moans such as lost parking for businesses (the land is currently in use as a city owned parking lot.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Three Takes On California’s Housing Crisis: Part 1

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

The Many Colours of YIMBY: Yes! And Please Hurry Up About It!

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With residents understandably concerned about what goes into and out of their neighbourhood, its only natural that there are a lot more 'no's that 'yes's to proposed changes.

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

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

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

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

Berlin Local Government Tackles City Affordable Housing Crisis

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Quite possibly Americans will be horrified by the following phrase from a press release: "... local government embarked on the path of re-nationalizing apartments by buying 670 flats at...

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

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

England Housing Remains At Risk As Govt Heel-Drags On Revised Safety Regs

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Outdated Construction, Design and Management (CDM) Regulations have been identified as the culprit in the widespread corner-cutting of high rise construction that led to the tragic Grenfell Tower FireTry:...

Today’s Eye-roller: 4000 Sq Ft Lots Sporting ‘At-Market Affordable’ Homes

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From Manteca, California come tales of the hard lives of the middle and upper classes, together with the tribulations of the housing developers who serve them. Viewed from a...

Tory Solution For UK Housing Sickness: Take Two Storeys And Call Us In The Morning

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What might those most concerned about affordable housing have expected from the recent Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, held in the shadow of a crash-out Brexit powered by a...

Permanently Temporary: Sure Sign That Homelessness Solutions Are Becoming Part Of The Problem

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Cities in more advanced countries have made do for decades with handfuls of emergency shelters for the homeless, their number expanding in the winters of harsher climates. In many...

Chicago Unaffordable But Union Must Talk Only Wages & Benefits. Teachers Disagree

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Only a month or so away from the 100th anniversary of the journal edition pictured above, it's worth scanning the column of articles featured within it. The final one?...

How Political Parties Rate Affordable Housing In The Upcoming Canadian Election

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Canadians are heading to the polls to elect a Federal Government on October 21, 2019. The media have identified affordability as the top issue. Now the Broadbent Insititute has...

Bernie Sanders: A Godfather Of Affordable Housing With Feet Of Clay?

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Bernie Sanders, the renowned Independent senator who turns Democratic when it suits him, has been a darling of American progressives since the runup to the 2016 presidential election, where...

The Many Colours of YIMBY: Tasteful Affordable Housing OK

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Well, we truly hope there will be more than one article in this series, stunned as we were by the appearance YIMBYites standing on the neighbourhood barricades and waving at outsiders to come in.

Researcher Drags Inclusionary Zoning Through The Mud To Good Purpose

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

Cowichan Climate Change Prep: Best of Intentions Tangled in Reality

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Duncan, British Columbia, Canada's tiniest city mired in a much larger Cowichan Valley suburban sprawl, has seen fit to declare a climate emergency. Our hats are off. Earnest, well-meaning and...

UK Affordable Self-Build: Bootstrapping Your Own Shelter

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Living a precarious financial existence? One misstep away from homelessness? Join an growing club, as in many countries affordable housing just can't be found. So here's a question: can you...

Indigenous Housing Providers: A Source Of Strength For Affordable Housing

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The Canadian Housing and Renewal Association (CHRA) has just released a report about non-profit affordable housing that is provided and operated by indigenous organizations. The housing is spread across...

Make Me President And I Will..: Bernie Sanders Offers Relief To Renters In Crisis

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With affordable housing a hot topic in current political debates, the Democratic candidates have been presenting solutions to America's crop of housing crises. The nation's obsession with the dream of...

North York, ON: Intersecting Crises And The Parking Lot Conundrum

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A local government is responsible to its citizens for carefully weighing important decisions. It therefore cannot be expected to respond rapidly to the changing nature of some crises it...

The Really Grand, Super Exciting Canadian Housing Strategy Currently Leaking Hot Air

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In 2017, the Liberal Government in Canada announced a comprehensive new Canadian Housing Strategy, designed apparently to bring the Canadian government back into the housing game after years of...

Affordable Housing Crisis Spin-Doctors Deliver A Faulty Prescription

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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...

Washington Affordable Housing Remedies: The Worrisome Cloudiness of Clarity.

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There is a growing, and very welcome, trend for governments at all levels to roughly spell out long range plans or strategies for overcoming housing crises that directly impact...

Social Housing In America: Past Time For A Full-Blooded Rebirth?

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America is a country that remains responsive to human needs, even in spite of the fiercest attacks to dismiss them. One example: poll results following three years of U.S....

America’s Non-Housing Crisis Spreads To Infect The United Kingdom

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Recently, America has produced a couple of entertaining "There Is No Housing Crisis" stories, one from the left and one from the right. On the left, a Mother Jones article...

The Housing Industry Has Hijacked ‘Affordable.’ Is ‘Public Housing’ Next?

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Once upon a time, hardly more than two years ago, there was a general agreement that might even be considered worldwide on what 'affordable' housing meant: simply put, it means...

More Support For Affordable Housing Needed From Canada’s Federal Government

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The Broadbent Institute has added its voice to the groups who identify affordable housing as an issue for Canadian voters when they go to the polls on October 21,...

Winnipeg Improves On ‘Housing First’

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Researchers at the University of Winnipeg's Institute for Urban Studies (IUS) have just completed a report about providing Housing First services to indigenous people experiencing homelessness. The report firmly supports...

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

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

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,...

Your Affordable Home Is Falling Down. Sorry, It Can’t Be Fixed. You Have To Move. Not.

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"But where will we go?" Scanning affordable housing stories worldwide, an article reports some unfortunate locale were residents are being evicted from social or public housing practically every day. Four constant...

Planning Ahead For The Great Public Private Partnership Poop-Out

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