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.

Ireland Subsidizes Middle Class Renters Away From Free Market

It is certainly hard these days, indeed increasingly impossible, for those with the lowest or no incomes to afford housing at all. Government subsidized housing, under many names such...

Housing: Mind Your Own Business, Or . . . Everyone’s Infrastructure?

Infrastructure? The notion was born out of not-to-be-ignored community health needs such as clean water to prevent epidemics. It expanded to include business needs (safe highways to transport goods...

A Price Of Mixed Income Neighbourhoods: Soulless Density

What's a budget-conscious local government council to do? Spending on social housing is to be avoided at all costs, even when the locality already owns the land. It's too...

Stand And Deliver, Landlord! Berlin is Considering Legal Highway Robbery

Berlin, Germany is a city/state of many renters, ever-rising rents, and few means for renters to challenge the economic self-interests of landlords. Years of protests about increasingly unaffordable rents across...

A Legal Centre That Enables Land Trusts And Co-operative Housing

Sprinkled across the western world there are housing cooperatives, community land trusts, and other forms of collective ownership and decision making. Elsewhere, we've discussed some of the benefits of...

Can Lackadaisical California Fix Homelessness Without New Housing?

Why is California's lackadaisical approach to homelessness worth a worry to other jurisdictions as well as its own? Many other cities in North American and elsewhere have bumbled into the...

Hong Kong: How To Reclaim Those Idle Fields of Developer Dreams

There is almost nothing as powerful as a free-market speculator in a democracy where the laws of the land favour — to the point of worship — the predatory...

Government Policies Create Winners & Losers In Housing Markets

How did homelessness sprout and then grow and grow? Why are tenants living in substandard housing, or paying unaffordable rents, or both? Why does a commitment to adequate housing...

Mi Barrio! How To Exercise The Reverse NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard)

New home builders are extraordinarily powerful. It is not uncommon to hear the industry described as the engine that drives the city, state, even country. That's certainly the case...

Berlin: If Housing is “Essential,” Expropriating It Could Regulate Rents

Expropriation of private property is legal in many countries. If the needs of a community are considered paramount, they trump the rights of individuals and corporations. In many western...

Housing Stands Empty? Desperate Homeless May Change That

Moms 4 Housing invaded a vacant Oakland, California home a year and a half ago, targeting the "housing bankers"Land banking is a fairly old term to describe housing industry...

Tent Camps: Vancouver City Councillor On Draining Wallpaper Bubble

Vancouver, B.C., one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in, might be expected to have a chronic homelessness problem. And it does. Its visible manifestations...

Evictions? Glory Be Not! COVID Punctures Federal State Self-Congratulation

How Do I Love Myself? Let Me Count the Ways . . . In Canada, some 13-ish. America goes a full 50-ish. In the United Kingdom, having their cake and...

Can New Zealand Fix Multiple Housing Crises By Applying The 4 D’s?

Why should anyone except New Zealanders care about New Zealand's ownership housing crisis, its rental housing crisis and its rent-geared-to income (social/public/state housing) crisis? Well, New Zealand's housing history roughly mirrors...

Helping To Target Assistance To Eviction-Threatened Renters

Advocates across the U.S. are calling attention to renters and their financial struggles during COVID. Some renters who are in arrears have been protected by eviction bans, although 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...

Here’s The Dope On Green Public Housing In Paris

Vegetation, it seems, has a history as effective housing insulation. Straw bale houses were not uncommon as first residences during the settlement of the American WestStraw bale houses are...

The Brookings Institute Compares Rental Housing Strategies Around the World

The COVID-19 pandemic in the United States has played havoc with that nation's housing, as it has in most, if not all, other countries in the world. This is...

“Big Tent” US Infrastructure Proposals: Catching Up With Modern Reality?

For the past few decades in America, "small government" policies have been supported by both Democrats and Republicans. In particular, the name of the game has been to shrink...

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,...

Public Housing And Proud Of It? You Can Shout NIMBY, Too

NIMBY is an enduring feature of proposals that bring "undesirable elements" into some form of contact with established neighbourhoods, usually ones that are at least firmly middle class. Manning...

London, Ontario Looks To Expand Its Residential Licensing Program

London, Ontario currently licenses student accommodation and smaller private rental buildings. The City's Council recently debated whether to expand its licensing system to include rental apartments and townhouses. The...

Activists: EU Must Pursue Green Building Solutions Without Creating More Homeless

Homelessness in the EU has increased dramatically over the past ten years. The numbers are expected to rise as post-pandemic evictions put those out on the streets who have...

Can Vertical Forest Splash Save Netherlands Social Housing Cash?

There can be little argument that Milan's pioneering "Vertical Forest" building is a striking feat of architecture.Or rather, it will become one at some time in the future. Built...

Australia Human Right to Housing: A Practical Step Forward? Or Lipstick On A Pig?

If to no one else in the world, Australia's struggle with the notion of a Human Right To Housing should be of interest to Americans. Alas, the well-housed authors...

Mediterranean Holiday Homes To Be Expropriated For Social Housing

Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, Formentera. Familiar names to holiday makers who flock there in summer. These are part of the Balearic Islands off the Mediterranean coast of Spain — just...

Investor Defence In A Pandemic Battle: Preserving The Thin Red Bottom Line

In the arena of housing, the pandemic has in spectacular fashion pitted two classes of people against each other: Shelterers, and Investors. Who comes out on top? Employing the classic...

Charity Can Stave Off Evictions, Except Where Governments Have Created “Walking Dead”

With the good news of increasing numbers of vaccinated citizens in many countries, there are hints of life possibly returning to normal in the not-too-distant future. This news, however...

Updated: Rent Controls — Panacea Or Pariah?

Ken Gibb and Alex Marsh are investigating the academic literature about rent controls. It seems there hasn't been a comprehensive review for 20 years. The final report will be...

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...

Playing Chicken With People Who Need Housing

Toronto City Council has crunched the numbers and come up with a plan to build more supportive housing in that city. The plan will provide homes designed for people...

The OECD Recommends More Social Housing. It’s A Global Need

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has just issued a policy brief about affordable housing. It begins with an 20 year overview of trends in housing affordability....

COVID-19: Improving Housing Conditions To Fight COVID Infection

An international group of researchers has pulled together a list of the actions that have been taken to help protect people from being infected by COVID-19. All of the...

The Many Colours of NIMBY: Parking-Mad Office Workers

NIMBY: Not in My Back Yard. Part of an ongoing collection of articles exploring some of the many ways that a worldwide affordable housing crisis is opposed. Once upon a...

Green New Deal For Housing Part 5: Indigenous Approaches

This is the final post covering the Tyee's five part series about a green new deal for housing. The Tyee is based in Vancouver, where high prices are making...

Green New Deal For Housing Part 4: How A Zoning Proposal Turned Into Plan For Climate Change

The Tyee has published a five part series about a green new deal for housing. The Tyee is based in Vancouver, where high prices are making housing unaffordable for...

Hospitals As Developers – Angels Or Something Else?

Why would anybody be afraid of a lifesaving institution such as a large hospital that shares their very own neighbourhood? One possible answer is tied to affordable housing. In America,...

Green New Deal Part For Housing 3: Overcoming The Zoning Barrier?

The Tyee has published a five part series about a green new deal for housing. The Tyee is based in Vancouver, where housing prices are pricing out more and...

Green New Deal For Housing Part 2: Getting To Yes

The Tyee has published a five-part series about a green new deal for housing. The Tyee is based in Vancouver, where housing prices are pricing out more and more...

Green New Deal For Housing Part 1: Connecting Housing Prices And Climate Change

The Tyee has published a five part series about a green new deal for housing. The Tyee is based in Vancouver, where housing prices are beyond the reach of...

The Shift: Committing To Housing As Shelter For All, Not Investment Opportunity

Leilani Farha may no longer be the UN's Special Rapporteur on Housing,To check out the Special Rapporteur's mandate, see the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights: Special...

Oakland Carpe Diem: When “Seize The Day” Became “Seize The Empty House”

When affordablehousingaction.org opts to post about news events, we try to find those that showcase ideas and concepts that can provide encouragement about positive future change. One news event that...

Truly Affordable Housing? Public Sector Can Do it Better . . . Or Maybe Not.

Who can best build truly affordable housing for low- and no- income citizens? The private sector? That's been a popular government assumption, tried and tested in Public Private Partnerships...

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...

A New-Born UK Child, Perceived And Treated As A Punishable Atrocity

Genital Mutilation? It used to happen. Still does. Sterilization? It used to happen. Still does. Deliberate infection by disease? It used to happen. Still does. Slavery? It used to happen. Still does. Child...

Howling Wolves Outside? Sticks Or Bricks Housing Defines How You Cope.

Everybody knows that the older little piggies get, the more small-c conservative they become. Older piggies drift away from a youthful idealism and the need for change towards the...

Preventing Evictions As Part Of The Right To Housing

As part of a commitment to its residents, Toronto's City Council has confirmed housing as a human right and implemented programs support that commitment. With COVID-19 arriving on the...

Housing Speculation: Investment For Profit Without A Kinder, Gentler Side

There are some who believe that a useful distinction can be made between housing "speculation" and housing "investment."See at Huffington Post:Are You A Property Investor Or Speculator? A Quick...

Wanted: Canada’s First Official Housing Advocate

Recruitment for Canada's first Housing Advocate is underway. The deadline for applications is December 31, 2020. The Housing Advocate's position was created as part of Canada's commitment to make housing...

Cold Multiplies The Danger Of Ontario Homeless “Living In The Rough”

2020 has brought more flurries than usual to the Canadian city of Hamilton. With the onset of the pandemic, commendable flurries of activity have removed people experiencing homelessness from...

Council-Built Housing: Pure Tomfoolery or Plain Good Sense?

Could your local city or regional council build its own housing? Why would it want to? One compelling argument is that, when it comes to truly affordable housing, it may...

Sure, Skip American Public Housing As A Failure. Just Choose A Better Model

With a Democrat as President, progressives in both Congress and party will be pushing for a return to public housing as a cure for some of America's housing woes. Has...

Housing UK Homeless: Creeping By Baby Steps To National Responsibility?

In a 1939 alternative universe of extreme federalism, United Kingdom's Home Counties voted to go to war with Nazi Germany. Scotland did not, which is why, in present-day Schottland, loyal...

Irish Grow Impatient With Housing Development “Help”

Is it a new development to help Dublin solve its social housing crisis, or a developer boondoggle to turn a tidy profit with slight-of-hand shell game in which it's...

Gary, Indiana Turns Out Public Housing Lights, Prays For Landlord Candles

U.S. President George H.W. Bush's description of charities as "a thousand tiny points of light" has taken a rightful place in history and literature as a truly hopeful and...

U.S. Evictions Tsunami? Still Looming As Some Hope To Cancel Rents

The U.S., like many countries staggering under the impact of COVID-19, is facing a hopefully-temporary crisis of individual and family poverty. One consequence has been an inability of a...

While Waiting For Econ 101 Solutions, Welcome To The 1890 Slums

When it comes to the creation of affordable housing, particularly truly affordable social housing, neoliberal government thinking still prevails after 50 years of questionable results. The tried but not-so-true...

Tenants Call For Green Kitchens In NYCHA Buildings

Tenants living in housing owned by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) have come up with a great idea to get the ball rolling on a Green New...

Can Existing Social Housing Go ‘Green’ One Baby Step At A Time?

A local article from a Welsh newspaper paints in one corner of an enormous issue: 'decarbonization' of United Kingdom's social housing. Viewed from America, decarbonization or greening, or energy efficiency,...

Biden-Harris: Timely Dawn Of A New Day For Public Housing? Unlikely

For young progressives in America expecting great change from the replacement of a Republican President by a Democratic one, don't hold your breath while counting on the arrival of...

Tough Times For Landlords: The Shoe Remains Stuck On The Other Foot

In Ontario, Canada, a landlord can't even book a hearing for a juicy above-guideline rent increase, such is the demanding backlog facing the Landlord Tenant Board as it begins...

Equality In Education Takes a Surprise Turn Towards Internet Access

COVID-19's focus on home has brought a lot of issues to light. Our homes are one of the reasons some of us are more likely to contract the virus...

Montréal: Can A By-Law Hitch An Affordable Cart To The Housing Dragon?

Montréal, Québec is like communities everywhere that recognize a need for secure, truly affordable housing for low- and no- income citizens. And like many, many communities, Montréal would far...

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...

A Treasure Trove Of Local Ideas For Building More Affordable Housing

Local Housing Solutions is a web site designed to help people who want to take action to help make housing more affordable to people with very low incomes. It...

Mixed Use, Mixed Income Housing By Accident

In the decades following World War II, many governments invested in civic infrastructure to keep their economies growing and wipe away the bombed neighbourhoods, which were visible vestiges of...

Long View Reasons To Build Public Housing Now

A new book, "Housing Policy In Australia" calls for a national housing program and building more social housing. This is a direction the current government has stubbornly resisted. The authors...

Aussie Power Project Turns Social Housing Tenants Into Sun Worshipers

Dismissing a useful future for social housing these days works most dramatically when raising the spectre of high rise projects. President Trump, as part of his 2020 campaign, has...

Musical Chairs: When The Chairs Are Homes, No Fun When The Music Stops

How close is your bum to a seat when the music stops? Musical chairs is all about a lack of choice — shared by all the contestants in the...

A Study, Not Just Speculation, Links Poverty In Maryland To COVID Infection

A constant theme of pandemic reporting worldwide has been the greater number of COVID-19 cases in poorer neighbourhoods, compared to those which may be close by, but at least...

Boston Supports Affordable Housing Access By Supporting Affordable Food

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

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?

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

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?

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?

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

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

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!

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?

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

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!

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’

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?

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

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

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?

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?

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?

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

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

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?

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?

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

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

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!

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.

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!)

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

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.
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