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.

Should We Build More Suburban Housing To End The Housing Crisis?

While there is general agreement that there is a housing crisis, there are longstanding debates about how to fix it. One of those debates is about where new housing...

Hot Air: Two Kinds Of Deadly Poison Killing The Most Vulnerable Unhoused

In a recent publication, The Harvard Political Review details two forms pernicious ill-health that is killing increasing numbers of global citizens including Americans. Climate change is one. The other...

Will Finland Carry Through On Its Plan To End Homelessness By 2027?

The article linked to this post is about Finland's remarkable achievement in reducing homelessness. The success lies in its country-wide adoption of Housing First, an evidence-based program to end...

Saint-Joachim In Brière, France Signs On To Multi-Use Cemeteries

Public power utilities are not a new idea, but the one described in this article is a little different. It started as a discussion about reducing flooding in the community...

San Jose, CA Scrambles To Escape Self-Inflicted Water Damage

One of the most powerful images expressed by a newpaper cartoon came in the 1950's from Pogo, a socially aware cartoon opossum. He reported on impending warfare with a...

Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin: A Case Study In Saving Homes To Build Community

Hospitals have discovered that there is more to the cost of demolishing houses than the demolition and disposal feeTry: Urban Redevelopment: A Case Of Failing To See Who’s There...

Kill Faircloth Amendment To Recapture Social Housing Promise In America

Welcome to the Brave New World of a "Green New Deal' for housing. Over the last thirty-odd years two major English language nations have demonstrated effective ways to slowly squeeze...

Careless, Carefree Politicans Become Grim Reapers For The Unhoused

How much damage can politicians do? Can they kill people, directly or indirectly? Unfortunately, recent research is showing that in California at least that the answer is, intended or...

Truly Affordable Social Housing, Paid For By The Free Market? Dream On

Why go to Australia via Canada in order to understand the USA's RAD (Rental Assistance Demonstration program) — the social housing rescue initiative of Department of Housing and Urban...

Hate-on For Migrant Housing Undermines A Nation’s Future Health

Many countries in Far East are in a tizzy. The cause: their citizens are reluctant to have children. Public health incentives are being deployed everywhereAs one example, try: Waiting...

Down By The Riverside: Unhoused Burdens Lifted . . . For The Moment

There are idylic properties, both realized and imagined, to be found beside rivers and lakes. As featured in the famous song written and sung by Otis Redding: "I'm sittin' on...

Tiny homes: A Fix For A City Housing Crisis, Or Just More Problems?

No Plan. No Zoning. No Partnerships. No Money. No Supervision. No purpose. A large American city is tackling a program to, at the very least, support SOME changes that...

When Paving Paradise Means Putting Up A Parking Lot, It’s Not Easy

"They paved paradise and put up a parking lot . . ." Joanie Mitchell's famous words featured 'paradise' destroyed by car culture. Times have changed, and parking lots have earned...

Fire Danger? Protect The Unhoused By Crushing Their Small Lives

What the headline proposes seems a little harsh, doesn't it? And yet we can find articles about authorities that would seem to be moving tentatively down that road. Here...

Burst A Planning Permission Bubble To Allow A Flood Of New Housing! Really?

'Gentle Densification' is one way (in the United Kingdom at least) to build more housing in a world gone unaffordably mad as housing 'financialization' forces housing prices up and...

Blink & You Probably Missed It: A U.S. Mega-Shelter

Yes, it gets cold in the Mile-High-City, Denver Colorado. And yes, in Denver, like many American cities, the number of people who have no home is growing. It's not...

“Just Let Us Build More” — Homelessness Solved! Er . . . Apparently Not

We admit to the attraction of leftie arguments that seldom hold sway in Parliament, but at least reflect exasperation with modern neoliberal non-solutions stalled-out around just about every government...

Better Social Housing Management: Two’s Company, Three’s A Crowd?

Richard Blakeway, Housing Ombudsman for England, has issued a report chronicling the poor service meted out to social tenants by their landlords. Blakeway is making a case for retooling...

Owners and Unhoused Share Community Fears But Not Solutions

Hey homies! How come your schemes to solve the growing community homeless problems keep falling flat? It may well be because you won’t stop listening to yourselves, even though you...

Is Housing A Fore Gone Conclusion In Hong Kong? Here’s A Battle Report

Hat's off and sunscreen on for members of Hong Kong's Fanling Golf Club, the oldest in the region. They've just managed to win a prestigious UNESCO (United Nations Educational,...

Carrying The Torch For Ending Homelessness In The United Kingdom

Every country creates its own responses to homelessness. The Kerslake Commission on Homelessness and Rough Sleeping (the Kerslake Commission) is one of many initiatives in the United Kingdom. The...

Waiting And Waiting For Public Housing – Hong Kong Version

Hong Kong is encouraging women to have babies. How? Once they become moms, they can advance their position on the waiting list for public housing. Why? The government is faced...

High Housing Prices And The Conundrums Of Real Life

A recent essay by Mario Polèse provides an opportunity to consider the usefulness of making comparisons of housing costs in different jurisdictions. Polèse is professeur émérite at the Institut...

COP28: Green Energy Costs And The Challenge of Worldwide Nuclear ‘Rehab’

COP28 was the world's latest climate change conference. The fooferaw about a phase-out of decidedly 'ungreen' fossil fuel energy somewhat obscured some other developments at the conference, including consideration...

The Hurricane Is Over But The Emergency Has Just Begun

We're all familiar with the damage that a hurricane can leave in its wake. People with damaged properties scramble to get temporary accommodation. Repairing and cleaning a property can...

Getting The Best From The U.S. Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program

The Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program (LIHTC by common usage, pronounced Lie-tek) has become the major source of affordable housing supply in the United States. With commitments to community...

Why Are Housing Starts Falling Short Of Public Targets?

Continuing with the theme of cross-subsidy funding for affordable housing, here is another article from the United Kingdom. This one is about greenfield development, which refers to building new...

Thermodynamics: An Evaluation Tool For Pie-In-The Sky Energy Futures

Without pretending to be exhaustive in any way, this is a post that offers some assistance to folks looking to understand which way a 'green energy' future lies. Such issues...

Homeless Musical Chairs Where The Music Never Stops?

"So . . . let's run these homeless leeches out of town. Surely it can't cost more than following them from park to park, sidewalk to sidewalk, in order...

Missouri “Too Many Targets” Save The State’s Homeless From Jail

The rest of the world slowly adapts to the idea that homeless people are not all depraved junkies, but mostly people who can't afford homes. Not in Missouri, however,...

Will American Social Housing Die A Neoliberal Death Of A Thousand Cuts?

Neoliberal thought has changed the world for several decades of application by governments and industries. That change has ultimately not fulfilled its dreams, although many still continue to adhere...

Where Canada Needs To Go Next On Its Journey To The Right To Adequate Housing

Last month, we shared the work of FRAPRU, a organization made up of 80+ national, regional and local organizations active in the Province of QuebecFRAPRU aligns with the organization's...

Tomorrow’s Heating Energy To Save The World? Hot Rocks. . . Sort Of, Maybe?

It's hard to pick a winner in tomorrow's great affordable energy race to avoid overheating the planet. Scotland is sure that the future belongs to Heat Pumps. They are already...

What Does Poking In Bushes Tell Us About The Number Of Unhoused People In The US?

In answer to the question posed in the headline — 'point in time' counts tell us not a lot about absolute numbers of people experiencing homelessness. That's because unleashing...

Report: How Non-Market Housing Contributes To Economic Growth

If you accept that non-profit and co-operative housing are a drag on your country’s economy, the following report is here to make you think again. It tackles the question:...

Australia’s Housing Crisis: How It Happened And A Path Forward

Reading the news these days informs us that we are facing multiple crises: climate change, housing and political discord are three examples. The level of political discord makes it...

Who’s Standing Up As UN Right To Adequate Housing Falls Flat In Canada?

North America's growing rental housing housing crisis can be found expressed in its three major languages, English, Spanish and French. The third language, French, is prevalent in the province...

World Hunt For Effective Affordable Housing Strategies, Canada Edition

NIMBY? YIMBY? Affordablehousingaction.org is based in Canada. We have taken the attitude that, where it comes to affordable housing, it is possible to learn from what's going on in...

Vancouver, BC’s LGBTQ Community Scores Major Affordable Housing And Social Support

Like everyone else, those from social and cultural minorities can be attracted to both the anonymity and opportunity of large cities. A voyage of discovery to such a place...

Australian Human Right To Adequate Housing? Been There, Done That

A pressing question for Australia comes from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC): "if housing was considered a human right, would it fix our housing crisis?" One disturbing possible answer may...

We Have Seen The Worst Landlord, And It Is Us!

It takes a certain amount of courage, or perhaps more accurately, desperation, to call yourself the 'Worst Landlord' in the state. This is particularly true if you are a...

Geese Dragged Into Homeless Fight In Sacramento, California

Consider Sacramento County. It is bound together unto eternity with the City of Sacramento, thanks to the territory they share, along with physical and social interests. Might we expect,...

Shoplifting ‘Crisis’ Tied To Housing Prices, Poverty? Depends On Who You Ask

Creeping poverty that leaves people unhoused: does it contribute to a so-called shoplifting 'crisis' afflicting a number of countries? Or are we primarily looking at crime on the rise?...

How Many Renters Can Dance on A Housing Pinhead? In The UK, Not Enough

Renter-capabilities for an Oxbridge U. graduate with a plummy accent and impeccable manners? A breeze. Renter-capabilities for an average UK young adult of average colour (beige?), unimposing academic credentials (GCE),...

Report Calls On Canadians To Rethink Housing Need

Canada’s Federal Housing Advocate has just issued a report called A Human Rights-Based Calculation Of Canada’s Housing Supply Shortages. The report: directs attention to the number of people...

EU Local Communities Can’t Manage Unhoused Youth. Can Any Community?

Affordablehousingaction.org has been advocating that homelessness must be treated as a national war, not a penny ante local squabble to be solved by local activists and learner politicians knocking...

Looking To The Past In Order To Guide Action In Today’s Housing Market

Can history help guide actions in the housing market today? A 2023 report by Thomas Shay Hill gives us a fine opportunity to find out.  Hill’s report is called...

Notes From Ground Zero As Denmark Re-Engineers Its Ethnic Mix

Denmark, once an ethnically homogeneous society (white northern Europeans) is facing the consequences after decades of migrant resettlement in the country. The consequence is 'parallel societies,' within the country....

United Kingdom Drug Fiends Rave In Lifestyle Tents: Real Homes Are For Sissies!

Some believe that tents are a last resort for those trying to survive inclement weather in the flimsiest possible form of shelter from the elements — all they can...

Wanted: A U.S. War To Support A Drug Too Valuable to Smoke: Affordable Housing!

It still remains (barely) possible that smaller communities suffering from a gradually increasing homelessness crisis can solve their problems at the local municipality level. Wanted: resources to quickly satisfy basic...

Emergency Responses Miss Opportunities To Build Up Communities

This is part of a series that looks at housing and homelessness in South Africa and Canada. It might be a source of inspiration/direction for housing efforts in either...

UK City To Developer Delivering Flawed New Housing: No Thanks. Knock It Down!

So you want to build an apartment tower and you've borrowed the bucks to cover construction . . . you think. Of course you've been hopeful in your budgeting,...

UK Research Investigates The Ethics Of Tax Scrapping

Governments in the United Kingdom have been changing policies that affect the cost of housing for its residents. Changes of this kind always garner notice and opposition in the...

Housing Costs For Citizens In Spain Dragged Through The Roof By Tourists

In 2017, the Spanish anarchist group, Arran, undertook a series of actions against tourists. These added up to some frightening encounters in which international visitors imagined themselves on the...

Lessons From An Ambitious Retrofit In A Glasgow Tenement

This writer has never been to Scotland, but 107 Niddrie Road in Glasgow has become a familiar address. The building is over 100 years old and belongs to the...

Another Good Result For Housing First, This Time In England

Manchester's Mayor Andy Burnham has good news for the people in his city, where the number of homeless families in temporary accommodation is going down. The city is also...

World Petrolheads Forever Impoverished By ‘Greening’? Can Luxembourg Help?

At the price of considerable criticism, United Kingdom Prime Minister Sunak has delayed the end of purchaseable new petrol power as a means of transport. It will be delayed...

US Architect Stepping Up To Build Deeply Affordable Housing

We recently reported an interview with UK architect Peter Barber. In it, Barber speaks directly about the need for much more housing for people with very low incomes. Try:...

Borrowed UK Perspectives: Helpful In Redefining New World Affordable Housing?

Here's a post based on material originally aimed at a United Kingdom market, but with most certainly a relevance elsewhere, particularly struggling North America. A winner of the UK's Neave...

Success Of Affordable Housing Initiatives Must Be Tackled At Least 3 Ways At Once

In this day and age, there are three important 'flavours' of affordable housing, all of which need to be considered and addressed in order to tackle national housing crises: ...

UK Social Housing, Not Ownership, Can End Private Rental Profiteering

Not all that long ago, renting a home on the free market was the essential penny-saving survival means in the UK. It was once cheaper and more readily available...

UK Social Housing & Communities: Time Again For All Hands On Deck?

There is currently some discussion of the idea — nay, even importance — of the value of 'community' within UK housing. This post ultimately targets a discussion about the...

Improving Tenant Health In Public Housing

Two students who are enrolled at Harvard Medical School have collaborated on an article in which they speak up for the people who live in public housing. The students,...

Gentrification In Roxbury, Boston: If You Can’t Join Them, Beat Them

Six years ago Roxbury a neighbourhood in Boston, Massachusetts, was being eaten alive by the local tech industry. Roxbury residents were losing housing to well-paid tech employees who moved...

Basic Income And Public Opinions About Homelessness

A small project in Vancouver, BC, which gave a lump sum of $7,500 to people who were homeless, has caught the attention of The Guardian. The Guardian does not...

Questioning The Strategy Of Closing Shelters To End Homelessness

Affordablehousingaction.org clings to an underlying notion that financialization, no matter how honourable the motives that can be assigned to those who practice it, nonetheless impacts a country's population with...

In A Land Of Accused Bad Tenants, Police To Finger Landlords To Take The Fall

Do we dare wish for global acceptance of a recent directive to the London, England police? It highlights landlords as the probable culprits in landlord/tenant disputes over evictions. Rather...

Social Housing: We Know What It Means. Is It Time To Understand Social Energy?

A considerable number of folks in the United Kingdom, as well as other European countries, have been inclined to think of the human right to adequate housing as an...

Bulldozed Social Housing: Resident Input Under-Appreciated & Over-Ignored

"Sorry folks, you've got to go." "Really? Some of us think not." Recent articles from Australia suggest a more aggressive approach for social housing tenants allegedly 'living in squalor' who currently...

Affordable Housing: Whodunnit Differently? Singapore. Here’s How

When Singapore separated from Malaysia in 1965 it had aspirations to become a regional and world-beating economy.  In 50-odd years it has achieved that goal. From the word go, Singapore...

Local Homelessness Is A National Problem. Making Civic Duty A Crime Is No Answer

Of late, affordablehousingaction.org has been making the case that homelessness merely lives in communities. It is born, however, as a national disease that infects entire nations in all its...

Yes, Internet Is Essential For All Citizens: World Leader Proves It Out. Unh . . . Who?

What do you call the realization that your supposedly advanced country lags behind an imagined global backwater? Humiliating? It's the kind of reaction that can happen when you holiday in a...

A Precise Prescription For Ending Homelessness — And It’s Not Clearing Encampments

Here is a report about fixing the homelessness crisis. Unlike many articles, this one does not recommend clearing encampments and moving people onIf you haven't come across this sordid...

Non-Equity Rental Cooperatives … And A Whole Lot More

In Australia, Skynews recently interviewed Melina Morrison, the CEO of the Business Council of Cooperatives and Mutuals. Morrison was up to bat in order to speak about housing cooperatives,...

Unhoused? Welcome To The Lemming-Land Of California.

With nearly a third of America's homeless crowded into the state, California's major league homeless problems are more likely to receive experimentation than any other region on the continent....

Highest Ever Fine Handed Out To Big UK Social Landlord. What’s Going On Here?

L&Q Housing is a social housing landlord that rents out some 105,000 homes in Britain. The United Kingdom's Housing Ombudsman, newly armed with the recently passed Social Housing Act, slapped...

Why Efforts To Fix Canada’s Housing Crisis Aren’t Working

Ricardo Tranjan works at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. He's spent quite a bit of time there focussing on employment and poverty, but at the beginning of COVID,...

NYC Mayor’s Message To The Unhoused: Don’t Come Here, We’re Full up.

A combination of events makes New York City an excellent example of why every mayor and council of every town and city in every world democracy should think seriously...

Merry Xmas For All? Hardly. 40% Believe The Poor Should Not Have Holidays

There are apparently significant consequences for those trapped by economic circumstances away from human pleasures we all might cherish — such as Christmas, or Hanukkah, or a well balanced...

Introducing Affraudable Housing — Affordability Based On At Least One Piggy Bank

Affraudable housing is becoming more common these days. All that is needed is a bad attitude, some small math skill, and a willingness to pull the wool over hopeful...

Housing – A Wicked Problem

Duncan Maclennan is an economist who has studied housing in the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada. He says that housing is a 'wicked' problemFor more on the definition of...

An Action Plan To Achieve The Right To Adequate Housing

Mariana Mazzucato and Leilani Farha have collaborated on a roadmap to achieve the right to adequate housing. The roadmap starts with a mission. Mazzucato and Farha argue that having a...

UK Keeps The Flame Of Refugee Hope Alive . . . In All The Wrong Ways?

The United Kingdom's vulnerability to unwanted migrants has coughed up a range of solutions to an invasion of refugees — real as well as allegedly fake — who have...

‘Homeless’ . . . Bad? ‘Unhoused’ . . . Good? What’s In A Name? More Than You Might Think

At affordablehousingaction.org we consider The Guardian one of the world's great papers, with well-written world-wide in-depth stories about social housing and homelessness. When The Guardian picks up a story, we...

Does The Fear Of Being Duped Strangle Efforts To End Homelessness?

Tess Wilkinson-Ryan studies the psychology of legal decision-making at the University of Pennsylvania. Her work contributes to our understanding of our fear of being a taken for a fool....

In Search Of The Incredible Hulk

No, not the Jolly(?) Green Giant of comic book fame, but the floating military motel with roots in the Napoleonic Wars. And in Portland Harbour, United Kingdom, the Incredible...

YIMBY Is Dead. Long Live YIMBY (The Good Kind)!

More than one kind of YIMBY? Why, yes, of course. There is the rare and honorable "Yes In My Back Yard." It happens hen people live in a neighbourhood...

Exploring The Temporary Potential Of The Drive In Live-In

The mere existence of live-in vehicles has meant they've been quietly used as houses for 'homeless' people for decades. In America, there are still huge expanses of wilderness in...

Bye Bye ‘COVID Safety’ For All. Hello ‘Pay As You Can’ From Parking To Electric Power

How does the current economic climate affect housing and homelessness? One direct effect is the wind-down of COVID emergency measures that saw "everybody indoors" safety measures which provided temporary housing...

How Portland Got Its New Zoning Code

Like many cities in the United States, the vast majority of its residential land was zoned for single family homes. In 2020, Portland City Council approved the Residential Infill...

Can’t Do The Time? Then Don’t Do The Crime – Really Bad Advice And Treatment For The Homeless

Affordablehousingaction.org recently highlighted two articles about homeless outreach teams operated by local governments in North America. One was based on a research from the United States, which found that...

Do Governments Mistakenly Support A Fantasy: That Voters Believe All Should Own Housing?

It was in a Toronto Fitness Centre locker room that a local University prof spilled the ugly beans to Affordablehousingaction.org about citizen self-protective(?) behaviour. "Immigrants are only pro-immigration until they...

Police Are Trained To Get Stuff Done. Should That Include Finding Housing For Homeless People?

Housing ultimately solves homelessness. Outreach doesn't. Particularly when the outreach is accidentally or deliberately punitive. Next City has published an article that explores cities where the official intention is...

Privatization Of Illegal Homeless Encampments: A City-Provoked Trend?

City authorities across North America and elsewhere tend to bow down to their democratic masters: at least some portion of the general public, as well as lobbyists for business...

United Kingdom: The Fatal Weakness Of Housing Allowance, Unmasked Yet Again

In an era of housing affordability crises, a variety of broken solutions have been adopted by a number of countries. The advertised success and persistent failure the solutions is...

Seattle Neighbourhood Densification: Bring On the Mid-Rises! . . . Hunh?

Here's a meander towards an unexpected quirk in the news. In some countries, the local press tends to be infected by NIMBYNIMBY = Not In My Back Yard hostility....

Newfangled Universal Credit In The UK Currently Unhelpful In Protecting The Poor

Many countries have benefit payment schemes that help those with low or no income to survive. One might prefer to say 'survive and prosper,' but that seldom if ever...

UK Outdoor Homeless Won’t Be Missing Because Their Shelter Promise Will Be Missed

So, are government politicians and bureaucrats invariably duplicitous (as in: I say this all the time but I never really mean it)? Or is government work a wonderful career opportunity...

Housing Rights Of People With Disabilities – Overlooked And Understudied

Jewelles Smith is based in British Columbia. She has deep knowledge of parenting with a disability, through personal experience, disability advocacy and research. In her doctoral research, Smith compares human...

Tiny Home Retrospective: When Portland Enticed Landowners To Welcome Aboard The Homeless

When affordablehousingaction.org was just starting to blog, we began searching (as we still are) for ideas that seemed to promise easing national homelessness crises. Five years ago there was...
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