Taking Control

Taking control to ensure needed affordable housing does get built can require innovative ideas and actions to counter prejudice about affordable housing and the citizens who need it.

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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:...

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

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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....

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,...

Red Tape: Alberta Conservatives Can’t Define It But They Won’t Put Up With It

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The god-like building industry! It is a Prometheus that has sinned by giving mankind shelter. Now it is an industry shackled in punishment for its selflessness by chains of...

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,...

Affordable. Unaffordable. A Tale of Two City States, Singapore & Hong Kong

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City states have a unique advantage over cities that exist within a hierarchy of governments, where they seem to inevitably occupy a position of authority towards the bottom. City states...

Britain Looks Back from 2029 At Three Simple Steps That Solved The Affordable Housing Crisis

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Looking back from 2029, what were the three simple steps the government took in 2019 to solve the affordable housing crisis? Public Housing: 200,000 new social houses built per...

Houses Of The Future? Sticks Win Out Over Huffing And Puffing Wolf.

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A seven story wooden structure built in Italy was rated strong enough to withstand a 1995 earthquake in Kobe, Japan, which destroyed some 50,000 houses. Watch It Not Fall...

DEW Line Now Tracking Politician Threats To Unaffordable Housing

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The DEW Line was a series of radar stations arced across North America to provide Distant Early Warning of a Soviet missile or bomber attack. Now, the DEW Line is...

Chicago Ponders the Problem of Seducing Developers To Support Affordable Housing

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What to do when coercion does not convince developers to participate in affordable housing projects, with the result that they wriggle off the hook by paying an 'in-lieu-of-participating' fee...

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...

Shaping And Renewing Australian Public Interest In Affordable Housing

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Affordable housing activists in Australia are licking their wounds and reprogramming their priorities in the wake of a recent national election. They had eagerly awaited a new government that at...

UK Looks To Adopt Home Ownership Plan Based On What You Can Afford

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Swedish construction company Skanska, in partnership with well-known furniture retailer Ikea wants to build affordable housing in Worthing, Sussex, UK. 30% of the BloKlok partnership's modular housing project will be set...

British Columbia Tax Successfully Cools Vancouver’s $$$$$ Housing Market

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There's a long list of cities world-wide looking for ways of reducing overheated housing markets. Vancouver, rated by some measures as the second most expensive city to live in...

Critics Slam All Affordable Housing Solutions. Time For Critics-Be-Damned Experiments?

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This article does not reflect upon many interesting facets of London's newly proposed rent controls for the UK's largest city. Instead, we'd like to comment on the meat of a...

Berlin Tries Another Way For Governments To Invest In Affordable Housing

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Should Government take any role, let alone a direct one, in creating or maintaining affordable housing? For conservative-dominated capitalist governments, it is a topic of hot debate. That in...

Zombie Properties: What are They? What Are Their Affordable Housing Benefits.

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Don't you really want to know what a zombie property is? We confess that we did. A mobile haunted house perhaps, decaying, dilapidated, lurching down the street late at...

Youth Group Weighs In As Halifax Updates Its Zoning By-Law

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The Halifax Regional Municipality has decided that its zoning by-laws, parts of which are 50 years old, need updating. Ten years ago it embarked on a review process that...

OECD, Gently To New Zealand: Kiwibuild? What Were You Thinking?

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Eighteen months into the mammoth, monumental, unbounded, over-the-top New Zealand housing project known as Kiwibuild, and only eight and a half more years to go to a project completion...

Visitors Rule Or Locals Rule? Views From The Airbnb Tourist Battlegrounds

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Conventional thinking has always been that a tourist destination needs to bend over backwards to service its visitors, however inconvenient this may seem to some natives. But is it...

Washington State Turns The Other Cheek To Help Affordable Housing Pickpockets

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Store your wallet on your backside, don't keep an eye out for pickpockets? The result is inevitable. When it comes to cheats picking the pocket of an individual, an...

US Affordable Housing Standard Is Dead. On To A ‘Survivable Housing’ Standard?

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Affordable housing lives on in America, as: an Individual concept: e.g. "Every house ever built is affordable to at least somebody." a general segment the housing cost spectrum, determined...

UK Naked Shelter Crisis Obscured By ‘Affordable’ Dance Of The Seven Veils

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The 'Affordable' Dance of The Seven Veils is not just a coy ploy in the UK. It is happening everywhere. The housing unaffordability crisis is being masked by cutting...

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...

Spokane Police Scratch Own/Community Back By Dabbling In Affordable Housing Biz

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Headline: Spokane Police To Turn 5 West Central Nuisance Homes Into Affordable Housing. Nuisance homes: one way of describing derelict, abandoned buildings that become crash pads for drug use and...

Why Can’t California Super-Government Pass Affordable Housing Crisis Bills?

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In California, the Democratic Party owns veto-resistant super-majorities in both houses of congress, together with the governorship. American governments just don't get any more powerful than this! And yet, faced...

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...

20-20-20 Vision: Screw The Carrot. Montreal Brings The Stick To Affordable Housing.

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Forget tempting financial carrots to coax developers into supporting affordable housing. Montreal, Quebec is planning to bring the big stick to multiple housing developments in the city. Incumbent mayor Mayor...

NYC Mission Impossible? PPP That Builds True Affordable Housing. . . In Volume

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Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) have been a darling of neo-conservative 'leave it to the private sector,' thinking. Alas, when it comes to affordable housing in mixed income projects, they've...

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...

Bedtime Stories: Affordable Housing And ‘The Little Engine That Could’

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The beating drums of housing industry lobbyists thunder on incessantly, drumming the industry's idea of good sense into the beleaguered brains of city councils worldwide. One example: it only...

Will Democratic Control of State Government Help New York Renters?

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For many years, Republican majorities in the New York State Legislature have blocked efforts to provide better protections for the state's housing renters, particularly those  suffering from predatory landlord...

Creating A Tax-Foreclosure Free City: Why Bother?

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Most city spending is to the benefit of their citizens. Not surprising, therefore, that cities generally take a dim view of those who do not pay municipal taxes. For...

How Housing Investment By Criminals Can Jack Your Own Home Payments

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North American boom towns are experiencing a new kind of crime wave that is almost completely invisible to the general public and to authorities as well. If you live...

How Québec And British Columbia Became Canada’s Affordable Housing Leaders

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In 1994, the Canadian Federal Government pulled the plug on its social housing programs. Seven years later, the federal government reversed its position and decided to put some funding...

Sell Surplus Land: One Way Small Govt Policies Can Fit Affordable Housing Needs?

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Conservatives in power? Recent history in the Province of Ontario suggests that 'small government' will be the order of the day. Divest, download, promote private initiatives, anything to shrink...

Housing Crisis Solution? Govt Subsidies Do Nothing Except Sooth Politician Slumber

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To elaborate the headline of this post somewhat, the article linked below calls into question virtually the entire foundation of the U.S. government's contributions to municipal affordable housing subsidy...

Adrift & Engineless, AU City Councils Waggle Affordable Housing Rudders

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Many Australian communities still lack serious affordable housing strategies. But even those with the vision and the will to tackle the problem can do little without a healthy shove...

UK Private Landlords De-Sanctified: Eviction Without Cause Will Die

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Part of the enduring myth of neo-conservatism is the idea that private enterprise has been given short shrift, thanks to decades and decades of unfair left-wing vilification. "Give private...

Small May Be Beautiful, But Who Says It Is Affordable?

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Santa Monica City Council is not impressed with one particular class of tiny homes. Where is their sense of light-hearted romance, you might ask? Tiny homes are a charming feast...

Mountain View, CA: Hardship Posting For Teachers Plays ‘Company Town’

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What does the school district of Mountain View in the San Francisco Bay area share with a school district in Kitimat, British Columbia? As far as their most important employees...

With A 2018 Victory Over Health Care, Democrats Eye Lower Rents for 2020

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In late 2016, with the U.S. presidential elections looming, we couldn't fail to notice that the elephant in the room that nobody wanted to talk about was affordable housing....

Indigestion And The ‘Irish Dream’: Not So Different From The One You’ve Swallowed

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How did the 'American Dream' morph away from its beginnings as a celebration of self-actualization and achievement — something captured by the term 'Be Best' (to steal Melania Trump's...

Are Big Landlords Bad For Affordable Renting? Berlin Thinks They Might Be.

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In Germany's largest city, unaffordable rents made an appearance on the international affordable housing stage in 2018, thanks to activists who were arrested for occupying a Berlin building to...

Rehabilitating America’s Public Housing Potential. You Could Be A Nurse!

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Is there a hope for public housing in America? These days, glimmers of light appear on the horizon. In part, they reflect the failure of public/private partnerships — the...

Boston’s Community Preservation Agenda Includes Affordable Housing

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With affordable housing now reaching crisis levels in most North American cities, symbolic housing trust funds with startup but no top up are giving way to housing funds that...

Affordable Housing & The Intersection Of Sweat, Debt, War, Good Will, And Where’s Waldo?

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Set 1: Construction Labour Where's Waldo? He's the guy you can't find in the affordable housing big picture — the one with the hammer in his hand. Set 1 is...

The Affordable Home-Loving Politician’s Easy Oopsy. Where’s Waldo?

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Politics is the art of promising the earth and then delivering a sympathetic next-to-nothing. But only until the next election rolls around. Then it's all back on the table...

Lessons From Homelessness For Affordable Housing

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Like affordable housing, homelessness has received its share of media attention and calls for action. Homelessness has also been the subject of innovative programming and research, which are influencing...

A Day Late And A Dollar Short: Looking The Microsoft Gift Horse In The Mouth

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A recent pledge of $500 million to help build affordable housing in Seattle led to excited buzz about private enterprise stepping up the the plate for affordable housing, when...

City Of Vancouver Successfully Puts Idle Homes To Work

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Getting on for a year ago, we published a story that, among other things, described Vancouver, British Columbia's attempts to penalize absentee homeowners who keep housing empty and off...

Strong Calls For National Affordable Housing Leadership On Both Sides Of The Atlantic

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At last! Solutions to the affordable housing conundrum have coincidentally been offered in both the United States and the United Kingdom that match the scale of this ever-widening crisis. The...

Battling Beyond the Back Yard: Affordable Housing Activism Succeeds Outside The Neighbourhood

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Affordable housing activism has so far been a powerful force influencing the world-wide affordable housing crisis. One of the most surprising (and in some ways dispiriting) exhibitions of successful...

Social Rent: From Socialism To Slapstick . . . And Back Again

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The title of this article pays homage to a much more impressive one which we'll get to in a moment. It's partially entitled " . . from Stalin to...

Dear Santa, Please Bring More Affordable Housing To America

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Riffing off an ever-popular Christmas movie — It Happened on Fifth Avenue — The CEO of a national housing non-profit offers a hopeful message for the holiday season. How do we come...

Austin’s Push Towards Land Trusts: Encouraging Sign Of The Times

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In a reflection of the rapidly worsening national affordable housing crisis, city councils across America are scrambling to put together strategic plans for coping. What follows is an article highlighting...

America’s Leadership In An Affordable Housing War: A Monty Python Dilemma?

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The scale of the affordable housing crisis in many countries is demanding immediate action. This blog has often proposed that it deserves the same kind of 'war' footing that...

Buy A Chunk Of New Zealand Paradise? No Longer, For Most Foreigners

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If you're looking for a piece of New Zealand's incredible scenery to purchase, you don't have to settle for a single house. Why not an entire village? Read more...

New Zealand National Affordable Housing Strategy? Or Bandaids, Blowing In The Wind?

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Any citizen of a modern democracy who has weathered a change in government will be familiar with the sudden evaporation of campaign promises made by the victors. The incoming government...

Irish Non-Profit Tells It Like It Is: Private Enterprise Can Only Do Market Housing

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When it comes to affordable housing, the Irish agency representing non-profits, Ó Cualann Cohousing Alliance, dares to debunk the political thinking that has dominated a number of governments in Europe,...

American Elections: Citizens Speak Directly To Each Other About Affordable Housing

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America's referendum system is by and large as sensible as the United Kingdom's is crazed. (Picture a brief moment in time when an island nation sets sail away from...

New Jersey Aims To Buy Up Foreclosures, Taking Banker Thumbs Off Housing Market Scales

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Even Adam Smith, who proposed the free market theories of supply and demand some two and a half centuries ago, didn't believe the theories worked in situations influenced by...

California Prop. 10 Opponents Suggest Owners Are Landlords. How Come They Ain’t Rich, Then?

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'Real' landlords, own other people's homes and rent them out. Rent controls can be a brake on their profits. No wonder the 'landlord industry' in California is fighting hard...

What Makes A Healthy Community? Art? Affordable Housing? Both? Careful Thought From Durham, NC

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Let's begin in the most intimate and familiar corner of your community: your own home. "In this new era of Artificial Intelligence, modern families will soon realize that a robotic Personal Assistant is...

Ben Carson Goes YIMBY: Leadership At the Top? Or Is It National-Level Followership?

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Ben Carson, America's Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, has endorsed YIMBY, or Yes, In My Backyard. The term YIMBY is derived from NIMBY (Not in My Back Yard) which is...

City Councils as Social Housing Developers: Yesterday’s Socialist Evil, Or Tomorrow’s Hope For Affordable Housing?

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DIY. Do It Yourself! Wise advice to a UK Borough Council that badly needs affordable housing? The London Borough of Hackney not only thinks so, it is taking aggressive...

Cleveland Rediscovers Cartography. Visual Artists To Try For Pictures Worth 1000 Affordable Housing Words.

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For those worried that cartography is missing in action, there is relief in sight. The Cleveland Foundation is setting out to reinvent it. Traditionally, cartographers work with known data and...

India->Trade Unions->Housing Co-ops->Thousands of Affordable Houses. Could It Happen Elsewhere?

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India is the world's second most populous country and it is rapidly developing. Luxury houses are no longer just the palaces of a backward feudal state. Modern sub-developments and...

Toronto Election Promise – 100,000 Affordable Housing Units In 10 Years

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Just hours before the registration deadline, Jennifer Keesmaat entered the race for Mayor of City of Toronto, scheduled for October 22, 2018. One of the reasons for her decision?...

When It Comes to Affordable Housing, Are Progressives Selling Themselves Out?

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Let's Play Occam's Razor! We'll begin by accepting the premise offered at a session of the Netroots Nation Conference that just wrapped up in New Orleans: progressives aren't talking about...

Roots Of A Revolution: How Amazon Is Helping Build A New Socialist Movement

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The almost incomprehensible failure of Amazon to support the attempts of its headquarters city to build affordable housing has been the subject of ongoing posts on this blog. Given the...

When The Housing Revolution Comes To America, Will It Be Armed?

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Revolution could mean 'radical change' or revolution could mean 'revolution' — the overthrowing of government via protests, disregard of conventional law, violence and even warfare. Which framework should we use...

Will There Ever Be A Second Hand Affordable Housing Boom? Charlotte, NC, Hopes So!

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Science grew out of the mists of time: potions and folk remedies to cure illness gradually analyzed and improved over the centuries, obsession from the middle ages and beyond...

Four Kinds Of Affordable Housing That Can Work In A Democracy

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Social housing has been largely abandoned by democracy. Or at least by those democracies that have participated most fervently in the East-West Cold War, where socialism became viewed in...
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