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.

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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:...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Social Housing: What’s Happening in A Brave New USA of Truly Affordable Housing?

Social Housing, newly minted for America! What is it? How does it offer to mitigate and, hopefully one day, end a current national housing crisis? This post introduces an...

California Rich & Poor: If We All Live In A Yellow Submarine, Will We Despise Each Other Less?

Affordablehousingaction.org has been following one of the few currently active 'social housing' projects in the USA. With a touch of good old American self-interest, activists have decided that a...

Spain Tackles Affordable Housing Crisis With 50,000 Foreclosed Homes And Properties

The average age of young people leaving home in Spain? Nearing 30. Many, if not most, simply cannot afford to leave home, given the impossibly high cost of both...

Eviction And The Rights Of Renters In The United States

Homelessness happens for a number of reasons. Eviction is one. This post is about three different ways that people in the United States have been working to help people...

Funding Houses For All Homeless. An Enormous Expense Or An Amazing Money-Maker?

Spend money to end homelessness? Doing so will actually make more money than is spent. Isn't that the kind of fever-dream that propels gambling addicts until they become bankrupt? Nevertheless,...

A Self-Funding Form of Truly Affordable Housing? Seattle Says Yes Please

With its eye firmly fixed outside of America, Seattle, Washington has recently voted to explore a new form of government-supported housing. The models for Seattle's newly initiated government supported...

Wealthy Incomers: Economy Boosters? Or Trojan Horses Bent On Plunder?

Countries, states, and cities, be careful what you wish for! Wealthy foreigners may boost your economy by dropping a trail of cash across companies linked to tourism. Ask Portugal,...

1 Magic Bullet To Create Affordable Housing? Amsterdam Looks To Many

Like so many cities around the world, Amsterdam has been gambling on shelter as a means to generating wealth for all. And like many other communities, it is discovering...

Social Housing Naming And Shaming: UK Government Snarls, But Doesn’t Bite

Imagine, say, a dozen policemen hiding behind a bus shelter, just beyond a stop-signed intersection. A car drifts through without stopping. A single policeman, hand held imperiously up in...

Can L.A. Mayor Karen Bass Pull The Plug On Homelessness, Drain The Wound?

Karen Bass is the new mayor of Los Angeles, California. She is putting her career on the line by committing to tackle effectively that city's mega-homelessness problem. Already she's winning...

Canadian Bank Speaks Up In Favour Of Social Housing

Canada has five big private banks. Each one is enormously profitable. Part of that profit comes from lending money to people to buy homes. When one of the big...

Come From Away? Don’t Cut No Ice With Us. Not Your Home, So Begone, Homeless

"Papers, please!" Wouldn't it be great if a community could gold-braid and tin hat a cadre of officious, hopefully armed, bureaucrats. They would challenge those hoards of suspicious undesirables that...

Coming To Grips With The Financialization Of Housing

Since the 2008 mortgage crisis, more people have become aware of the financialization of housing. Housing has shifted from being a place where you live to become partially or...

Getting Good Data About Housing And The People Who Need It

Everyone is mad keen about data these days. Getting into the data business has told us important stuff already. There's a lot more to learn. The expression "there are lies, damn...

California: Exploring The Human Reality of Adequate Housing For All

The human right to adequate housing is a noble aspiration. And if communism and socialism have contributed nothing else to humanity, they have at least proven that determined governments...

How Changing Public Decision Making Might Lead To Better Housing

In a democracy, elected representatives are supposed to reflect the interests of their constituents. That mission doesn't always match up with reality, partly because voters don't all hold the...

“Housing First:” Hitting a Homeless Home Run With The Right Swing

Finland developed the Housing First model for "curing" homelessness. It recognizes chronic homeless as a disease closely linked to a lack of permanent personal shelter. The model proposes that...

A Kingdom For The Broken Housing Promises That India Must . . . Suffer???

In June of 2018, Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi announced an extravagantly ambitious national housing scheme  — a home for every Indian by 2022. India is a populous country....

Waiting Lists And Adequate Housing

The post 5 Youth In Danger of Homelessness? Ireland To Make It 5 Times Easier To Avoid discusses a plan by the Irish government to make some of the...

Ending Homelessness In Los Angeles – An Assessment Of Local Leadership In Action

Los Angeles has a large and growing number of people experiencing homelessness. To its credit, the city took steps in 2016 to increase the supply of housing that would...

Pardons Begin To Open Doors To Public Housing In The U.S.

A small, but significant piece of good news from the United States: a crack has opened in the zero-tolerance wall that continues to seal off public housing from those...

At The Border Of ‘Too Expensive,’ An Entire Country Chokes On Housing Costs

Can you imagine housing costs so high (purchase or rental) that even with a job it is necessary to live, not just in a distant dormitory town, but in...

As The World Reconsiders Social Housing Need, Faint USA Cries of ‘Us, Too!’

Let's hear it for the activists calling for a brave new world of American social housing. A special election will be held in Seattle, to consider a proposal to hire...

This Is Historic Wales. Does Just Anybody Have A Right To Live Here?

Wales, which is part of the United Kingdom, is currently experiencing a 'right to adequate housing' crisis — one that is frequently ignored by countries that have signed the...

Solving Homelessness With Coordinated Action. Can It Happen?

American President George H.W. Bush's evocative description of charity — a thousand tiny points of light — has a problem. The lights wink on and off at different times....

Commercial Buildings Reborn As Affordable Homes?: Türkiye’s New Challenge

An article linked below offers a number of insights, large and small, about the global nature of 'financialized' housing. One immediate small insight: a preferred spelling — Türkiye —...

The Housing Crisis: What Is It? What Might Fix It?

The Housing Crisis? What is it? These days pretty much every nation has one. Every region, city, town, village has one, too. Even still-communist countries such as China have one,...

Canada Needs 2 Million Deeply Affordable Homes

Can Canada create 2 million homes that are affordable for the people in greatest need? Carolyn Whitzman says, "sure!" Whitzman is an Expert Advisor to the Housing Assessment Resource Tools...

Defining A ‘Housing Emergency’: Should Governments Wield The Power?

Not every post affordablehousingaction.org publishes, but surely every second post, reflects a concern about 'a' or 'the' housing crisis. For any media publication, as well as every concerned city...

Housing Affordability Crisis: What Does Real Change Look Like?

'Mixed' income housing projects are currently a popular home-building fad(?) that appears to feature governments at all levels getting truly 'stuck in' to solving growing affordability problems in many...

Cincinnati Bites A Non-Profit Bullet To Create Stable Affordable Housing

There are many ways that land and/or buildings can fall into a government's hands. Bequests and tax delinquency are two examples. These windfalls ideally swell a portfolio of wealth...

Lots Of Work For Canada’s First Housing Advocate

Canada's first Federal Housing Advocate began accepting claims about the right to adequate housing on June 1, 2022. The Advocate’s office confirmed to us that they received nearly 200...

And Now For Something Completely Different: Affordability Via Free Land

Here's an idea sprung from the cramped (relatively) European countryside that might perfectly suit the wide-open spaces in countries such as the USA, Argentina, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Why...

China Walks The Walk When It Comes To Curbing Housing Financialization

With inflation soaring in many countries, looming bank rate increases are threatening to leave mortgage holders under water. Meanwhile, investors are gobbling up suitable properties to buy and then...

Countering Discrimination In The Property Tax System

If you’ve ever wondered how systems and structures contribute to discrimination, this is a great story to read. It’s about a property tax auction in Baltimore. The City holds...

Vision and Evidence — An Important Pairing In A Campaign For Social Housing

Renters Rising and the Center For Popular Democracy have published a vision document for social housing advocates in the United States: Social Housing For All. The document sets the stage...

Optical Delusion: Solving Homelessness In Texas

Nearly a year ago now, the Texas legislature with the stroke of a pen turned the homeless into criminals. Of course, the law didn't quite say that. Instead, it...

Developer Wet Dream: Housing That Fails The Test Of Time

New York City is blessed with an enormous amount of public housing that has so far withstood the test of time. Yes, it needs 40+ billion dollars for repairs....

To Stop Housing, Mass Transit, Green Energy? Just Yell

Who knew that democracy could be so easily subverted by a few angry, determined voices? A recent article in The Atlantic explores in depth how America's democratic system can...

Social Housing Development – Thorough Research Pays Off

Affordablehousingaction.org frequently trots out Singapore and Vienna as examples of 'how social housing could be done better.' Nor is this some unique trend. Governments support fact finding missions. As...

Feeling Pissed About We The Police? Have A House On Us.

In North America, we're accustomed to Police Associations as reactive. Defending this officer or that from allegations of this or that. Lobbying this jurisdiction or that to prevent reduction...

Sacramento, CA Fights For A Legal Right To Housing For The Homeless

Over the last year, California's state capitol, Sacramento has been working hard to balance a responsibility to find or create shelter for the city's homeless. It has been a...

West Coast U.S. Activists Struggle To Reinvent A Housing Wheel

We think re-inventing this particular housing wheel is a very positive thing. The activists themselves are understandably wary of admitting their ambitions for very good reasons, because it will...

‘Vote Housing:’ Motherhood With Neither Meaning Nor Method?

In modern democracy, to what degree can activism from the "bottom" result in meaningful change at the "top"? Here's a Canadian question, with an American analysis — the same...

North America Fair Housing Redress Is A Worldwide Guide

The histories of many North American cities are marred by institutional acts of unfairness and cruelty towards a catalog of colors, races and religions. In this current world of war...

Victoria, AU Sinks $800m Social Housing Hook Into Developers

The Australian State of Victoria appears to be bucking international trends by not only announcing a massive social housing (rent geared to income) build, but actually taking the necessary...

Housing For All: The Death Of Democracy In Victoria, Australia?

The State of Victoria in Australia has come up with an astonishing plan to actually fight homelessness with housing. It intends to do so by rapidly building some 10,000...

Caution For Cities Paddling Beyond Their Depth In The Social Housing Pool

Halifax, Nova Scotia's largest city, has been exploring for some time how to counter unpalatable social housing decisions made by the provinceIn this post, "social" housing refers to non-market...

Are You Part Of A Huddled Mass Yearning to Be Free? Then Vote!

"Free" enterprise must be something of a bewilderment for those in search of western "freedom." There would seem to be millions of people in this category, directly linking, without...

A Fix For Illegal Housing? Wanted: Politicians Who Lead

The City of New York recently declared an emergency following Hurricane Ida, which flooded homes and apartment buildings in low lying areas. Eleven of the 13 people who died...

Affordable Housing Squeaky Wheels: Safety & Results in Numbers?

How many public housing tenants does it take to screw in a lightbulb? In the wrong light, this question might be viewed as a joke. To make it more serious,...

Landlords Beware! Berlin’s Revenge Of The Renters Gets Green Light

The unremitting bumpiness of a worldwide affordable housing crisis hit a smooth patch momentarily with referendum news from Berlin that puts corporate landlords on notice that real change might...

Ideas To Make Canada’s Housing Market More Affordable For People With Very Low Incomes

A year in to the COVID-19 emergency, the Maytree FoundationHere's how Maytree describes itself: "Maytree is committed to advancing systemic solutions to poverty and strengthening civic communities. We believe...

Ending Homelessness Two (Or More) Ways: Canucks Vote Now

As Canada sails into a snap election, a move approved only by a quarter of the populationRead at CTV News: Just 26 per cent of Canadians support a federal...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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

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

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...

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

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.

A slightly more fast and loose post, ranting completely understated

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

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

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?

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’

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

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

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...
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