Renting

Issues and events particular to affordable rental housing

Montreal’s “Musical Chair” Rental Homes Tell Homelessness Like It Is

Canada's second largest city, Montréal, has some features rare to the North American continent. Besides its Francophone culture, it is a city dominated by renters. And, truly unique among...

Understanding Racial and Spatial Inequity In The Housing Market

The Urban Institute has just released Who Owns The Twin Cities, which analyzes residential ownership patterns in Minnesota's Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul). These communities have the largest...

Didn’t Want To Be Evicted? (So Many Do.) Why Didn’t You Submit A Form?

  A "shake of the head" series of posts entitled "who dreams up these crazy rules anyway?" The CDC eviction ban (challenged in the courts) will end July 31, and the...

Fulfilling A Promise To The U.K.’s Private Sector Tenants

There's an interesting housing campaign underway in the United Kingdom. A push is on to give tenants in the private rental housing sector more protection. Why is the campaign needed? The...

Can Biden Resurrect the Undead Section 8 Housing Voucher?

On the face of it, President Biden's new plans to help low and no income citizens in America seems reasonable: more Housing Choice (Section 8) housing vouchers. Unfortunately, housing vouchers...

Germany’s Supreme Court Overturns Berlin Rent Cap

There are important ideas that have a wide theoretical application to housing, but practical examples can be few and far between. Any single new step forward may be worthy...

Eviction Bans Help The Whole Community To Control COVID Infection

A Federal Court judge has ruled against landlords who fought an eviction ban in Philadelphia. The landlords maintained that the ban was unconstitutional because it conferred a benefit only...

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...

Making Private Market Housing Sustainable For Tenants With Low Incomes

The Wellesley Institute is a champion for the social determinants of health in Canada. The Institute has focused considerable attention on the link between housing and health. One example...

Signs That COVID Sustains Historic Discrimination

Elijah de la Campa has done some interesting research about rental arrears among small landlords during COVID. He used racial characteristics of neighbourhoods to make comparisons about the extent...

Housing Loss: What Governments Can Do Now & The Challenge They Face In The Future

Give. Keep it simple. Keep it coming. Keep your data. These simple rules, together with explanations, lay out how jurisdictions that wish to provide housing security can help their...

What To Do About Evictions: An American Perspective On A Worldwide Pandemic Problem

In the U.S. during the pandemic, Wake Forest University Law Professor Emily Benfer has become an expert much in demand to help make sense of a tangled thicket of national...

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...

KiwiBuild Didn’t Solve The Housing Crisis. Let’s Hope For More From KiwiRent

New Zealand has taken steps to ease a housing crisis it shares with many nations, all of whom are suffering from the financialization of housing — speculative buying and...

Protecting Tenants From Evictions: A Human Rights Issue

A report has just been issued that calls on the Canadian government to assist tenants who are behind on their rents. A Rights-Based Proposal To Address The Arrears And...

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...

One Step To Open Up More Housing For Homeless Families

Speculation in housing places temptation in the path of investors in England. You have a three bedroom house. You could rent it to a mum with three kids. They...

Electronic Canadian Eviction Adjudication A Sausage Factory For Homelessness

Canadians have a reputation of being bland and cautious, but you can be sure that we look for reasons to counter with smugness. Unfortunately, on the lookout to recast...

Rent Banks: One Solution To Public Housing Circular Firing Squads?

In order to fix a public housing problem, it seems that we need to identify a culprit. Classically, tenants point the finger of blame at management. Management returns the...

Mapping Inequity In The United States

People looking for evidence of racial inequity in the United Sates need look no further than the National Equity Atlas. Data is organized using 31 indicators, of which three...

Affordable For All: The Challenge For New U.S. Housing Secretary

Recently, we posted a storyTry: Biden-Harris: Timely Dawn Of A New Day For Public Housing? Unlikely that assessed the chances that Public Housing would see a revival in America...

U.S. Eviction-Prone Tenants! Know Your Landlords . . . Except, Like, How?

Beginning drivers face restrictions. Beginning landlords, not so much. For a moment, let's briefly honour landlords for their historic role as some of society's first good Samaritans. When fearful citizens...

Be Best: Montréal Goes Toe To Toe With Housing Speculator Bullies

In an era of declining work security (never mind the pandemic!) it's not surprising that those worried about their late life income might consider "mom and pop shop" investment...

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...

Are Your Country’s Rents Ever-Increasing? Berlin Stops That Dead

Free market democracies offer little natural protection to their citizens when it comes to the "inalienable right" of gamblers to speculate for profit in life's essentials, such as food...

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...

Rent Regulation: The Clash Of Housing As Investment vs. Housing As Shelter

Changes to renting regulations are becoming a hot topic in nations where the rental housing is growing scarce. Landlords without curbs on their free market 'right to profit' are...

Tiny Points Of Light Can’t Put Housing Humpty Dumpty Back Together, But…

The much-worshipped self-regultory mechanics of the Law of Supply and Demand are failing to deliver the affordable housing that free market nations need. America announced its determination to pass the...

So You Think It’s Tough To Rent In Your City? What About . . . ?

As cities cores become higher, denser, and more gentrified, the American dream is changing shape. What was once the lure of a single family home on a private lot...

Housing Author Talks Political Anger And ‘Triangle Of Resistance’ To Affordability

The focus of the article linked below is the United Kingdom. But the problems it explores are mirrored in nations experiencing a housing crisis that national and regional governments...

Evidence Public Housing Can Be Done Better, The Next Time Around

This post features a 'good news' public housing story. It comes from Germany. We'll admit it right up front, part of the story is a little stale. It's about...

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...

Hong Kong Style Micro Home Living Already Alive and Well in America

Imagine a railway sleeper car with its upper and lower bunks set up nightly, complete with privacy curtains and a ladder to the top bunk. If you've had 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...

Looking To Rent With Rental CV Handy? No? Everybody Else Has One!

With renting a home becoming the flavour of reality (if not desirability) everywhere, it's tough to stand out when would be renters flock and squawk around scarce opportunities, like...

A View Of Social Housing in Countries Where ‘Social’ Is Not Repugnant

These days, not everyone in the world except Americans (the odd progressive aside), believe that social housing deserves to go belly up in a hand basket, or be otherwise...

Myth-Busting: What Makes You Think Tiny Homes Will Be Affordable?

North America is a land of large housing lots. Not surprising therefore that their potential for doubling density causes affordable housing activists to pump their fists in the air...

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...

America’s Governments: Social Housing Needs You!

American government: point that urgent finger at yourselves. Your citizens need YOU to recreate a public housing program! Articles like the one linked below have been scarce to nonexistent in...

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...

The Ownership Housing Ladder: For Growing Numbers, A Stairway To Nowhere Desirable

Two important factors are gradually swinging the attention of house builders in a number of countries away from the 'National Dream' of home ownership — a mantra that has...

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...

Montreal Students Build DIY Muscle To Create Affordable University Housing

Montreal, Quebec is unusual among Canadian and American cities: it has far more renters than owners. Like many other cities though, the amount of rental housing is not keeping...

Seattle Does The Section 8 Two-Step: A Vastly Improved Housing Voucher Plan

The fundamental nature of the world's most successful homeless-to-housing program is embodied in its name: Housing First. First implies that there is at least a second step. And housing is...

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...

How Canadian Landlords Skate Around Renoviction Laws

There are legal renovictions and illegal renovictions. Many countries allow renovictions — a term that describes landlords throwing out renters in order to renovate rental housing.For more on renovictions,...

Housing Has Always Been A Commodity, So What’s The Big New Deal?

Currently there's a great deal of hand-wringing about the 'commodification' of housing, in particular its link to exploding housing prices and to blossoming housing crises everywhere. Some go so...

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

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

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

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...

Portland Prepares For Care And Breeding Of Affordable Grannie Flats

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), grannie flats, garden suites, call them what you will, can be highly affordable. Better still, in a crowded urban landscape they have a residential footprint...

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

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

The Fuss About ‘Poor Doors’

Okay, we were as aghast as everybody else that 'poor' doors had been installed in a publicly subsidized New York City building so that rich folks didn't need to...

Does The New Normal — Renting — Require A New Affordable Housing Strategy?

National governments on both sides of the Atlantic obsess about the home-ownership dream, even as households are shifting away from home ownership towards renting their housing, permanently. Part of...

California Rent Control: No Panacea For A Housing Crisis But Some Positives

Characteristic of proposed regional rent control laws are fevered arguments from opposite sides of a debate on their value. Activists, apparently with their hearts and minds closer to the...

Ghostbusters: Massachusetts Enumerates Affordable Homes

Plaudits to the Kuehn Charitable Foundation for their efforts in Massachusetts to help develop a statewide user-friendly register for affordable housing. Read more about their initiatives in The Boston Globe:...

Faceless Behind A Mask: A Nation’s Landlords Dodge Responsibility

The Mask? A U.S. legal entity called a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) is becoming a favourite tool of slum landlords. LLC laws prevents the owners from being sued over...

UK Council Housing: Beginning Of The End? Or End Of The Beginning?

The future of council housing in England has changed considerably since 1981, when 32% of all of the country's households lived in it. At that time, the government had provided...

Persistence, Not Perfection, Plucks Homeless From Atlanta Streets

For Atlanta, Georgia's homeless population, persistence has paid off. The city lays no claim to a magic formula for getting people out of the streets and into homes. Other...

Getting More Affordable Bang From Your Rental Security Deposit Buck

If you are a renter, what use are you getting out of your security deposit? None. Your landlord is holding your security deposit as a trust. So, in theory at least, a...

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

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

America, Too, Please Note: London UK Mayor On the Value of Public Housing

The Mayor of London is himself an example of the benefits of public housing, largely abandoned as unworkable in America. He grew up in one, takes pride in the...

Will Award Make UK Social Housing Tenants House Proud?

Some council house tenants in Norwich, UK, recently woke to discover they are living in homes with award-winning style. We're not talking about 'top of this year's public housing,'...

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

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

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

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

Hoping To Find Housing Rental or Purchase Relief In The ‘Hood?’ Think Again

Is that fixer-upper in a depressed city area your only hope for climbing onto the housing ladder? A recent New York Times article explores the stacked deck that faces...

Housing A Bigger Concern In UK Than Brexit: No Priority for Election-Focused Tories

It seems that UK citizens are more worried about the nation's housing crisis than they are about Brexit. Parliament, meanwhile, has moved beyond obsession to a state of flat-out...

Much Ado About Nothing? Nowheresville Tourism Hurting Affordable Housing

Famous city tourism is running amok. Here are a couple of entertaining(?) stories about the plague of tourists overrunning famous places. You might try in the BBC: The Top...

Indigenous Housing Providers: A Source Of Strength For Affordable Housing

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

United Kingdom “BBB” Housing: Boxy But Beautiful, Green But Affordable

A United Kingdom housing project has achieved the unlikely: PassivhausPassivhaus, a tough but voluntary standard for energy efficiency in a building. Read more: What Is A Passive House? standards generally...

A Spotlight On Rental Housing Affordability In Canada

Want to know how renters in Canada are faring? Now you can. A coalition of agencies has teamed up to produce a Rental Housing Index for Canada. The project was...

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

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

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,...

Could Guaranteed Income End Accidental Evictions From Affordable Housing?

My decidedly middle class in-laws recently received a small windfall inheritance. Their action? To splurge on a bucket list trip for Mom, Dad, and two kids to celebrate the...

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

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...

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

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

Planning Ahead For The Great Public Private Partnership Poop-Out

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

Canadian Cities Want More Balanced Federal Affordable Housing Strategy

When Canada's sleeping giant (in this case, its federal government) finally awoke to a variety of housing crises in 2017, it did so with a 10 year, 40 billion...

Born Again Social Housing? Is It Possible? Scotland’s Done It

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,...

Build Build Build: Never Mind The People

Just recently, the Business Roundtable, a group of very large companies called a press conference. The purpose? Why, to say that in addition to being about shareholder profits, business...

Minnesota Faces The Fly In The Affordable Mobile Home Ointment

Perhaps one day we'll overhear disparaging remarks such as "Oh, he's just Land Trust Trash (maybe even 'Commie Land Trust Trash)" Why? Well, land trusts are a lot like trailer...

Co-living: What Is It? Who Does It? Why Bother?

What is it? Co-living, in its broadest sense, means living with others. Since society has several traditions that involve co-living, not the least of which is the family, its currently...

Rental Housing Pressures Increase in American Cities. Which Can Cope Best?

These days, two pressures steer home seekers towards the apartment rental market. Plan 'A' may be to own a home, but temporary or permanent lack of a mortgage down payment...

Housing For Young Aussies: Buy A Home? Bad Choice. Rent? Worse.

Without a parents' basement to inhabit while saving for a house down-payment, millennial Aussies entering the housing market are facing a bleak future. Rising rents are taking such a...

Why Canada’s Rental Housing Market Should Be An Issue In The Federal Election

The CBC recently reported that the high cost of living will be biggest issue for Canadians leading up to the federal election which is scheduled for later this year....

A Growing Price To Pay for Trendy, Quirky Waterborne Housing

A short time ago we explored with tongue in cheek a phenomena that supposedly originated in Thailand called 'seasteading'. It's hard to tell whether 'seasteading' — the idea of...

Protecting Vancouver’s Affordable Renting: Some Alternatives

Two important factors are influencing rental housing in cities across North America. The 'millennial' age group is now facing the lifetime challenge of finding employment and shelter. The average millennial...

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

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...

Non-Market Permanent Affordable Housing: Practical Solution Or Pipe Dream?

People with very low incomes face big hurdles when it comes to affording housing. With minimal resources, they have limited housing options and little control over their housing in...

Can Unsubsidized Apartment Construction Rescue Struggling Middle Class Buyers?

For the past few years, the American housing industry has been open and unapologetic about the focus of its members, both corporations and individuals. The industry prefers to profit...

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

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

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...

UK View: Unreasonable Rent? That’s Private Taxation!

In feudal times, land lords laid down the law of the land, or at least the law pertaining to their patch of the land. If they decreed their tenants...

Affordable Housing Massaged By Technology: Benefits? Or Techno-nerd Hype?

Can government or charitable grants and subsidies fuel a housing revolution and overcome today's affordability crisis? If so, it's sure not happening yet, if ever. Alternatives? Turns out they're popping...

Institutionalizing Homelessness: Bangor, Maine, Hands Out Tents

On one hand "Make India Great" is coming close to providing true housing for an entire population of one and a third billion over a span of 7 years.Try:...

Montreal’s July 1st Musical Housing Chairs Sounds A Mournful Note

An unusual phenomenon takes place every July 1 in Canada's second largest city, Montréal. It is a city where renters are in the majority (493,000 or 63% of all...

Shelter For All: Most Governments Cower. India Tackles It Head On

Following the landslide re-election for India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, how is his hugely ambitious 'Housing For All By 2022' plan coming along? Not a slam dunk yet, but it...
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