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Affordable Renting

Those most in need of affordable housing seldom have the credit rating or capital to buy, so affordable renting has been the overwhelming source of affordable housing. That is changing as the definition of ‘affordable’ changes

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

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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 . . . ?

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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

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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

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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...

Developer Wit Dream: Save The Planet By Killing Zoning. Good Joke!

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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

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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...

Affordable Housing Insanity: In Jersey City, You Can Be Too Poor To Be Poor

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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!

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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...

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

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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...

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...

Montreal Students Build DIY Muscle To Create Affordable University Housing

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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

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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...

Portland Prepares For Care And Breeding Of Affordable Grannie Flats

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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

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"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."

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

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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...

Ghostbusters: Massachusetts Enumerates Affordable Homes

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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:...

Persistence, Not Perfection, Plucks Homeless From Atlanta Streets

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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

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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...

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

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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...

Indigenous Housing Providers: A Source Of Strength For Affordable Housing

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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

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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

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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?

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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,...

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...

Planning Ahead For The Great Public Private Partnership Poop-Out

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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

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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

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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,...

Minnesota Faces The Fly In The Affordable Mobile Home Ointment

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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...

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

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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.

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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

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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....

Protecting Vancouver’s Affordable Renting: Some Alternatives

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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

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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...

Can Unsubsidized Apartment Construction Rescue Struggling Middle Class Buyers?

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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...

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...

Institutionalizing Homelessness: Bangor, Maine, Hands Out Tents

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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

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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...

Housing Co-Operatives: What Are They And What Are They Good For?

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What Are Housing Co-operatives? When you start to look into housing co-operatives, you might be struck more by their diversity than what they share. Their contribution to a country's housing...

Australian Journalism Inspires A Rumination About Rooming Houses

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Traditional boarding (or rooming) houses are NOAH, and they suffer for it. They cannot be barred by NIMBY activists, because they are already IN the neighbourhood. Yet they offer affordable housing in an era of affordable housing crisis. And though rooming houses invariably add to neighbourhood density, they do so in a relatively nonintrusive way, unlike a high-rise sun-blocking apartment tower.

What is NOAH? Does NOAH count? Minneapolis Thinks So.

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NOAH stands for Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing. Not naturally occurring like crabgrass, springing into existence year after year, no matter how you try to stop it, but Naturally occurring in another sense: nobody planned for NOAH to be there, be habitable, and be affordable. But there it is, hallelujah!

Revisiting The City Of Boulder’s Co-op Housing Ordinance

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Two years ago, after a two year process, the City of Boulder approved by a vote of 7-2 an ordinance to allow housing co-operatives as dwelling units. Opponents felt...

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...

Affordable Grannie Flats Are ‘In.’ Flop Houses? In Minnesota, Not so Much… Yet.

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Simple solutions have a way of finding themselves. Some reports suggest that at ground zero of the affordable housing crisis — the state of California — grand schemes for generating...

Scams Can Make Swiss Cheese Out Of Affordable Rent Protections

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The affordable housing crisis is creating a new class of perpetual middle-income home ownership hopefuls. They'd love to own a home, but year after year, the possibility of doing...

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...

Can You Get There From Here? Plugging Low Income Americans Into Affordable Housing

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An individual or an agency interposes itself between you and your objective and offers to help. Sure, you can hope for convenience, but hardly ever a cost saving. Help when...

U.S. Prez Hopeful Touts Rental Assistance. Seismic Shift In American Dreaming?

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It's election promise season in America. (With U.S. political campaigning practically all year, every year, when is it not these days?) Leading up to the 2016 U.S. elections, there were...

Housing Just Gets More Expensive For Low Income Renters

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Apartment List, a private sector web-based rental housing listing service in the United States, has just released its report tracking trends in income and housing costs from 2008 to...

How Denver Downtown Gentrification Freezes Out Essential Workers

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"Hospital treatment bookings wait for no person," I reasoned before beginning cancer radiation therapy in downtown Toronto. I planned to travel to my appointments by subway (No sane person...

When The Rubber Hits The Road: Seniors Eye Affordable Housing That Isn’t

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Today, we're serving up a still warm-brace of stories that expose the rape of a word that threatens senior citizens world-wide. That word is 'affordable.' The deliberate and callous...

Detroit Flaunts Luxury Affordable Housing For The Homeless

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A series of unfortunate events has turned into a blessing for a number of people who are homeless in Detroit. Fire devastated an elderly Detroit apartment building many years ago....

Cornwall Self-Hugs Itself Towards Affordable Housing Success

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It's official! (Well, somebody's version of official anyway.) Cornwall does it better. Delivering affordable housing, that is. Based on its affordable housing completions — never mind the type of...

5 California Ideas For Housing The Homeless

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A California 'homelessness housing' design competition has announced winners from some 53 developers who entered a Los Angeles County innovation challenge. The winners are expected to use their prizes, which...

Legal Rooming Houses: Part Of The Affordable Housing Puzzle In Toronto

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The plucky Scarborough Community Legal Clinic is back in the news, reminding Torontonians about people living in rental housing that is illegal in most residential districts in the city:...

Will You Live Long Enough To Find Rural Affordable Housing In The UK? Quite Probably Not.

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Most people live in urban, rather than rural, areas in all developed countries. Not surprising, therefore, that an affordable housing crisis is seen as an urban problem, not a...

Affordable Housing Details You Might Not Have Considered: Parents With Basements

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Affordable housing is not just a collection of construction material and land costs. It's a purse that must stretch to cover a rental or purchase . . . after...

Affordable Housing: Can It Be Lean And Mean And Also Green?

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Exclusive neighbourhoods of single family dwellings are facing an uncertain future as the pressure of an affordable housing crisis bears down upon protective zoning. For more on this try: Minneapolis...

Homelessness: Most of What You Believe About It Is Quite Probably Wrong

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There are not that many homeless people, but those few are persistent in putting themselves in our faces, sleeping in our city doorways, panhandling on our streets. Wrong. Young people...

What Detroit Needs: Temporary Low Income Workers To Occupy Temporary LIHTC Housing

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Temporary low income workers? Too bad for Detroit that the world doesn't work that way. Because temporary low income workers would perfectly suit America's Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Low Income...

Return Of The Living Dead? Faint Footfalls Of Yesterday’s Affordable Housing Grow Louder In The Gloom.

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Mark Zandi, Chief Economist at Moody's Analytics, stirs a fat chicken into the red-hot American housing pot, with an analysis of factors that are threatening housing in America, particularly...

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...

Social Rent: What Is It? How Does It Help Us Understand Affordable Housing?

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We are in an era of proliferating definitions for affordable housing. They have multiplied to the point of utter confusion, not only for those who discuss and attempt to...

Delayed Home Ownership Ambitions Pressure The American Home Rental Market

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Apartment List is an American private company that specializes in apartment rentals. Because of its size, it's in a position to gather broad statistics concerning rental accommodations in the...

Naturally-Occurring Affordable Housing: What Is It? How Can It Be Preserved?

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Take yourself back twenty or thirty years (or less, if strictly necessary due to age considerations) and reading apartment-for-rent ads in the newspaper (remember them?) for say, '2 bdrm...

Los Angeles Leans On Trustworthy Non-Profits To House The Homeless

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So why would a landlord ever want to rent a market rate apartment to a homeless person? It's exactly what you thought. They don't. Small and large studies in America show...

PPP Can’t. The Government Won’t. Can Non-Profits Fix The US Affordable Housing Crisis?

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Public private partnerships (PPP) for developing and managing affordable housing have demonstrated a powerful allegiance to profit before public good in several western countries. Indeed, everywhere you look these...

In Canada, Renters Aren’t Just Nobodies. As If Anybody Who is Anybody Really Cares.

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In Canada it seems, anybody who is anybody owns a home. The country has one of the highest rates of home ownership in the world. By contrast, renters are either:...

Toronto’s Affordability Strategy? Goose The Middle Class Onto The Housing Ladder. Warehouse The Poor.

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Criticism of a new Toronto plan to deal with homelessness shines light upon some of the rhetoric that clouds the meaning of 'affordability'. Toronto's recent civic election rang loud with...

Jupiter, Forida Experiences Affordable Housing Cheats The Good Old American Way

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Public/Private partnerships are 'Fake News' bringing hope to the solution of national affordable crises in many countries. What's fake about it? The final delivery, it seems, never quite matches...

Toronto’s Devastating Statistical Fairness Of An Empty Lottery

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How can a government, a province or state, a municipality, discharge its responsibilities to its citizens and be perfectly fair? By lottery. Everyone who enters has the same chance as...

The ‘Working Poor’ Who Can’t Afford Housing? Folks You Wouldn’t Expect

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A Trulia Research Special Report recently updated an earlier exploration of professions which were struggling with affordable housing issues. For many it's a difficult choice: either impoverished by housing and living...

Vancouver Finally Uncorks A Major City Bottleneck. Thousands Of Truly Affordable Homes Will Flow.

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Vancouver, Canada is a city of world class unaffordable housing. And yet it possesses some $10 billion dollars in real estate holdings which include social housing. Most big cities own...

Milwaukee’s ‘Worm Ouroboros’ (That’s The Snake Eating its Tail): The Affordable Housing Study That Ends Where it Began.

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Low incomes are the greatest barrier to affordable housing. This is the position of affordable housing reports from time to time. On this occasion we've felt compelled to comment. The...

Town Bonus: A College Economy -> Town Burden: Less Affordable Housing

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For many towns blessed with a college or university, there is a certain pride in hosting an institution of higher learning. Far more important for the health of the...

The Affordable Housing High Jump Dilemma: Lower the Bar, or Raise the Ground?

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Hand-wringing about the rising cost of affordable housing is by far the most common way of identifying 'the target' of the affordable housing crisis. But housing is almost always paid...

‘Stay Put’ And Other Useful Options For Affordable Housing Stressed Seniors

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"We've been empty nesters for years. We don't need this much space. Let's cash in, downsize and rent." It's common enough and perfectly sensible discussion for retired seniors on...

Rethinking City Universities: Resource Mining In A Hostile Wilderness?

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Downtown universities may pay lip service to student accommodation. They may even provide housing to new students making the transition from home and high school to a new kind...

Hats Off To An Affordable Housing Builder Who Can’t Solve The Affordable Housing Crisis

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We'll leave our hat on first, an unusual act of mourning for the wreck of the USS Public Housing, driven quite deliberately onto the rocks. Conceived and capitalized as...

Milwaukee Opinion: Alternative To Voucher Subsidies

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In a market economy where wages are not rising, housing is cursed to wear two masks — comedy and tragedy. The comedy mask is not so much the face of...

Sydney, Australia, Wants Affordable Housing Cake While Eating It

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In an era when a global housing crisis demands leadership from national government, it seems reasonable to expect that local government would be one hundred and ten percent onside,...

Aussies Target All Income Levels In Build-to-Rent Project Planted On A Land Trust

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Tax credit and subsidized affordable housing projects need not be be solely based upon an ownership model. However, it seems that many developers would much prefer to avoid build-to-rent...

Billie Vaughn Breaks Down Barriers to American Affordable Housing

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In every field of human endeavour, there are strong people with the courage and perseverance to overcome difficulties and achieve success. There are far fewer with the courage, compassion...

“. . . . just build more housing.”

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The headline is a conservative reaction to the annual publication of American housing affordability statistics by the National Low Income Housing Coalition. Nothing wrong with the headline from a progressive...

Wuh-up Dawg? Are You a Cool Cat? Intergenerational Homeshare: Dawgs & Cats Living Together

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At a recent national mayor's conference in Boston, that city shared some of its current experiments in the creation of more affordable housing. Read more in The Bay State...

Non-Marriage Of Convenience: Affordable Housing For A Redefined Family

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Partnership and family have long been a first stepping stone into adulthood, whether a formal or informal union, plus or minus children. But a conventional 'Rush to Marriage' today no...

When The Affordable Housing Tipping Point is Reached, What Next? Does the City Die?

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Apologies for yet another California story. But since the state is ground zero for both affordable Housing and for homelessness, things may well happen here before anywhere else. On to...

‘Naturally-Occurring’ No-Subsidy Affordable Housing. Too Bad It’s Dying!

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In North America, it's a natural pastime to kick around trailer parks. Now playing on Netflix: 'Trailer Park Boys' — a festival of bumbling, lamebrain mishap-prone wanna-be criminals milking...

Fake News Visits Workforce Housing Affordability, Kansas City Style

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Propaganda skills that were born and died with Nazi Germany are being been reborn in contemporary America. The term 'fake news' is attached to an endless, bewildering, contradictory parade...

Brandon, Manitoba Affordable Housing: Goldilocks And The Three Bylaws

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The housing in the first bylaw was too large. The housing in the second bylaw was too small. But the housing in the third bylaw was just right. Goldilocks...

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...

Private Developers Can’t Fix Affordable Housing Crisis: Tofino Mayor

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Tofino, British Columbia, on Vancouver Island's Pacific coast caters to a heady mix of surf bums, whale watchers, beachcombers, salmon fishermen and wealthy second home owners. Private housing developers...

Back To The Future: An airbnb Solution to the Housing Affordability Crisis?

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Rent-a-bed housing! It's here! Check out airbnb listings worldwide. Book a bunk-bed in a dormitory and save. Best of all, stop thinking like a tourist. What if you want a long...

NYC Comptroller’s Analysis Puts a Dollar Figure On Airbnb Damage To Affordability

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SRT (Short Term Rental) advocates — particularly renters themselves — are quick to dismiss suggestions that Airbnb and other SRT agencies have an impact on a community's long term...

How Adjusting HUD’s New Raise-The-Rent Proposal For The Very Poorest Could Work

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In America, public housing history helps to bridge the gap between 'don't be cruel to the very poorest' (accompanied by conservative eye rolling) and 'help the poor lift themselves...

Affordable Housing: Human Right? Human Desire? Or Somewhere In Between, Lost In translation?

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Not long ago, there was a growing crisis of housing affordability. To pay more than 30% of your salary for rent was to expose you and your family to...

Short Term Rentals Bite Affordable Housing. Or Perhaps They Don’t.

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Same day in the news, two views from two countries: Anne-of Green-Gables-Land takes on the Big Easy. The economies of both Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, and New Orleans, Louisiana get...

Manufactured Homes: Affordable Housing? Or A Dodge To Avoid New Construction?

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Mobile home parks, a.k.a trailer parks, a.k.a manufactured home parks: call them what you will, over time they've attracted a reputation based on their failings, while their successes have...

A Tip From The Beach For Employers Needing Workers: Build Up!

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Affordable housing for seasonal workers is often scarce in resort towns. Its not uncommon for unscrupulous landlords to charge extortionate prices while cramming migrant workers and students into the...

Master Leasing Seeks To Provide Social Housing Affordability At Market Rate Returns for Landlords

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The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce in North Carolina is not impressed with the lengthy time it takes to deliver a mere trickle of affordable housing for purchase. And...
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