Resilience

Stories connecting affordable housing with resilience, that ability to bounce back following a crisis.

Housing Opportunities In The Midst Of Extreme Poverty In Texas

Brownsville, Texas borders on Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico. It sits in the delta of the Rio Grande River. It is low and flat, floods regularly and "gets...

Could Affordable Housing Support Help Poor, Inspire Church Growth?

The Church of England's R number is too low. That suggests its long term survival is in question. Could a social program, such as providing housing for the poor,...

A Garden That Grew Out Of The Tragedy Of The Grenfell Tower Fire

As the public inquiry about the Grenfell Tower fire grinds onFor example, read this account in The Guardian: ‘A merry-go-round of buck-passing’: inside the four-year Grenfell inquiry , it...

O Canada! The True North Weak And Diseased . . .

The headline above is a line from Canada's national anthem, unfortunately adjusted to circumstances. The impetus for such an outrageous(?) modification comes from a book review in nature. The review...

Energy Retrofits In Older Homes: A Case Study

Climate change is a compelling argument for doing things differently. In northern climates at least, our homes contribute significantly to greenhouse gas emissions and rising global temperatures. Researchers have...

National Crime Problems? Find Scapegoats. . . Or Up Social Spending?

When it comes to finding scapegoats for rising crime, America is hardly alone in demonizing the poor and vulnerable. Still, it's success over decades in pointing the finger towards...

Building An Alternative Future For Women With Low Income

The Resilient Cities Network assists cities that are looking for assurances that they will continue to prosper in the future. The Network's assessment tools requires cities to evaluate shocks...

Libraries Are Going To Seed In A Good Way

Some libraries in the United States are adding a new lending feature: seeds. Bridget Shirvell, writing in Civil Eats, shares stories from public libraries in Mystic Connecticut, from Oakland...

Better Stories About American Public Housing? Yes, Please!

Best public stories about Cabrini-Green? Of course there can't be any, can there? That grotesque citadel of crime, depravity and lost souls — a Chicago public housing complex better...

United Kingdom Energy Security Strategy – What’s Missing?

To mark Earth Day this year, the National Housing Federation (NHF) summarized developments in energy saving activities among social housing providers. We've chosen to pair the first subject covered: "Electric...

Bristol UK Social Housing Bootstraps Wind Power

The world is scheduling the abandonment of gas and petroleum power. So bring on electricity! That demand is being energized by activists and, increasingly, by government. And when governments...

Dealing With The Opposite Of Homelessness: Dementia Lockup

In North America, when someone is diagnosed with dementia, people often think in terms of care facilities with locked doors. In the Netherlands, it's another story. Some of the elderly...

Tackling Winter Food Insecurity With Low Tech ‘Green’ Innovation

Social housing landlords are often well-placed to help stretch the food budget of their tenants by providing/allowing space for tenants to 'grow their own.' Tips abound for community gardens...

Government Planned Youth Starvation: Pardon Our Rant

Government-Planned Starvation of youth? Well, not technically, but let's detour on the subject via an oldster . . . me. Really, it's three months since my last small Canada Pension...

Black ‘Holocaust’? Community Heart? NPH Museum Covers Both

This post celebrates the advent of the U.S. National Public Housing Museum (NPHM). Physically, it is still a bright and glossy figment of the imagination. A visit to the...

Toronto Area: Local Studies Support Calls For Housing Rights

As we are learning in Canada, adopting the Human Right to Adequate Housing marked an ending and a beginning. It's an ending because after decades of work, Canada's government...

Boondocking Lifestylers, Meet The Boondocking Homeless

Boondocking? What is it? Who does it? What has it got to do with homelessness? Some might argue that boondocking is homelessness, or at the very least, rootlessness. In America,...

After Suitable Caution, We’re Pumping Our Fists For Norwegian Heat Pumps

Are there reasons to be cheerful about heat pumps? That's the story from Norway. Being apartment renters all, the staff of affordablehousingaction.org's own cheeriness about heat pumps is entirely...

Love Singapore Housing But Can’t Get There From Here. . . Or Maybe We Can

Much of the world is mightily taken with Singapore's victory in creating a workable social housing scheme with home ownership as its objective. It has been so fulfilling that...

What’s It Like To Provide Homelessness Services? Ask Front Line Workers

Who are the frontline workers in the COVID emergency? Hospital workers? Yes. Paramedics? Sure. The staff who work at emergency shelters and drop-in centres? Really? We know it is difficult...

Can We Find The Spirit To Create Post-Pandemic Veterans Housing?

Post-world war II, there was an explosion of home building. The destruction of war necessitated the replacement of destroyed housing in countries that were active theatres of hostilities. The...

Public Housing Heroes From New Orleans

While there are a lot of stories about public housing in New York City and Chicago, those from the US south are much less common. This one comes from...

Post-Grenfell Fire Research – Effects Spread Throughout The Country

London's Grenfell Tower fire in 2017 was a tragedy not only for the residents, but also for a much larger portion of the population. An ongoing inquiry after the...

Financial Strain For U.S. Seniors Who Rent, As Well As A Possible Fix

Bailey Hu reports that older households in the US have experienced rising financial stress between October 2020 and September 2021. Being behind on housing payments is one way the...

Renewing The Call For Universal Basic Income

There is a longstanding international interest in Universal Basic Income which can be traced back as far as the year 1516Try: Universal Basic Income Part 1: Applying A Justice...

Gardens And Grocery Stores: Tickets To Better Health

When schools closed at the start of COVID, community organizations jumped in to make sure that students in Baltimore's Cherry Hill neighbourhood had food to eat. One of the...

Community Cooperation Builds A New Rwanda

Rwanda has a dark period in its history, when the Tutsi minority population was targetted and killed and large numbers. Is it possible for such a rift to be...

US Public Housing Renaissance: Not All The News About RAD Is Bad

The Ventura County Housing Authority in California is starting to redevelop its oldest public housing site, with support made available through the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program. Amid a slew...

Putting Deeply Affordable Housing On The UK Agenda

Michael Gove is The United Kingdom's Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. This is a new role for Mr. Gove as well as for the UK...

Thinking Small And Useful: Helping Senior Homeowners Sit Tight

Recently, we published a post that featured an idea worthy of attention founded on a somewhat histrionic presumption that American democracy is in danger of going belly upTry: Mandatory...

Strategies That Erode Housing Security: Part I – Social Mix

Martine August teaches in the School of Planning at the University of Waterloo. Some of her early research drew attention to the redevelopment of public housing projects and how...

Teens Hanging Out: Does This have ANYTHING To Do With A Housing Crisis?

At Affordablehousingaction.org, we are often given to pauses and head scratching about stories we'd like to present, often because we're uncertain as to whether they really have anything to...

Mandatory Volunteerism To Save Democracy: Goofy? Or Food For Thought

One of America's two predominant political parties has recently been cherishing the big government activism that carried President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal from the depression era 1930's into...

Working For “The Man” Can Be A Heavy Burden, Unless “The Man” Is You

For those of us who are on the lower end of the income scale, it's critical that we extract the best value for the money we spend. This principle...

Updated – Signs That COVID Sustains Historic Discrimination

Elijah de la Campa, a senior research associate in Economics and Urban Analytics at the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, has teamed up with others to expand on earlier...

Fiercely Dependent! Reporting The News The Way YOU See It

Fiercely Dependent? Well, it certainly makes a change from the more usual journalistic pronouncement: "Fiercely Independent: Reporting the news the way WE see it." The Halifax Examiner is looking for a little...

A Traditional Response To Homelessness In An Age Of Internet Influencers

A modern, successful community? It is one led by a glossy, stylish eye-twinkler, sometimes with pouty lips, sometimes without. The community numbers in the thousands, tens of thousands, or...

Strengthening Community With A Taste Of Fulfilling Employment

This is part of a series about community. Growing and sustaining a community brings benefits to the participants, provides a means of personal development and builds hope and resilience....

Scotland Steps Up On Social Rent Housing

The Scottish Government has issued a 20 year housing policy. This time frame, which extends well beyond typical election cycles, is unusual in itself. The document states unequivocally that...

Social Housing: You Are Where You Park, So Make That Park Yours

Energy efficiency is not the only important green future for us all. We should also look to health benefits of biophillia. Biophillia is a fancy word to describe the positive...

The Green Challenge For Social Housing Apartments (And Others)

What do you think of the changes that will need to happen to your apartment by 2030, whether social housing or free market housing? If you are roughly 79,999th on...

Strengthening Community: Lifting Up Local History

This is part of a series about community. Growing and sustaining a community brings benefits to the participants, provides a means of personal development and builds hope and resilience....

Housing Equity: The Potential Of Community Land Trusts

Shelterforce, which supports community development initiatives across the United States, is running a series about community land trusts. The series includes an entry level article that explains what community land...

How Government Landlords Can Trash The Value Of Co-op Housing

Housing Co-ops are a tried and true means of creating affordable housing and shielding that affordability by keeping the enterprise away from the free market. Co-ops can protect both...

A Legal Centre That Enables Land Trusts And Co-operative Housing

Sprinkled across the western world there are housing cooperatives, community land trusts, and other forms of collective ownership and decision making. Elsewhere, we've discussed some of the benefits of...

U.S. Social Insurance: Where That Octopus Might Touch You

If you're not American, the country's social insurance complex of programs will most likely not touch you at all. But this post, and the following article/report from the Brookings Institute,...

Strengthening Public Housing Community With Cooking

This is part of a series about community. Growing and sustaining a community brings benefits to the participants, provides a means of personal development and builds hope and resilience....

Strengthening Community: Getting Vaccinations To People Who Might Miss Out

This is part of a series about community. Growing and sustaining a community brings benefits to the participants, provides a means of personal development and builds hope and resilience....

Los Angeles Tent Encampments Showcase Reasons Why Slums Were Replaced

Los Angles Fire Department has recently reported an annual tally of fires and deaths in that city's plague of tent encampments. It should come as no surprise when we...

Strengthening Community: Centring On Communication

This is part of a series about community. Growing and sustaining a community brings benefits to the participants, provides a means of personal development and builds hope and resilience....

Strengthening Community: Supporting Resident Leadership

This is part of a series about community. Growing and sustaining a community brings benefits to the participants, provides a means of personal development and builds hope and resilience....

Strengthening Community: Building Individual And Group Capacity

This is part of a series about community. Growing and sustaining a community brings benefits to the participants, provides a means of personal development and builds hope and resilience....

Is Institutionalization The Best That Can Be Offered To The Disabled?

While people with disabilitiesWhen speaking about people with disabilities, one wants to give preference to wording used in the disability community. Is it "people with disabilities" or "the disabled?"...

Strengthening Community: A Tenant’s Story

This is part of a series about community. Growing and sustaining a community brings benefits to the participants, provides a means of personal development and builds hope and resilience....

Building Community During COVID: A Food Story

This is part of a series about community. Growing and sustaining a community brings benefits to the participants, provides a means of personal development and builds hope and resilience....

Engaging A Public Housing Community In Redevelopment

This is part of a series about community. Growing and sustaining a community brings benefits to the participants, provides a means of personal development and builds hope and resilience....

Housing Safety Nets: Big? Small? Why Not Automatic Self-Adjusting?

Food, fuel, rent, mortgage payment, transportation, health care — a variety of solid financial necessities make up every household social safety net. For the upper middle classes and above,...

Building More Housing By Strengthening Community

Today, affordablehousingaction.org is starting a series about community. We've put a lot of attention on the policy, program, financing, design and construction aspects of housing for people with very...

Here’s The Dope On Green Public Housing In Paris

Vegetation, it seems, has a history as effective housing insulation. Straw bale houses were not uncommon as first residences during the settlement of the American WestStraw bale houses are...

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...

Post-Construction “Community Preference:” Right to Return Home? Or Racial Exclusion?

When it comes to American neighbourhood housing development, what does the term "community preference" mean? It's a policy that might be required by some level of government, or put in...

England: Social Rent Housing Deserves A Better Rep

“Hey! Did you know that social tenants in England have lower mental health scores than private tenants and home owners?” “That’s really not surprising. Considering the amount of hype around...

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...

Elder Housing: Can Singapore Try For Something More Than Homage To Aging Frailty?

Singapore is a world-famous success at creating high quality, affordable public housing for all, not just the poor. Its principal focus from the beginning has centred around families, given...

Even Without A Grand Master Rapper, New Orleans Shows Food Deserts Can Be Beaten

A modern view of old fashioned, much neglected, American public housing: push it into the trash. But there's a growing recognition that for all the hype for complicated government/free enterprise...

Pandemic Response By New York School System Pioneers Community Food Outreach

In England this past pandemic year, there was for a time an extraordinary reluctance by the government to extend traditional school meal service during closures. This in spite of...

Royal Commission in Victoria, Australia Calls For Public Supported Housing

A Royal Commission Into the Mental Health System in Victoria, Australia, has just issued its final report. In its two years of activity, the Commissioners received 12,500 submissions. The...

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 Advocacy At The Highest Levels Of The Church Of England

The Church of England (C of E) has joined the chorus calling for more housing for people with very low and no incomes. This is one result of work...

Food Insecurity (e.g. Food Deserts) And What To Do About it

It has been estimated that 1.6 million residents in New York City are food insecure. They do not have convenient, reliable access to the nutrition they need for healthy...

Wrap-Around Support Program For Homeless Moms Gains Stable Housing

WoodGreen Community Services has scored another triumph in their award winning Homeward Bound program, with 36 new permanent rental housing units coming on stream in Toronto's Regent Park later...

Universal Basic Income Part 3: Housing Benefit Model

This is the third of three posts about Universal Basic Income.Part 1 took a peek into an extensive report by the BC Basic Income Panel. Part 2 considered the...

Universal Income Part 2: Models and Forecasts

This is the second of three posts about Universal Basic Income. It reports on work by the Canadian Centre For Economic Analysis, which models the economic impacts of universal...

Universal Basic Income Part 1: Applying A Justice Framework

This is the first of three posts about Universal Basic Income. It is an idea that has been around for some time but often seen as out of step...

Empty Housing Not Just A Waste Of Shelter But Also A Community Disease

Empty houses plague not only cities, but the countryside. Some are empty because speculators are holding them for a quick turnover in a hot housing market.Try: City Of Vancouver...

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...

Columbia, South America: Learning From Social Challenges In New Public Housing

The article linked below offers a view into public housing built in Colombia, South America. It is a part of the world that receives little coverage in the media...

Will The Dutch Point A Fire Hose At The Capitalist Flame They Ignited?

Who started capitalism? We'll bet you think its Adam Smith, the Grand Poohbah of the Law of Supply and Demand. The Dutch claim it was one of their merchants who...

A Thousand Tiny Points Of Sawdust Help Home Schooling In Decatur Public Housing

There is nothing new about the need to support education for lowest income families. Schooling is seen everywhere as the ticket out of poverty. Alas, in the US three...

The OECD Recommends More Social Housing. It’s A Global Need

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has just issued a policy brief about affordable housing. It begins with an 20 year overview of trends in housing affordability....

A Grand Canyon University Viewpoint On The Special Ed Needs of Poor Children

For American's students with physical and/or mental handicaps, their need, as well as their right, to forms of special educational support have been long established. Not so, unfortunately, for...

Niagara Region Libraries Bring A Piece Of The Internet Into Low Income Homes

Kindness to strangers has given birth to a means of sharing library internet services for those with low and no incomes in Ontario's Regional Municipality of Niagara. Familiar to most,...

Community Change: Will The Internet Steal The Voice of The Most Vulnerable?

For better and/or worse, the internet is dramatically changing the way we relate to each other. While many tear their hair at the rise of dangerous attitudes and misinformation...

Rep By Pop, or Rep by Wealth (Or Lack Of It)? Lived Experience For Pols

Of all the formulae we hear about parliamentary (or congressional) representation, one of the least mentioned is a test based on the wealth of the candidates. Normally, Rep by Pop...

UK Public Housing? PPP Fails. Let’s Try PCP Based On CLTs

Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), given free rein for several decades, now clearly define how they can serve a particular set of needs — where the term "Public" stands for...

Between A Rock And A Hard Place: Remembering People Who Are Homeless

There is new memorial in Kitchener, Ontario. It's not for a statesman or a celebrity. It's to remember and honour people who experience homelessness. At the dedication ceremony, one...

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...

Connecting Housing And Health – COVID Helps Provide Links

Chelsea, Massachusetts is a neighbour to Boston. Its level of COVID infections is 918/10,000, the highest in the state. Like other communities with high infection rates, Chelsea residents are...

Guns, Jails And Violence: The Housing Connection

Gun violence is one of many failings associated with public housing. In his documentary, writer, producer and director Brian Schodorf challenges that notion. The program focusses on Cabrini Green, a...

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...

Mixed Use, Mixed Income Housing By Accident

In the decades following World War II, many governments invested in civic infrastructure to keep their economies growing and wipe away the bombed neighbourhoods, which were visible vestiges of...

Vancouver, BC: ‘Hiving’ As A Resilient Affordable Housing Strategy

Vancouver, BC is the least affordable city in North America, with a high proportion of households with low incomes compared to Canada as a whole. As well, it's a...

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...

Acquiring Land for Affordable Housing? Scrap That Idea!

Governments, for all their supposed powers, are clearly at a disadvantage when it comes to competing with private enterprise that has sniffed profit in the wind. Sandy Springs, a newish...

Cozy Canada Missed 2008 Wake Up Call, Now Faces Housing Bubble Bath

2008 US/World Housing Crisis and beyond. What? Us Canucks Worry? No need. We were proud of our doughty bank system that rode out the storm without risky mortgage investment holdings...

Resilience: What Is It? What’s It Got To Do With Affordable Housing?

Resilience is a measure of how well a crisis, calamity, or catastrophe can be withstood. As the term is used in this blog, it comes in two flavours. Community resilience...

DIY Broadband Levels Essential Internet Playing Field For Have-Nots

Here's a good news story emerging from the shadows of those giant, hard-nosed internet providers determined to soak everybody to the max for their internet access. If that characterization...

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...

US Affordable Housing Supply — Sabotaged!

A recent study by two U.S. economists demonstrates how national homebuilders can effectively sabotage the free market, building fewer homes to their great convenience and profit. In response to cries...

The Extinction Rebellion Vs. Affordable Housing: Adversaries Or Soul Mates?

These days, a great deal of visionary thinking is being applied to newly appreciated human concerns such as Climate Change, the Green New Deal, the Extinction Rebellion and other...
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