Community Resilience

Stories that discuss how affordable housing affects the economy and community.

Find Sick Communities And Try To Fix Them? Wha? Surely Better To Flail And Forget Them?

No, 'Flail' isn't misspelled. Admittedly 'Fail' might do the job, too. But we had in mind a post we wrote three years ago that described a New York City...

A Gateway To Homelessness In British Columbia And How To Close It

A quagmire is the word one authority uses to describe the process to access publicly funded supports that are due to Indigenous people with diverse abilities. Failing to navigate...

Canada’s Housing Promises To Indigenous People: Why No Action?

When it launched in 2017, Canada's National Housing Strategy vowed to do right by Indigenous People. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's landing page for the National Housing Strategy...

Saint-Joachim In Brière, France Signs On To Multi-Use Cemeteries

Public power utilities are not a new idea, but the one described in this article is a little different. It started as a discussion about reducing flooding in the community...

Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin: A Case Study In Saving Homes To Build Community

Hospitals have discovered that there is more to the cost of demolishing houses than the demolition and disposal feeTry: Urban Redevelopment: A Case Of Failing To See Who’s There...

Growing Racial Diversity Powers Social Housing Leadership In England

The Housing Diversity Network was founded in 2002 with a mission of supporting racial diversity. The Network supports organizations in England that want their board and staff teams to...

History Brings A Human Face To Homelessness In Santa Monica

Here's a story that begins in Santa Monica, California. It could possibly end closer to where you live . . . just about anywhere in the world. It's titled...

Living And Working With Grief And Loss In Emergency Shelters

Consider everyone who comes in contact with emergency shelters, whether staff, residents or volunteers. They all experience grief and loss. Shelter residents often arrive at shelters with multiple losses. A...

New Tools To Add Housing That Meets Local Needs

The Fair Housing Alliance (the Alliance) recently published a statement that identifies holes in the housing supply in Ontario, Canada. In round numbers, 640,000 homes are missing in the...

London’s Right To Buy Back – Effective Strategy Or Play On Words?

Alex Beggs is a writer and housing activist who lives in England. He praises London’s Mayor for starting up a Right to Buy Back programThe London program's name references...

Office Tower —> Housing Solution? Wishful Thinking! . . . How Come?

If you kinda squint in the shaded canyons of downtown high rise commercial buildings, you can easily see how much, on the outside, they can resemble high rise HOUSING...

Receivership: A Tool That Could Serve Communities Better?

In Chicago, property owners are responsible to maintain their properties in liveable condition. When a building develops a leaky roof or its foundation is damaged, or the plumbing backs...

Universal Basic Income: Opportunities For Recipients And The Community?

Wales is in the middle of a pilot project that aims to help young adults who have been wards of the crown to avoid homelessness. Guaranteeing a basic income...

Chef: Just A Modest Local Ambition? Not If You Are Ebru Baybara Demir

'Food is a tool for change': that is an opinion, as well as a concept that frames the life experience of Turkish chef Ebru Baybara Demir. Demir grew up in...

Why Social Housing Fear And Loathing? After All, It Works For Everybody

Works for everybody? How on earth can social housing, which doesn't directly benefit you personally, be touted nevertheless as a personal benefit to you? It may well be impossible to...

Make America Great In Social Housing: Follow China’s New Lead?

To hear America talk about it, that nation is in a contest for top dog of the world. Maintaining its influence, it remains firmly committed to a capitalist, free-enterprise...

How Architectural Triumph Can Defeat The Urge To Skimp On Inferior Building Construction

There seems to be a universal sneaking feeling about architecture that it is a frill. If taxpayers are footing the bill, they may well be even more prone to...

Wanted: A U.S. War To Support A Drug Too Valuable to Smoke: Affordable Housing!

It still remains (barely) possible that smaller communities suffering from a gradually increasing homelessness crisis can solve their problems at the local municipality level. Wanted: resources to quickly satisfy basic...

South Africa: Women’s Experience Of Post-Apartheid Development

This is part of a series that looks at housing and homelessness in South Africa and Canada. It might be a source of inspiration/direction for housing efforts in either...

Lessons From An Ambitious Retrofit In A Glasgow Tenement

This writer has never been to Scotland, but 107 Niddrie Road in Glasgow has become a familiar address. The building is over 100 years old and belongs to the...

Hamilton Churches: Picking Up The Pace Of Housing Advocacy In Canada

How do you get people on board with a program to build more housing for people who aren’t being well served by the private market? This question led the...

Success Of Affordable Housing Initiatives Must Be Tackled At Least 3 Ways At Once

In this day and age, there are three important 'flavours' of affordable housing, all of which need to be considered and addressed in order to tackle national housing crises: ...

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...

Non-Equity Rental Cooperatives … And A Whole Lot More

In Australia, Skynews recently interviewed Melina Morrison, the CEO of the Business Council of Cooperatives and Mutuals. Morrison was up to bat in order to speak about housing cooperatives,...

Social Housing Group Goes The Extra Mile In Support Of Its Tenants

We recently published a post about L&Q Housing, a large social housing landlord in the UK, which manages some 105,000 homes. It seems they have lost the plot, thrown...

Ohio Folks Look Outward To Solve Local Problems

A group of 40 people in Ohio are all fired up about worker co-operatives. Why? They travelled to the Basque region of Spain to learn about these businesses, which...

Merry Xmas For All? Hardly. 40% Believe The Poor Should Not Have Holidays

There are apparently significant consequences for those trapped by economic circumstances away from human pleasures we all might cherish — such as Christmas, or Hanukkah, or a well balanced...

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...

‘Expert’ Leadership Has Failed Social Housing. Time To Let Tenants Build A Better System?

When Affordablehousingaction.org started exploring affordable housing six years ago, the general feeling was that public housing in the United States was a dead duck. Due to the outsized influence...

Affordable Housing – Rethinking The Magnet Concept

When new affordable housing is under consideration, community leaders can be apprehensive, fearing that the new housing will be a magnet. They worry that the housing will attract more...

Vienna: The Social Housing Good Penny That Keeps On Turning Up

Okay, So what has admirable Vienna, Austria done now to earn our applause? Only got itself accolades for being the most livable city in the world, from a list...

In Welsh Social Housing, Feeling Low? A Few Lucky Folks Can Grow To Glow!

In the gloom-occluded world of social housing in the United Kingdom, there are occasional tiny flashes of sunlight. Literally. But first, let's get the bad news out of the way. UK...

Food And Housing Costs Stress Household Budgets – Something Has To Give

This is a post about food. It is a basic necessity, but frequently sacrificed in the face of paying for housing. Welfare cuts in 1995 drew attention to a...

City Of Featherweight Affordable Housing Action Fumbles Coins Back Into Profiteering Pockets

When it comes to getting real action on building much needed affordable housing, momentary activist victories are no match for relentless pressure from financialization obsessed homeowners guarding their investments....

Should Housing Be A Wealth Creation Tool Or A Social Benefit? An Aussie Medical Perspective

In case you hadn't noticed that your own national housing emergency looks a lot like Australia's, an InSight article by Caitlin Wright describes some conditions that you will probably...

Changing The Conversation About Poverty In A Wealthy Country

An eviction can change your life. It certainly changed Matt Desmond's. He witnessed sheriffs evicting a group of siblings who had been orphaned when their mother died unexpectedly. Desmond...

Speaking Up For People Who Are Waiting For Social Housing In Toronto

Some people who are living in social housingThis is housing where rent is geared to income. in the Toronto area feel they should move out in order to...

A New Pipeline For Incarcerated People – It’s Not What You Think

Pipelines are a popular image these days where people get directed to a specific outcome, regardless of what they might want. There's the public-housing-to-prison pipeline and the prison-to-homelessness pipeline....

Loosening The Hold Of Inequality In U.S. Cities

Do you remember the triple bottom line, a term invented to expand the bottom line? The bottom line was about money: the triple bottom line added social and environmental...

Can Social Media Smooth The Path To Housing For People Leaving Homelessness?

Time was, if you were short on a household item, you'd ask a neighbour to help you out. In today's world, the idea might seem laughable. Would your neighbour...

Report: The UK Needs Four Million New Homes

When this writer was growing up, there was a ridiculous ad for packaged mints. It featured two people arguing about whether the mint was a breath freshener or a...

The United Kingdom Grits Its Teeth To Condemn … Anti-Social Behaviour(??)

With the waning of the COVID pandemic, what's happened to the United Kingdom's famous 'Everybody In' treatment of the homeless? The scramble to move the unhoused under hard roofs...

Residual Land Value And Why It Matters

Today's first postTry: Ontario's Government: Fix Supply To End The Housing Crisis. Have They Backed The Winning Horse? talked about plans to unlock housing supply in Ontario. It explores...

Ontario Wants To Fix Supply To End The Housing Crisis. Have They Backed The Winning Horse?

The Canadian province of Ontario is in the midst of a housing crisis. The number of people who are homeless is growing. A large number of people who have...

Porto Gambles On Friendly Free Enterprise To Solve Affordable Housing Crisis

Portugal shares the Iberian Peninsula with Spain, which is currently in the affordable housing news for its 'Right to Housing' law. Spain's new law includes regulatory solutions for renters,...

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...

US Government Supports Zoning Reform To End Homelessness

Affordablehousingaction.org frequently identifies the need for national leadership to end homelessness. The first article linked to this post, Few Mayors Connect the Dots Between Zoning and Homelessness (Few Mayors),...

A Seattle Quickie For 10,000 Public Housing Folks — 35mph & More — Free Transit!

There's a kind of deliberate blindness when it comes to understanding the meaning of "living in comfort — poor," versus "living in comfort — middle class and up." Accommodation may...

Worldwide Events Have Trashed The Honour Of Public Service. Time For A Change!

How did the reputation of public servants gurgle down the drain? In America today, teachers are included in this question. "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach." Clever little...

Will Neoliberalism Self-Destruct? Housing For All Is The Ultimate Challenge

Those of us who are immersed in Western society may well consider ourselves as comfortable frogs immersed in slowly heating water, unlikely even to notice being slowly cooked to...

Rebooting U.S. Public Housing: Hard Aground, Can It Be Refloated?

As things now stand, public housing in America is being hung by the neck until dead. Some last minute reprieves are being granted to Housing Authorities prepared to sell their...

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...

All In:The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness

For the past two or three years there have been activist rumblings in America about the possibility of successfully creating world class social housingTry: West Coast U.S. Activists Struggle...

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...

Penny-Pinching From Poorest? Or Incompetence? Always Worth A Check

Perhaps you've heard of the Homeless Industrial Complex? At the very least it seems to be a phenomenon on North America's west coast. It's hardly as financially fattening as...

Green With Envy: Futuristic Benefits To Cities Elevate Citizens Unequally

Modernizing cities! Out with the obviously dirty, depressingly ugly, cough-inducing, environmentally-damaging old. In with the sylvan new: vegetative proliferation, babbling brooks, micro-forest canopies, peddle-mobility, awardable aesthetic standards, puffed and...

London, Ontario: Does A Civic Emergency Require Light At The End Of The Tunnel?

Ho Hum, Another Day, Another City Emergency. That's what London, Ontario might be trying to sell in order the access federal and provincial funds available to cities that are...

Corporate Landlords And The Fight To Protect Tenants

ShelterforceShelterforce is a U.S. based non-profit dedicated to community development, affordable housing, and neighbourhood stabilization. recently convened a discussion about corporate investment in rental housing and tenant protections in...

Big Landlords Beware: Activists In Berlin Celebrate The City’s Right To Expropriate

If you haven't been following the rental housing fight in Berlin, Germany, it's time to catch up. Berlin is a city/state where renters far outnumber homeowners. A considerable majority...

Will The ‘Crisis Of The Day’ Forever Delay The Human Right To Adequate Housing?

Waiting lists exist worldwide for those who need affordable housing but don't have it. Ultimately, do these lists represent a positive movement towards a human right to adequate housing...

Major UK Housing Associations Struggle With Shaky Finances

In 2021, the United Kingdom government published The Social Housing White Paper serving notice that tenants deserved to be on the same page as their landlords. While not expecting...

Helping Homeowners With Low Incomes To Avoid Homelessness

In the United States, there are homeowners with very low incomes. Their housing costs are high when compared with those incomes. Even for someone who owns their home without...

Why Living in Skellefteå, Sweden, Might Be Everybody’s Cup Of Teå

The Human Right to Housing commitment of the United Nations has evolved to include the addition of an all-important word: 'adequate.' The Human Right to Adequate Housing is a...

Finding The Connection Between Housing And Health Outcomes

Since starting affordablehousingaction.org, we've been watching and reporting on the relationship between housing and health. We're aware that in the 1980's, when health research began noticing that additional $$...

A Form Of Self Loathing? SF Opinions Trash The City’s Homeless Solutions

Does this survey from a California city reflect the future of your urban region? Human behaviour can be described by patterns. Opinion surveys are useful form of collecting patterns. So...

Take Comfort: You’re Never Too Old For The Crime Of Helping Others

The cop who arrested Norma Thornton knew perfectly well it was a public relations nightmare. Given the comments in media outlets all over North America, thousands, maybe even hundreds of...

Corruption And The Homeless Industrial Complex: Does It Exist?

We know there are overwhelming problems where people who are homeless gather together in unofficial tent camps. Celebrity Dr. Drew Pinsky warns us of "tent encampments with 'multiple rodent-borne,...

Outreach Police Officer Stabbed To Death In Homeless Encampment

Tent encampments are little islands of anarchy, with inhabitants attempting to survive in opposition to, or at best outside of, society's rules. Encampments of people experiencing homelessness in North...

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...

“The Poor Will Always Be With Us:” COVID Showed That To Be A Lie

When will America climb out of its 2001 foxhole? Not since the British burned the White House down in 1812 has the country collectively faced such a threat. Was...

Did COVID Interventions Make Us More Resilient?

Emergency planners, the people we task with preparing us for emergencies, often say, "the current plan is only as good as the last emergency." In other words, we're good...

How Canada’s Housing Crisis Affects Newcomers

Canada made a big deal of welcoming refugees from Syria in 2015. Settlement services and communities geared up as the country prepared for a host of new children in...

Who Cares? Barcelona Knows, And Is Setting Out To Care For Carers

A study by the Institute of Regional and Metropolitan Studies of Barcelona has identified some 355,000 citizens who spend at least a portion of their time caring for the...

Experience Points The Way To Ending Homelessness in Canada

2022 marks the halfway point in Canada’s 10 year National Housing Strategy. It’s an occasion for reviewing and renewing the Strategy. Housing is something we all need, but despite being...

Evictees Unite! You Have Nothing To Lose But Your Debt

America is facing an extraordinary debt crisis. Before the COVID pandemic, it was already a new 'normal'. Overwhelming debt creeps up on people in differing ways. Where housing rental is...

Lifting Up A Vision Of Community Through Gardening

Jacob Beaton and Jessica Ouellette were rookie gardeners when they bought a property near Kitwanga in a rural part of British Columbia. In the first year, the garden produced...

Seeking A Cooperative Route To Ending Food Apartheid In New York City

Poorer citizens in New York City have suffered a form of whiplash with the election of their new Mayor, Eric Adams. Adams is both Black (hopeful hoorays) and a former...

Welsh Government Tips Housing Scale To Favour Local Residents

The Welsh Government is giving local governments more the power to control the use of homesLocal residents are having more and more trouble finding homes they can afford. Tempers...

Feds Do Warfare. Time To Attack Unaffordable Housing?

The Canada Mortgage And Housing Corporation (CMHC) is the country's federal housing agency. In the roughest sense it is the equivalent of the US Department of Housing and Urban...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...
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