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‘Site’ explores the geography which affordable housing occupies, on the street, in the neighbourhood and the broader community. This geography gives rise to problems as well as solutions for successfully integrating affordable housing into communities

King County, Washington Faces Up To The Real Cost Of Truly Affordable Housing

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Two years ago, the consulting firm McKinsey & Company delivered a controversial report to King County, Washington. It called for spending a quarter of a billion dollars a year...

Dallas Provides A Megacity View From The ‘Burbs: Past, Present And Future

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A report from Dallas Texas enumerates some of the pros, cons, and one-day-hopeful pros again in a city that is a giant festival of sprawl. The report focuses on the...

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

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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...

Habitat for Humanity Middle Class Follies: None Too Impressive?

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Housing For Humanity: a world-beating affordable housing charity now approaching middle age, which is no longer able capable of keeping up with the changing times? We certainly hope not. But...

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...

Tiny Houses: A Figment Fit For The Imagination, But No Big Affordable Solution?

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In a lengthy, entertaining and informative article, Miles Howard explores the past, present and future of one form of dinky living. He focuses particularly on high tech gingerbread cottages...

Welcome To A Magical Orlando Experience: For You, But Not Theme Park Workers

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The tourist industry is vital to the economies of many countries. Orlando, Florida is one of those places in the U.S. However delightful it can be for visitors, working...

Quelle Horreur! 30 Minute Commutes!

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A recent report on affordable living and its commuting tradeoff detailed in 24Housing sends shivers up and down this writer's spine. Home-based, a short commute is (and always has been)...

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

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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...

Affordable Housing : Makin’ Do With What Y’all Already Got

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In North America, some cities and towns have yet to absorb the full onslaught of gentrification. However, that spectre looms on the horizon everywhere, particularly in light of climate...

Calling All American Housing ‘Entities:’ Affordable Housing Challenge With Important Payoff

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Entites? Whether you belong to a for-profit, non-profit, or a TDHETDHE — Tribally Designated Housing Entity entity, two other corporate 'entities' have an affordable housing challenge for your consideration. Wells...

2019: The Year Of Housing In Abundance?

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Groan. Mutter. Snarl. Pardon us while we work up a mad-on at the headline of an article from Sightline: "2019: THE YEAR ABUNDANT HOUSING TURNED THE CORNER" Surely Sightline means:...

Pittsburgh Plays God With Poor Folks. Feds and State Leave Them No Choice.

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A slightly more fast and loose post, ranting completely understated

Ventura County Swims Against Zoning Tide To Protect Trailer Parks

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From California comes word of more, not less, zoning restriction. That's rare good news for existing affordable housing in America's rapidly-declining stock of trailer parks. Governments from the feds (think...

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...

Repairs R Us: Habitat For Humanity Diversifies Onward

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In the free markets of today's democracies, housing is an investment, not a human right. To build housing in this commodified environment is to pursue profit, not to reaffirm...

Guardian Public Service Awards: Good Housing News From A Great Paper

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Before getting into The Guardian Housing and Public Service Awards, an affordablehousingaction.org Top Affordable Housing Newspaper award to The Guardian itself. The Guardian is right up there in quality with the top handful...

An Affordable Pox On All Your Tech Industry Charitable Housing

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The headline seems a little churlish, doesn't it? Sneering at charitable contributions? We thought so. And yet it forms the core of a similar headline from the electronic publication:...

Hong Kong ‘Rats in a Cage:’ Affordable Problem Or Political Party Line?

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There have been hints that months of unrest and riots in Hong Kong have been triggered in part by the high cost of cramped housing in an overcrowded city. Is...

San Francisco’s First Safe Parking Lot for People Living in Vehicles Takes Step Forward

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Safely 'transitioning' homeless people from living in their vehicles is a praiseworthy long-term objective, one driving efforts to gain approval for a first San Francisco parking lot catering to...

Gentrification Whack-A-Mole: Now It’s Popped Up In The Suburbs!

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First there were the middle class inner city suburbs, which slowly degenerated into near-downtown depressed areas as wealthier folks moved to one acre lots in the further suburbs, until...

UK Builders See Brownfields, Self-Build, High Rise Affordable Opportunities

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Influenced perhaps by its physical location in North America, affordablehousingaction.org finds itself in constant pushback against a simple-minded housing industry view: if governments would only eliminate regulations, builders would...

Today’s Eye-roller: 4000 Sq Ft Lots Sporting ‘At-Market Affordable’ Homes

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From Manteca, California come tales of the hard lives of the middle and upper classes, together with the tribulations of the housing developers who serve them. Viewed from a...

Community Land Bank + Community Land Trust = Affordable Housing

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Community Land Banks, under one name or another, have been around pretty much since the dawn of cities. They are the result of communities, through one means or another, acquiring...

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

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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...

Copenhagen Housing Solution: Expand Once More Into The Sea

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Unaffordable? Affordable? Regardless of the kind of housing that needs to be built, running out of space to build it has emerged as a concern of many large cities. The...

Cleaning Up Chicago By Smothering Violence With Affordable Housing

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An affordable home would seem on the surface to be an unusual weapon with which to face a violent gun battle with a neighbourhood gang. Unusual? How about bonkers! And...

Max Profit? Max Affordability? No Sale At All? Toronto City Debates Land Sell-Off.

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The City of Toronto has been suffering a predictable outcry when a federal crown corporation decided to sell off a parcel of Toronto waterfront land without requiring an affordable...

Sidewalk Labs Presses ‘Affordable’ Button To Scam Cash For Toronto Smart City

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These days, any luxury mega-project worth its salt is bound to lightly lard its housing components with 'affordability.' Sidewalk LabsSidewalk Labs is a subsidiary of Alphabet, which is also...

Toronto Smart City: So Far Google-Linked Proposal Has Folks Over-Worried, Under-Impressed

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Sidewalk Labs' wordy, glossy, fluffy proposal for a neighbourhood development project in partnership with Waterfront Toronto

Affordable Housing Activists Eye England’s 216,000 Empty Houses

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A new study has emerged that indicates there are far more unsuitably housed people in the UK than previously thought. Read more in The Guardian: More Than 8 Million People...

UK Affordable Self-Build: Bootstrapping Your Own Shelter

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Living a precarious financial existence? One misstep away from homelessness? Join an growing club, as in many countries affordable housing just can't be found. So here's a question: can you...

If At First You Don’t Succeed . . .NY Affordable Mega-Project 70 Years In The Making

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The saga of Essex Crossing began in the 1950's with the demolition of some of New York's historic gateway slums — the squalid welcome to America for waves of...

North York, ON: Intersecting Crises And The Parking Lot Conundrum

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A local government is responsible to its citizens for carefully weighing important decisions. It therefore cannot be expected to respond rapidly to the changing nature of some crises it...

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

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"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...

Sweden Sniffs At Co-Living For Affordable Housing: Social Blessing Or Social Disaster?

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With housing becoming increasingly unaffordable, ingenious ways of reducing shelter costs abound. One trending fad featuring in the news media: co-living. A boon? A bust? There are two sides to...

Affordable Housing In Trailer Parks? ROCk On, America!

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These days, a flood of buy-and-destroy developers as well as vulture rental packagers threaten the existence of a longstanding North American affordable housing institution — the trailer park. Trailer parks...

Developer Pioneers UK Affordable Housing Shell Game

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This modular housingHouses, or components of houses, that are constructed at an off site factory and transported to their final destination. initiative intrigued and impressed us here at affordablehousingaction.org....

Affordable Shipping Container Housing: Comfy Microhomes Or Homeless Prison Cells?

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Quirky Architectural Think-Toy For an affordable housing solution? Or barely habitable concentration camp cage for homeless children? It would seem that shipping container housing can be both. Just as a pile...

A Road To Housing Affordability Can Lead Through Climate Change

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A scramble to protect ourselves and our environment from climate change will almost certainly spawn geographic and technological benefits that will can make housing more affordable. A recent article in...

Developer Wet (Riverside) Dream: Pull Down Austin Affordable Housing, Build Less New

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Confused about what affordable housing really is? You are not alone. Austin City Council would appear to be more than confused, indeed thoroughly bamboozled. Which is just where any...

A Green Future With Housing For All? Of Course It Can Be Done. But It May Take Baby Steps

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A fear looming ever bigger and nastier on the horizon is the possibility that affordable housing demands will clash head on with steps necessary to prevent an environmental catastrophe...

A Growing Price To Pay for Trendy, Quirky Waterborne Housing

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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...

Supercharged By Boondoggle? Affordable Housing Via The Green New Deal

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America faces a bugle call to arms on many fronts such as immigration and terrorism. The call for affordable housing, for all that it is a matter of pressing...

The Cost Burden Of Pursuing Distant Opportunity: Unaffordable Housing

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Getting on the success bandwagon by upping stakes and moving to a new location has always been pricy. Whether it's anecdotal history from the gold rush, or more recent...

New Zealand Employee Affordable Housing Supplied By An Unusual Company Town

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Company towns have a special relationship with their citizens. They are usually, though not always, born out of necessity: their remote location. Why create a town in the middle of...

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...

Topsy Turvy San Jose Neighbours: Prioritizing Car Shelter Over People Shelter

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It's nice to imagine that somewhere in the world, a group of concerned neighbours might get together to protest a new parking lot, on the grounds that the extra...

Community Vs Diversity? NYC Affordable Housing Study Reveals No Right Answer

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For years, the City of New York fought to keep hide a study that investigated the impact of affordable housing on neighbourhoods. A judge has now ended the secrecy....

Zombie Properties: What are They? What Are Their Affordable Housing Benefits.

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Don't you really want to know what a zombie property is? We confess that we did. A mobile haunted house perhaps, decaying, dilapidated, lurching down the street late at...

Ungood: Looking Back At The Future Of California’s ‘1984’ Dormitory Life

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George Orwell's novel, 1984, was published in 1949. It defined a category of science fiction which is today called 'dystopian' — the very opposite of life in some rosy future...

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:...

One Way To Beat The Heat In A Hot Housing Market: A Community Land Trust

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America is a land with no constitutional right to housing, but a pressing need for it, nonetheless. What is a house? With no constitutional definition, it's becoming ominously clear that...

Upzoning in America: A Map View of City Density Informs Future Housing Choices

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Urban sprawl is beginning to receive a technical analysis that threatens its existence. It is the very foundation of the so-called 'American Dream'— a single house on a single...

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...

YIGBY: What Does It Stand For? Will It Catch On?

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Just a quicky . . . Seems it's the silly season for acronyms. The latest is YIGBY. To get the full flavour of this new affordable housing acronym, you may wish to work up to it by reviewing your knowledge of:

Resilient City, Toronto Style

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"A Resilient Toronto is ... Home. A place where housing is a right, and every resident has a safe, decent, and affordable place to live." Compared with stories that...

K-W Housing: Is Affordability-By-Transit Dream Dying A Gentrification Nightmare?

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Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario is one of those inconvenient urban regions that glommed together without giving up its original city names, leading typists to cry out for an abbreviation. K-W is...

Spokane Police Scratch Own/Community Back By Dabbling In Affordable Housing Biz

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Headline: Spokane Police To Turn 5 West Central Nuisance Homes Into Affordable Housing. Nuisance homes: one way of describing derelict, abandoned buildings that become crash pads for drug use and...

20-20-20 Vision: Screw The Carrot. Montreal Brings The Stick To Affordable Housing.

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Forget tempting financial carrots to coax developers into supporting affordable housing. Montreal, Quebec is planning to bring the big stick to multiple housing developments in the city. Incumbent mayor Mayor...

Best And Highest Use: Disposal of Historic Buildings For Profit Or For Community?

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‘Best and highest use', it seems, is a land use appraisal term. Putting it bluntly into a financial context, it means ‘selling for maximum bucks.’ The term reflects a dilemma...

NYC Mission Impossible? PPP That Builds True Affordable Housing. . . In Volume

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Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) have been a darling of neo-conservative 'leave it to the private sector,' thinking. Alas, when it comes to affordable housing in mixed income projects, they've...

Affordable Housing Wars: True ‘YIMBY’ Can Outflank NIMBY

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By all means, let's hear it for true YIMBY. Hold that thought. We'll be coming back to it. True YIMBY? Does that mean there's a fake YIMBY? Of course there...

Pirates, Cluster Housing and Affordable Shotgun Shacks In The Deep South

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An engaging personal journey into the American South touches upon the swashbuckling origins of a kind of deeply affordable housing. The author ponders whether 'Shotgun Shacks,' as they were...

Does A High Density Planet Demand High Density Housing?

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Rabbits, it might be said, can't breed fast enough to keep up with humans. Look at our world population increasing by the billions. Even in Australia, where rabbits are...

NYC Plans To Shoehorn Affordable Housing Onto Teeny Quirky Lots

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What do you put on a triangular handkerchief of city land that has been vacant for decades? If New York City finds the right design, it will be affordable...

‘Grannie Flat’ Boomlet Is About Affordable Housing And . . . Grannies!

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Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are separate living suites within a principal residence, or standing alone somewhere on the property of that residence. A recent report from California has suggested...

Chicago Tried To Do Two Things At Once: Is It A Fatal Flaw Of Inclusionary Zoning?

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Inclusionary zoning projects seem to offer the best of all worlds. In the form of public/private partnerships, they appear to address both the capitalist free market right to profit...

North American Housing Industry Slow To Respond To Affordable Rental Demand

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After the sub-prime mortgage blowout in 2008, there were uncountable housing evictions. As well, many homeowners stretched beyond the limit of their resources abandoned their underwater mortgages (more money...

Do We Need Smarter Cities? Or Are There More Important Fish To Fry First?

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There is all kinds of fuss around Toronto over the idea of having a smart neighbourhood, never mind a smart city. Toronto is only dipping a toe into the...

Affordable Housing Path Forward: Don’t Assume Shelter & Investment Are Compatible

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Affordable Housing discussions in modern capitalist nations begin with a faith-based assumption: that the human need for shelter can be compatible with the capitalist right to invest in a...

Housing Vs. Environment: Early Skirmishes Signal All-Out Battle To Come

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Consider the American housing sector, together with its political and activist support, which is concerned with building both market rate and affordable housing. Needless to say, it prefers to...

New York Jobs/Homes Stats Vindicate Telenovela Villain/Amazon Slayer AOC

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A fair and more balanced rendition of the headline of this article should really be "New York Jobs/Homes Stats Vindicate Telenovela Villain/Amazon Slayer AOCIf you are American and do...

Tradition Beats Techno-Solutions In California Fight To Build Affordable Housing

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Big families were once a big tradition in the now-developed world. There was good reason for Mom and Pop to have them. Who but their surviving children would look...

Affordable Housing That Physically Embraces History: Could It Work

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Ongoing celebration of a city often turns on the preservation of old, smallish buildings that served a unique role in the community's history. When entire buildings cannot be saved,...

Gentrification Without Gentry. Can It Happen?

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Consistent, excellent writing doesn't come cheap, which is why many major news organizations have paywalls. Alas, in our pursuit of thought-provoking articles about affordable housing, we inevitably bump into...

If You Build It, Affordability Doesn’t Come. Charlotte, NC, Tries Old Anew

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Just build more housing, any housing, even luxury housing. Affordability will trickle down. You'll see! It's the mantra of the building industry as well as the YIMBY (Yes In...

Paid Up Home In 3, Not 30, Years? How Does A Co-op Trailer Park Sound?

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Public funding, foundation grants, sweat equity, donated land, land trusts, all these and more play a part these days in attempts to piece together affordable housing projects aimed at...

Tiny Home Living Doesn’t Have To Be A Luxury In Spain

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Luxury? Who says tiny home living is a luxury? Well, affordablehousingaction.org says so. Or at least we point out that it very much CAN be luxury living. Try: Small May...

Google Attacks! Another Toronto War-Of-The-Worlds Horror Scenario

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After celebrating half a century of stumble and bumble-style planning, Waterfront Toronto stares down an accusing barrier palisade of towering residential high-rises that separates the city from its harbour. After...

Small May Be Beautiful, But Who Says It Is Affordable?

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Santa Monica City Council is not impressed with one particular class of tiny homes. Where is their sense of light-hearted romance, you might ask? Tiny homes are a charming feast...

Hedgehogs: Nobody Else Is Hogging That Space, Why Not Affordable Housing?

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Municipalities world-wide are betting on increased density, via a wide range of construction projects and zoning re-regulation, in order to create more affordable housing. A Swedish architectural firm is...

Gaaah! IAHIMBY! (It’s All Happening In My Back Yard!)

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There is a remarkable worldwide agreement amongst Defenders of the Neighbourhood Faith. All sooner or later discover that they must erect verbal battlements around their modest homesteads and those...

Affordable Flood Plains: A Stilted Conversation

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With so many towns and cities built close to rivers, or close to coasts, why do we hear little or nothing about municipalities eyeing land on flood plains for...

SF Success Requires Gentrification Plan To Include Existing Neighbours

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Even California's legendary neighbourhood NIMBYNot In My Back Yard activists have had difficulty withstanding the relentless pressure for gentrification in downtown neighbourhoods. In 2015, San Francisco took steps to...

Poor Pay And Unaffordable Rent. But Is It Any Better Somewhere Else?

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For most of U.S. history, opportunity has beckoned from beyond distant horizons. Travel towards a better future, sometimes over great distances, has been a constant national theme. Not so...

Flex-Space: What Is It? What Application Could It Have For Affordable Housing?

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Flex space usually refers to room within buildings that might be used for multiple purposes: an office/bedroom/den in a house, a light manufacturing unit/wholesale outlet/call centre in an industrial...

Capitalists Can’t Afford To Care. Boston Wants More Housing Controlled By Those Who Do

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Capitalist democracies are committed to the right of all to speculate in a free housing market. But profit-taking is currently driving up housing prices beyond the reach of growing...

Heart-stopping Skylight Living Under Runways & Other Transport Corridor Affordable Housing Options

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Gaze upwards through the reinforced skylight of your condo high-rise tower, one that has been tipped to the horizontal and is buried under a major airport runway. The sky...

New Phoenix Yacht Club Takes The Float Out Of The Affordable Boat For Artist Live-Aboards

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Yacht racing has been likened to 'standing in a cold shower, ripping up hundred dollar bills.' Still, there's always the opportunity to save a dollar or two by living...

The Futility Of ‘Micro’ Affordable Housing: No Size Too Small To Squeeze For Profit

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Are tiny homes and micro apartments a solution for unaffordable housing? They are often billed as such, though the evidence is scant or non-existent. A Hong Kong high rise...

Let’s Hear It For The Hulks: Affordable Housing At Sea, Cruising To Nowhere In Particular

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Question for cruise affectionados: where do you get to enjoy the sea air, the company of hundreds if not thousands, guarantee of no waves large enough cause motion sickness,...

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....

Charlotte Fixed Income Homeowners: Kneecapped By Rising Property Values?

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So you own a home, it's partly or fully paid off, and its value is rising. Should you feel more secure in your newfound wealth? House proud, and comfortable enough...

Toronto: Pick Me-Me-Me! Rejected Amazon Headquarters Wannabe Bends Over Eagerly

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With New York City defector Amazon's negative-1% income tax paid (rebate, in other words) on $5.6 billion profit Amazon will pay $0 in federal income taxes for the second year...

Does Doom For Box Stores Become A Boom For Affordable Housing?

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These are not easy times for big box store realtors. Some of the biggest users of box store space are switching to Amazon and other buy-from-your living-room internet retailers. The...

Can We Say Too Much About Community Land Trusts for Affordable Housing?

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Actually, we don't really feel we can say too much about the potential of Community Land trusts. Just at the moment, virtually all national governments around the world seem far...

Roadmaps To Affordability You Might Actually Enjoy

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Survey articles on affordable housing in America are prone to offer 'top ten' cities where the housing market is still somewhat affordable. Or 'top fifteen.' Or the like. That...

Buckingham Palace As Social Housing: Shades of the Russian Revolution?

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An international architectural magazine with slightly dubious design senseCheck out the article link. All lower case. Really? Surely this is publishing art as an exercise in obscurity, not clarity....
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