Should We Build More Suburban Housing To End The Housing Crisis?

While there is general agreement that there is a housing crisis, there are longstanding debates about how to fix it. One of those debates is about where new housing...

Burst A Planning Permission Bubble To Allow A Flood Of New Housing! Really?

'Gentle Densification' is one way (in the United Kingdom at least) to build more housing in a world gone unaffordably mad as housing 'financialization' forces housing prices up and...

Is Housing A Fore Gone Conclusion In Hong Kong? Here’s A Battle Report

Hat's off and sunscreen on for members of Hong Kong's Fanling Golf Club, the oldest in the region. They've just managed to win a prestigious UNESCO (United Nations Educational,...

London Maps Show Brownfields

There certainly exists evidence that 'cross-subsidy' is an affordable housing liability rather than a benefit. Architect Anna Minton and others have gone so far as to suggest that cross-subsidy...

Vancouver, BC’s LGBTQ Community Scores Major Affordable Housing And Social Support

Like everyone else, those from social and cultural minorities can be attracted to both the anonymity and opportunity of large cities. A voyage of discovery to such a place...

Rights to Housing: Truth-Shaping in India, Rights For Whom and Who By?

The author of the following article, Mukta Naik, describes a basic human rights dilemma this way: "We live in a world where the truth has turned into a chimera. It...

Tycoons Beware: The Housing Crisis May Eat Your Golf Course!

Look to business capitals of the world for what's coming down the pike towards the uber-wealthy. In a couple of bellweather cities, famous for pandering to the gods of...

MPHA Leads The Way With ‘Deeply Affordable’ Neighbourhood Housing

The following Youtube video created three years ago explains how Minneapolis became the first major North American city to break the ironclad, almost universal bylaw 'protection' of single-family neighbourhoods....

Employer-Provided Housing Sustains Elder Care Homes

The issue of workforce housing has been getting more attention. When local public servants (fire fighters, paramedics and police officers) can't afford housing, governments pay attention. The same is...

Transportation And Deeply Affordable Housing — An Ongoing Tension In Urban Life

Our lives depend on transportation. Stuff needs to get shipped into and through the communities where people live. People need transport to get to work, shop for essentials and...

Regulations That Trip Up Affordable Housing Design

You know, for such a small planet, we can be pretty blind to opportunities. Take housing design for example. For reasons that are explained in the article linked to...

Churches Roll Out The Housing Carpet

Churches have a history of speaking up for people who are oppressed in society. Faith based organizations have charitable arms that provide services and supports. Religious instruction also directs...

Thinking The Unthinkable: Truly Affordable Housing Rescued By Commercial Building Meltdown

COVID has created an unexpected crisis facing the commercial real estate market. Worker flight to the relative safety of the home office has hollowed out the insides of shiny...

The Irony Of Killing New York Green Space To Support A Green Revolution

The architect Le Corbusier had a dream so dramatic and forceful that it influenced far too many people, including those responsible for constructing a wave of North American public...

Empty Office Buildings: High-Rise Caves For People Who Are Homeless?

With a surfeit of downtown empty office high-rises, a lightbulb has winked on the brains of developers who see a way of cashing in by converting office buildings to...

Yesterday’s U.S. Business High Rises: Tomorrow’s Affordable Housing?

The City of Toronto's name for a needed subway extension framed yesterday's problems for many cities.  It was called the downtown relief line. Relief from congested commuting to a crowded...

The Potential Charm Of a Portland, Oregon Homeless Campus

Seniors, wearing scarfs in campus colours, stroll across the front lawn of one of Portland's giant homeless campuses. They have spent their undergraduate years waiting for a minuscule new...

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,...

Psst! Wanna Become A Legit Homeless Tenter In The Land Of Somewhere Else?

Update: the Region of Waterloo is pressing on with its plan to open supported tent encampments for people who are homeless. The location has yet to be determined. Read...

Footloose And Fancy Free: Can RV Living Make Homelessness A Dream Come True?

The answer to the question posed in the headline above is a qualified and rapidly eroding 'maybe' heading towards the spectre of a probably soon-to-become universal 'no.' Up until a...

Dispatches From The Front Lines Of The NIMBY Vs. YIMBY Wars

Affordablehousingaction.org generally considers NIMBY and YIMBY to be two entirely different animals. The first of these — Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY) is a pop-up defensive castle guarded...

Will LA Citizens Vote For Homeless Boinking In Their Adjacent Hotel Room?

Homeless Boinking? We're trying to imagine the worst here. What could be the result of Los Angeles voting to allow the homeless to overnight in unused hotel rooms? With...

Knight-Errant Error: Rootless Royalty Plagued By Missing Rent-A-Serfs

Pity the poor upper classes. The merchant classes (which run government) scurry to clear parade routes in all directions, hounding the serfs from pillar to post. But when royalty...

Housing Speculators May Run But Can’t Hide From Canada’s New Taxes

In 2018, Canada began taking the gloves off to deal with speculators who are buying and selling housing as casino chips, rather than homes. With some of the highest...

Unmasking The Barriers To Accessory Dwelling Units

Shelterforce's "Under The Lens" series do deep dives on urban issues. The latest one is about ADUs — accessory dwelling units. ADUs are sometimes presented as a solution to...

Affordable Housing Brings Down Nearby Property Values, Doesn’t It?

Does living near affordable housing boost property values or lower them? Christina Stacy and Christopher Davis, who are based at the Urban Institute in the United States, reviewed existing...

Convenience Of Irish Town Centres Are A New Residential Focus

Suburban wealth and automobile culture have produced three-quarters of a century of downtown commercial erosion. Pedestrian convenience gave way to suburban/exurban shopping centres and box stores more easily accessed...

Is Minneapolis Now Reaping The Fruits Of Anti-NIMBY Bylaw Change?

Minneapolis shocked America, as well as some other westernized nations, when its city council decided unanimously in 2018 to allow multifamily dwellings in any residential neighbourhood. The increased density...

Urban Golf Courses A Tasty Target For Public Parks, Public Housing

Urban golf courses have long been a target of class resentment. Often built on the outskirts of towns and cities that have expanded to engulf them, they can be...

Israel Fiddles While Housing Tenants/Owners Get Burnt

Israel is suffering from the same rampant financialization of housing afflicting capitalist societies around the world. And, like other suffering nations, it has taken what seems to be the...

Mi Barrio! How To Exercise The Reverse NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard)

New home builders are extraordinarily powerful. It is not uncommon to hear the industry described as the engine that drives the city, state, even country. That's certainly the case...

10,000 L.A. Public Housing Units That Didn’t Get Built

A recent article in Mother Jones recounts a story from Los Angeles about 10,000 units of public housing that were never built. The article is about Frank Wilkinson, who worked...

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...

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

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

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...

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

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...

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

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

Copenhagen Housing Solution: Expand Once More Into The Sea

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...

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

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...

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

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

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...

Developer Pioneers UK Affordable Housing Shell Game

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?

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

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...

A Growing Price To Pay for Trendy, Quirky Waterborne Housing

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

New Zealand Employee Affordable Housing Supplied By An Unusual Company Town

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

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

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...

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

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...

Institutionalizing Homelessness: Bangor, Maine, Hands Out Tents

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

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

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...

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

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?

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:

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

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.

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?

‘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...

Affordable Housing Wars: True ‘YIMBY’ Can Outflank NIMBY

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...

Does A High Density Planet Demand High Density Housing?

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

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...

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

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...

Affordable Housing That Physically Embraces History: Could It Work

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,...

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

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...

Affordable Flood Plains: A Stilted Conversation

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...

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

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...

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

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...

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

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

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

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...

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

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....

Minneapolis Drives A Stake Into The Heart Of The American Dreamscape

In a remarkably lopsided Council decision, Minneapolis, Minnesota has made American history by shafting detached-house zoning in every city neighbourhood, even the most upscale and exclusive. This comprehensive decision is...

L.A. Explores ‘Boarding School’ For Entire Homeless Families

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is considering a profoundly generous and undoubtedly controversial way of fulfilling its mandate to provide education for all children and youth, regardless...

Planning Permission Dragging On? Paris Developers Donate ‘Meanwhile’ Space

In spite of affordable housing being an urgent crisis in many nations, there remain major, perhaps unavoidable, delays in approving property development, whether it includes affordable housing or not. Zoning...

Gentrification Has Killed Shared Housing. Affordability May Bring it Back, Complete With Benefits

In Toronto, Ontario, shared housing hangs on stubbornly, like weeds in a well-kept lawn. Rooming houses, boarding houses, single room occupancy hotels and other forms of shared accommodation are...

The Many Colors of NIMBY: Somewhere Between Sparse And Clogged, Our Density Is To Die For

NIMBY: Not in My Back Yard. Part of an ongoing collection of articles exploring some of the many ways that a worldwide affordable housing crisis is opposed.

Canada’s NICE May Need A Naughtier Affordable Housing Project

In the spirit of its 'NICE' acronym, Canada's National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly is embarking on an admirable and extremely ambitious affordable housing initiative. The charitable...

ADUs — We Need To Be Reasonable. But Granny Reasonable? Or Affordable Housing Reasonable?

Some homeowners actually want to install their granny (or an insufferable teenager or two) in a tastefully tiny house at the foot of the garden. For those kinds of...

How Library Systems Can Help Address Affordable Housing Crises

Increasing density seems the only option for building affordable housing in the downtown core of many cities. Even smaller homes in higher towers may only temporarily be affordable, if...

Downsizing (Or Should It Be ‘Resizing’?) The American Dream

The postwar housing boom that brought Norman Rockwell's idealized America to a ring of suburbs around every North American city was not built upon 2000-3000 sq ft. ranch houses...

India’s Affordable Housing Pledge Pinched By Lack Of Urban Space

Can you imagine your own government pledging affordable housing for everyone in the country within a decade? Could such an undertaking be undertaken in that time frame, even in...
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