Subject: Affordable Housing

  • Making It Easier to Build Won’t Generate Affordable Units

    It is often convenient to blame city planners for the affordable housing crisis. After all, those affected have no other public forum to vent their concerns, least of all toward those who are profiting off of the crisis on a…

  • NIMBY, or Not? What’s Going on in New York City?

    Housing policy practitioners outside of New York City are often surprised that our local struggles are, compared to other parts of the country, less likely to be dominated by NIMBY (Not in My Backyard) fights against affordable housing. When talking…

  • The Danger of Middle-Income People Feeling the Affordability Crisis

    The housing affordability crunch is being felt by ever more people. As this year's State of the Nation's Housing report found: While the share of renters facing cost burdens has risen across all income groups, nationwide, burden rates for renters…

  • A New Paradigm for California Transit: Equity, Sustainability, and Housing

    Across the country, inequity is a defining issue of our time, and in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area, the examples are stark. According to the Brookings Institution, the San Francisco metro area ranks third and Los Angeles…

  • A Non-Profit Housing Acquisition Program Could Protect The Displaced

    In a recent post on my website, I wrote about the need for a new affordable housing policy—one that targets the 99 percent of housing already built and operating, rather than focusing exclusively on new construction, which represents only about…

  • The Real Reasons Affordable Housing Isn’t Being Built in California

    The high cost of housing is one of the most challenging planning issues of our time. The meager supply of affordable housing is a major contributor to the problem, yet the policy tools to address the shortfall often seem to…

  • Using the Wrong Tools to Build Affordable Housing

    Along with most Rooflines readers, I believe that having some portion of a community’s housing as long term or permanently affordable is a desirable policy goal. That said, though, I’ve found myself wondering what might be the best way to…

  • Building Children Out of Our Cities

    Last fall, the City of Oakland, Ca. launched a planning process to shape the future of its downtown. SPUR, a regional planning nonprofit, published a report titled, A Downtown for Everyone: Shaping the Future of Downtown Oakland. In it, the…

  • The New Rent Control Wars

    On November 4, a near riot broke out in the usually quiet city of Alameda, Ca. The reason? A battle over rent control. Rising rents and evictions are causing tenant displacement, and activists hoped that the November 4 City Council…

  • A Disastrous Week for Housing

    In the United States, millions of people live in unaffordable and/or unhealthy homes or lack housing at all. If you wonder why, consider the events of October 10-13, 2015. On October 10, California’s Democratic Governor Jerry Brown vetoed AB 35,…

  • Oakland, CA Adopts Roadmap to Promote Housing Equity

    On September 30, hundreds of Oakland citizens filled the City Council chamber for a special hearing, with many lining up late into the night to deliver their stories of fear, anxiety, and urgent concern that the city take concrete action…

  • Affordable Housing Preservation of the Past and How It Can be Relearned

    Over a quarter century ago, affordable housing advocates, housing providers, and public officials began to fully recognize a potential affordable housing crisis. In the early 1990s, federal contracts with private owners of affordable apartments faced expiration in huge numbers, threatening…

  • What An Affordable Housing Victory Looks Like in DC

    There is big affordable housing news from DC. HUD and Congress are not involved. In fact, the federal government has no role in this news, which is not always the case when it comes to local politics. On May 27,…

  • Should We Want Home Prices to Rise?

    Over on the media watchdog site FAIR, economist Dean Baker takes Boston Community Capital director Elyse Cherry to task for saying in her recent New York Times op-ed that it is a problem for low-income homeowners for home values to be…

  • Affordable Housing Strikes Back

    George Lucas seems to be on a mission to be an affordable housing developer—or at least to use affordable housing to get back at his cranky neighbors. The Star Wars creator recently filed a pre-application with the Marin County Community…

  • Is DC Really Affordable?

      I'm glad to see I'm not the only one thinking about the limits of the "30 percent of your income" housing affordability definition. This Washington City Paper article gets into the idea that housing and transportation together is a better…

  • Article Reveals Manufactured Housing Industry’s Greed

    Earlier this month, the Center for Public Integrity and The Seattle Times released an investigative article examining the business practices of the leading manufactured home builder, lender, and retailer, Clayton Homes. As many readers now know, Clayton, a Berkshire Hathaway…

  • Intergenerational Housing-The New Sharing Model?

    Last month, I wrote a piece on intergenerational collaborations, specifically a small program that brought teenagers to a retirement home to tutor senior residents on use of the Internet. Also mentioned was a senior housing development in Connecticut that enables…

  • Chattanooga Is Densifying Its Downtown—Will It Diversify Too?

    Chattanooga, Tenn., has done some impressive things over the past few decades, being forward looking first in terms of investing in going green, and then in offering the fastest Internet service in the country. As this CityLab article points out, it's…

  • Innovations in 1-to-4-unit Multifamily Developments

    Last month, we co-hosted with the National Housing Conference a forum on promising strategies for neighborhood revitalization in Detroit. The daylong event brought together a small group of high-performing nonprofits from Detroit and across the United States to share innovative…

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