Subject: Housing

  • Housing Regulations Are For Neighbors, Not Residents

    In a previous post here on Rooflines, I argued that we cannot give up hope that the market will build middle income housing. Granted, over the past decade, most new housing built has been in the luxury segment of the market,…

  • Should Online Shopping Change How We Use Space?

    Should ground-floor use go from retail to housing? In San Francisco, the closing of once-popular San Francisco restaurants and the decline of longtime Union Square pillar Macy’s raise a question: Have the fundamentals of urban retail changed? If the answer…

  • Housing and The “Flyover” Mentality

    Right around the New Year, an article by Wired’s Emily Dreyfuss popped up on one of my newsfeeds titled, “The Middle Class Can’t Afford to Live In Cities Anymore.” My reaction was skepticism, and that skepticism was confirmed when I…

  • Tenant Protections Are a Cornerstone to Solving the Housing Crisis

    I’ve read far too many think pieces, op-eds, and reports that neglect the role of tenant protections as a tool that is vital to solving our local, state, national, and international housing crises. Recently, California’s Housing & Community Development office…

  • Not All Artists Are Young. Or Childless.

    On Dec. 3, the Ghost Ship fire in Oakland became the deadliest in the city’s history, claiming the lives of 36 individuals. The warehouse inferno also consumed an event venue and artist collective that up to two dozen people—many of…

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    Take the Best of Public Housing, And Make More

    Housing and its affordability are arguably the most pressing issues in the United States today. As the number of renters rises, the availability of housing units at lower-income levels is dwindling. Many households pay more than 50 percent of their…

  • In the Delta, Homeownership Strategies Need Innovation

    Earlier this month, the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) partnered with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis for two convenings to discuss The Role of Housing as an Asset for Families and Economic Development Driver for Communities in the…

  • Stop Subsidizing Bad Landlords

    Esperanza Menendez-Jackson is a single working mother who lived with her three children in a government-subsidized apartment building in Newark, New Jersey. Early into the lease, she discovered that the apartment was infested with bed bugs and was without heat,…

  • Housing Assistance for *All* Is a Matter of Racial Justice—and It’s Achievable

    Project-based Section 8 has been a successful public-private partnership that helps provide affordable housing to very low-income households while also investing in jobs and improving communities. Any rational housing policy starts with such place-based strategies. However, place-based strategies, while absolutely…

  • Homeownership Is a Culprit in The Racial Wealth Divide

    Homeowners' Equity (HOE)—the market value of residential real estate minus the value of home-secured debt—has long been the largest single component of wealth for Black and Latino families. On average during the last quarter century, HOE accounted for nearly half…

  • Housing Doesn’t Filter, Neighborhoods Do

    There has been a renewed interest in the role that the real estate market can play in solving our growing affordable housing crisis. For decades "affordable housing" has been the near exclusive domain of the public sector, but the crisis…

  • Stopping Declining Homeownership Requires More than Affordability

    According to recent research, the availability of starter and "trade-up" homes is in the midst of a four-year decline, which, at least in most markets, shows little evidence of abating. (Trulia defines starter homes as those priced in the bottom…

  • The ‘Filtering’ Fallacy

    The rationale behind recently-proposed “solutions” to the housing affordability crisis that seek to reduce limits and regulation on high-end housing development policy is the theory of Filtering. According to filtering, maximizing the supply of housing at the high-end of the…

  • #Renters Day of Action—Our Demands

                        Last month, on Sept. 22nd, renters took to the streets in 19 states and 52 cities for the national Renters Day of Action (RDA) to declare a national Renter State…

  • A New Perspective on Housing Tenure

    Those of us who work in housing and housing policy know how complicated housing tenure can be. The most common forms of tenure, which describes the legal status under which people have the right to occupy their accommodation, are homeownership…

  • “Your Lease Should Be Next to Your Bible,” #RentersDayofAction

    This Tuesday, advocates took to the microphone on the steps of Newark City Hall, speaking passionately about the city they love and their right to live there without threat of displacement. People pass by and look up at signs calling…

  • Let’s Get Rid of the Words “Property” and “Manager”

    One of my first jobs as a young housing professional in the 1980s at a local public housing authority was to support site staff, both property managers and social workers, in improving their performance and increasing positive outcomes for residents.…

  • From Barracks to Apartments: Serving Vets in Transition

    As regular readers of Shelterforce know, with the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008, Congress provided $75 million to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to create the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) program. This initial funding was…

  • As Affordability Worsens, State and Local Governments Act on their Own

    The 2016 State of the Nation’s Housing Report published by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies once again points to the continued worsening of rental housing affordability as a significant societal issue calling for a more concerted response. Citing recent…

  • Housing Groups Should Expand to Repair Work to Help Seniors Age in Place

    Before school Oliver used to collect baskets of wood that his father would sell. That was his way of contributing to the effort of saving money for a lot on which to build a house. His father always stressed that…

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