A return to writing and a protest at Lathrop Homes

Okay I’m back. I realize I keep saying this. I also keep hoping it is true. I have been writing, just not here. If you’re interested, I started a personal blog that focuses mainly on anxiety, a recent running injury, and my thoughts on the world in general. Writing about myself was a bit of a […]

Developers in California won’t let inclusionary zoning case rest

I have been away from this blog for so long, part of me fears I have forgotten to write well about affordable housing. Still, life has reached a stabilizing point for me in the past week or so and I realized I am becoming restless without writing here. And so, to welcome what I hope […]

City of Chicago sued for affordable housing requirements

Hoyne Development and the Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago (HBAGC) association have filed a suit against Chicago over the city’s Affordable Requirements Ordinance (ARO). In its current iteration, this Ordinance requires developers that use government funding, purchase government land or seek a zoning change for buildings containing 10 or more units to include a proportion of […]

A quick fix for affordable housing in Seattle

Seattle’s Mayor Murray is still hot on his quest to create 20,000 more affordable housing units in his city by 2025. Part of this quota, he hopes, will come from rent-stabilized apartments financed through a Multi-family Tax Exemption (MFTE). This sort of exemption provides 12-year tax breaks for new or rehabilitated buildings if the developer […]

The difficulty of obtaining a government ID, especially while homeless

In the District of Columbia, as Kathryn Baer of Poverty & Policy explains in a recent post, securing an official ID as a homeless person (without an address, proof of residency, utility bills, etc) is a near impossible burden and requires systems of support that are often beyond the reach of homeless people. And yet, […]

Monthly Roundup: Five stories in the news

After a long break, here is my newest roundup of the month’s most enticing, infuriating, discussion-worthy news stories! I have always enjoyed these posts, since they give me time to reflect on my recent reading and to share my thoughts on multiple aspects of affordable housing. Please let me know in the comments about your favorite compelling […]

Housing vs. Community Garden: which is the more valuable use of land?

A few months ago I read about a housing development proposed for construction on the site of the community-run Elizabeth Street Garden in New York City and was struck (as I often am) by how one good choice often comes at the expense of another. I support both housing and community spaces (especially gardens) and […]

Illinois cannot afford to fund social services without a budget

Illinois has yet to pass a budget for the current fiscal year, which began on July 1. As a result, reserves are running low and social service organizations are going unfunded, despite court orders. Comptroller Leslie Munger’s office says they simply do not have enough money to write checks to everyone effected by the shortages. […]

Bipartisan support for using Fannie Mae/ Freddie Mac profits to fund affordable rental housing

Barney Frank’s latest article in the Portland Press Herald describes the virtues of a new bill proposed by Senator Susan Collins (R. -Maine) regarding the use of profits gleaned from Fannie Mae/ Freddie Mac. The two agencies, responsible for providing government-backed mortgages, are still in conservatorship. Profits do not go to shareholders, but to U.S. Treasury. These […]

Can Mayor de Blasio achieve mandatory AND permanent affordable housing?

New York City Mayor de Blasio and the City Council have big plans to overhaul the city’s affordable housing laws. Under New York’s current inclusionary zoning plan, developers voluntarily include affordable housing in rezoned buildings (buildings that are taller or larger than is allowed under zoning law) in exchange for certain tax breaks and incentives. This is […]