Saving bungalows and creating affordable housing in Seattle

A former librarian in Seattle is proposing an excellent addition to the mayor’s recent housing goals: rather than raze historical bungalows (and other single family houses) in favor of condos and low-density buildings, convert portions of existing homes into rental units. This is far from a revolutionary idea, but it is one that is often […]

Poverty as a put-down

American’s have long conflated class with race. Emily Badger’s article in the Washington Post shows how Section 8 housing (which covers both public and voucher programs) became synonymous with poverty, violence, and blackness and how, when linked together, these attributes are a used as a slur. Because of the history and media coverage of the […]

How liberal are Democrats when low-income housing comes to their neighborhood?

Now that HUD and the Supreme Court are cracking down on fair housing (the SCOTUS ruling upholding disparate impact cases and HUD’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing came within two weeks of each other) Democrats have to live up to their rhetoric and embrace the poor and non-white into their own (affluent, white) neighborhoods.  Thomas Edsall […]

NYC sees historical high in new and preserved affordable housing units 

Despite his scuffles with Governor Cuomo as well as housing advocates (and protestors), New York City’s Mayor de Blasio’s housing policies helped construct almost 8,500 new units for low- and middle-income city residents over the past fiscal year. Additionally, more than 11,000 units were preserved, resulting in over 20,000 affordable units throughout the city. Unlike […]

Seattle’s new and wonderful housing plan

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is trying to revolutionize affordable housing and the way cities engage with and care for their low and middle-income populations.  My two favorite proposals are the elimination of detached single family homes (rowhouses, duplexes, triplexes and other low-density buildings are acceptable because they are more space and resource efficient) and reducing […]

Supportive services are necessary in updated New Jersey housing plans

The case for housing the mentally ill: it is less expensive and more productive.  In light of the recent New Jersey ruling mandating that municipalities submit their affordable housing plans to the state Supreme Court, Bridgeway Rehabilitation Services urges local housing authorities to consider integrating wraparound services for people with mental illness (such as counseling […]

When does the quest for diversity go too far? 

Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing is HUD’s latest rule to prevent housing discrimination. The rule makes it easier (through a HUD-provided tool and clarified HUD regulations) for housing authorities and communities to track area demographics. The resulting statistics will create a more wholistic picture of a neighborhood and will allow communities to make decisions that further […]

Affordable housing on tourist-laden island 

Even the San Juan Islands, tourist destinations filled with high-cost vacation home (mansions), struggle to provide adequate housing for locals. Because these islands off the coast of Washington state are attractive second-home destinations, land prices are exorbitant. Furthermore, the cost of construction materials is inflated because everything must be imported via ferry; there are limited […]

Negatives of affordable housing are a myth 

Republicans have succeeded in suppressing affordable housing as a result (this article in The Chron proposes) of deeply embedded cultural myths about public housing and its residents. The process of normalizing and creating public support for housing requires a campaign to dispel these myths. Providing facts about affordable housing (it does not breed crime, it is […]

Affordable housing emerges from the 2008 housing crisis

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has brokered a deal with Bank of American and CitiBank to help rehabilitate or construct more than 3,500 affordable units in New York State. Developers will receive low-interest loans for projects throughout the state, although the majority will be situated in New York City. This agreement is part of the banks’ […]