Will new performance fees keep CHA property managers honest?

The Chicago Housing Authority’s new CEO, Eugene Jones, has made his first radical change to public housing. Last June, the CHA issued a request for proposals (RFP) for property management contracts. For the purposes of the RFP, Chicago was divided into five zones and companies were asked to bid on up to all five zones, with […]

Seattle City Council makes first move toward 20,000 affordable units

Seattle’s City Council has made its first move to create 20,000 units of affordable housing (of 50,000 total proposed new units) by 2025. The city is selling a small parcel of land corner lot to Stream Real Estate for approximately $1.4 million, or fair-market value. Stream plans to construct approximately an approximately 150-unit building on […]

Vote for affordable housing projects!

Affordable Housing Finance (AHF), an online magazine that covers affordable housing projects throughout the country, is about to close voting on its annual Reader’s Choice Awards. The contest is broken into nine categories, with 34 projects total projects in competition. Eligible developments were either completed in 2014 or will be completed in 2015. Each entry […]

Preserving housing along The 606

Residents living along the route of Chicago’s new recreational trail The 606 (also known as Bloomingdale Trail) are, as predicted, feeling the pressure of gentrification. For low-income families, this could mean a forced exodus further west, away from the city, where rents and property values remain low.  Mayor Emanuel promised to help preserve affordable housing […]

Not enough affordable housing in Berkeley

I am always surprised (although I know I shouldn’t be) when I learn that so-called progressive cities like Berkeley do not meet their affordable housing needs. With so many students, educated, liberal people housing should be a de facto part of city planning, it should be a matter of course. But shoulds are not realities and so […]

Income limits and public housing

The New York Post published an editorial this past Sunday vilifying affordable housing. As proof, it used a July audit of HUD by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) that showed a total of 25,226 households living in public housing units nationwide were over HUD’s income limits for FY2014. The OIG excluded Moving to Work housing […]

Affordable housing fights in Hoboken

Hoboken’s affordable housing ordinance (enacted in 1988) has been upheld by an appellate court, making it mandatory for developers to designate ten percent of new homes per housing development as affordable. Just as when California’s Supreme Court upheld a similar ordinance in San Jose, developers are outraged. The case came to court after the Fair Share […]

Keeping the Promise Ordinance in Chicago’s City Council today

The Chicago Housing Initiative and supporting Aldermen are introducing the Keeping the Promise Ordinance to Chicago’s City Council today. The Ordinance will create oversight and accountability for the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) by requiring the CHA to report to the Council on a quarterly basis; to replace each demolished unit with another unit on a one-for-one basis […]

Affordable housing and adaptive reuse

Rather than demolish an historic Portland church, a nonprofit organization, Shalom House, has submitted a proposal to use the space for housing low-income individuals with mental disabilities. The integrity of the exterior will remain largely unchanged, with the bulk of renovation taking place inside the building to create 25 affordable units. As I said in […]

Is affordable housing in the suburbs really affordable?

A recent article in The Atlantic about affordable housing in exclusive Chicago suburbs such as Glenview, started me thinking about the efficacy of affordable housing in the suburbs (or, rather, gave me an excuse to share my thoughts about it here, because housing in the suburbs is never far from my mind). The article praises […]