Alan Mallach

Alan Mallach
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Alan Mallach, senior fellow at the Center for Community Progress and the National Housing Institute, is the author of many works on housing and planning, including Bringing Buildings Back, A Decent Home, and Inclusionary Housing in International Perspective. He served as director of housing and economic development for Trenton, New Jersey, from 1990 to 1999, and teaches in the City and Regional Planning program at Pratt Institute.

Whose Affordable Housing Crisis?

Being priced out of appreciating neighborhoods is not the housing affordability problem most Americans face. But they are facing one.

The Two Vacancy Crises in America’s Cities

Vacant properties are a serious problem in two kinds of neighborhoods. To address them, we need to know which kind we’re looking at.
baltimore maryland

What Future For America’s Small Cities?

These books not only offer something of a window on what is—or is not—going on in small cities, but useful pointers for practitioners working in the types of cities described.
The book cover for The New Localism: How Cities Can Thrive in the Age of Populism By Bruce Katz and Jeremy Nowak.

The Fate, and Power, of Cities: A Review of The New Localism

The New Localism: How Cities Can Thrive in the Age of Populism by Bruce Katz and Jeremy Nowak. Brookings Institution Press, 2018, 304 pp., $25.99 hardcover, also available on e-book. Purchase a copy at brook.gs/2LOjunA

Lots of Maps, Little Insight in Richard Florida’s Latest

The New Urban Crisis treats a complicated and demanding subject with depressing inadequacy, offering little or nothing in the way of constructive, creative insights or strategies for advocates or practitioners seeking to combat these trends.

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,...

Myths and Realities About Cycles: Avoiding the Inevitability Trap

About a year ago I wrote a post about Paul Krugman and whether building luxury housing could mitigate the...

Malign Neglect? Urban Policy in the Trump Era

To paraphrase physicist Niels Bohr, (or maybe it was Yogi Berra), “predicting is difficult, especially when it’s about the...

How Not To Do Economic Development

Camden is one of the most distressed cities in the United States, and if any city needs state help...
The 2016 election: Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump.

Does Place Matter Anymore? Cities and the 2016 Election

I’m not the only one, I suspect, who’s been struck by how little, if at all, cities have figured into the 2016 presidential election up to now.

Millennials, Revisited

As both Joe Cortright of the City Observatory and I have written, Millennials—people who have reached adulthood since the beginning of the millennium—and...
A white three-level building.

Don’t Build Mixed-Income Communities, Buy Them

Building when you could buy is inefficient—and contributes to economic segregation.

Canada Is Looking Better and Better (The Regent Park Story)

High-density public housing may seem like an idea whose time has come and gone, buried along with the ruins of notorious projects like St....

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...

The REAL Rental Housing Issue

We know a few things about the majority of very low-income renters: They live in private market housing, not tax credit projects or public...
A fenced lot on a city street.

Even Homer Nods: Paul Krugman Gets It Wrong on Housing

As the saying goes, even Homer nods. Paul Krugman must have been having an off day at the end of November 2015, when he...

Do Urban Neighborhoods Need Homeowners?

At a conference I attended last week, one of the speakers, a colleague whose judgment and knowledge I respect, offered his take on the future of urban single family neighborhoods. The lower income families who have the credit and can get together the down payment to become homeowners are buying in the suburbs. People working […]

What’s The Matter With Atlantic City?

Over the past few months, there’s been a drumbeat of bad news coming out of Atlantic City. Since the beginning of 2014, four casinos have closed, including Revel, which the state of New Jersey granted $261 million in tax breaks to back in 2011 so they could finish construction and open their doors. A fifth […]

Now You See the Money, Now You Don’t

Since November of last year, the United States Justice Department has announced multi-billion dollar settlements with the nation’s three largest banks – Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America (BoA) – over what Justice calls the “packaging, marketing, sale and issuance of residential mortgage-backed securities.” Collectively, these three banks have agreed to pay a total […]

Japan’s Unintentional Social Experiment

Having just come back from two weeks in Japan, my brain is still overflowing with sensations and images from that fascinating, exciting, and intermittently...