Housing

Housing matters. A stable, quality, affordable home is a foundation for so many other parts of life. How do we bring it in reach for everyone?

Does Public Housing Have a Future?

Everybody hates public housing, except the low-income people who live there and the people on the long waiting lists to get in. After years of neglect, the Obama administration wants to save public housing for future generations. Let's let them.

HUD Regs Change May Hurt Local Housing Groups

New revisions to HOME regulations would require CHDOs to have someone with housing development experience on staff.

Administration Claims Homelessness has Dropped Dramatically. Really?

On July 29, 2008, the White House issued a statement that “chronic homelessness decreased an average of 15 percent per year between 2005 – 2007 and demonstrates that targeted, focused resources can achieve measurable...

CHA Back in Charge

After 23 years, the Chicago housing authority is no longer in receivership. The court-ordered receivership had placed administrative duties in the hands of a private company, Habitat Co. Now U.S. District Court Judge Marvin...

Safe Havens

Housing first, yes, but then services, recreation, education: These are all pillars to building strong communities, and most importantly, strong people.

Transportation and Fair Housing Part 1: We Need a Better Measure of Opportunity

Factoring in costs that tend to be lower in urban high-poverty neighborhoods, but not costs that tend to be higher there makes the H+T Index unsuitable as a tool for locating low-income housing.

Interview with Gabriel Metcalf, author of Democratic by Design

Gabriel Metcalf, CEO of SPUR, discusses his new book, "Democratic by Design: How Carsharing, Co-ops, and Community Land Trusts are Reinventing America."

Foreclosure Mitigation, Abandoned Properties, What’s Missing?

At an upcoming housing summit in New Jersey, there are promising presentations for anyone who sees the grave danger associated with the foreclosure crisis and the subsequent effects on neighborhoods, but does it go...

Demolishing Buildings, and Political Communities

Signs like the one above went up at Chicago's Lathrop Homes a few Fridays ago. In 1999, the Chicago Housing Authority, in step with other housing authorities throughout the country, began a plan to demolish...

When Supportive Housing Isn’t

The rationale behind supportive housing for people with mental disabilities is that pairing individualized services with permanent housing will help them live independently. But one San Francisco advocate sees more neglect than support.

Building in Affordability

A range of existing policy tools can help preserve and expand affordable housing near planned transit stations -- but to have the most effect, they need to be put in place up front.

Priorities: Existing Housing Over New Construction

In the Pacific Northwest, the affordable housing industry is just beginning to understand the unsustainable building practices that were common in the 1990s and early 2000s.

The FHA Refinancing Option for Troubled Loans—Doing it Right

Now that the American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act has been signed by the president, let us examine one of its key provisions. Under this act, the Federal Housing Administration is allowed to...

The Next Step in Supportive Housing

With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, individual-focused healthy lifestyles—regardless of socioeconomic status—became an increased topic of discussion. Along with clear correlations between health and housing, there is greater awareness by municipal governments...
A drawing of a house with a red roof and a red path leading from door is accompanied by text explaining reasons why shared-equity homeownership makes sense in weak-market areas. Image links to pdf version.

Q: What’s the Point of Shared-Equity Homeownership in Weak Market Areas?

Shared-equity homeownership is best known as a tool to fight displacement in hot-market areas. But in fact, it has many advantages in weak-market areas too.

The New Rent Control Wars

On November 4, a near riot broke out in the usually quiet city of Alameda, Ca. The reason? A battle over rent control. Rising rents and evictions are causing...

No Cover for Making Home Affordable

We’ve long known that the administration’s collection of foreclosure prevention programs, known together as Making Home Affordable, has been underperforming, with government data indicating that less than $400 million of the now $30 billion...

Have We Been Wasting Affordable Housing Money?

It might seem like 10, or even 30, years is a long time to require affordability—until it’s over and your public investment is lost.

Building Codes: The Good and the Bad

Recently, Rosanne Haggerty of Community Solutions argued here on Rooflines that outdated building codes—including things like minimum sizes and parking requirements—were limiting the amount of affordable housing that could be...
One-pager shows a repeating image of a manufactured home down the center, with myths on the left about why they are bad, and facts on the right. Image links to pdf version.

Q: Are manufactured homes a bad form of affordable housing?

A: Not any more! There are many myths out there about manufactured (or "mobile") homes, but in fact they can be a very important source of quality affordable housing...

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