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The Future of Housing in America

United States Housing Economics HUD Community Reinvestment Act Elizabeth Warren

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30 replies to this topic

#21
caltrek

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So people can't choose to live with who they wish? We're one of the biggest police states in the world and don't believe in freedom as our government treats its people like trash. Caltrek, it is time to stop calling ourselves the land of the free.

Even Britain is more free.

 

This is a story about zoning.  So how do you connect that to living with who they choose to live with?

 

If you are talking about discrimination, then that cuts both ways.  Depriving a black person of the right to live in a certain neighborhood certainly deprives that person of the right to live with who he wants to live with.  Incidentally, it also often creates the additional burden of a long commute to work.  There are some real horror stories about how far minorities have to commute to work. Definitely an infringement on their economic freedom.

 

As to zoning, I can actually be a bit of an anarchist on that point.  Sure, separating a noisy smoke noisy belching factory from a multi-family residential area makes a certain amount of sense. Still, zoning commissions often go hog wild when they let loose their zoning maps.  Homeowners Associations can be even worse. They will even tell you what color of paint you can use to paint your house. 

 

You don't like their supervision - well then, you don't have to live in their neighborhood.  Never mind that the majority of the people in that neighborhood actually agree with you.  As you might be able to tell, I have actually had some experience in that area.

 

On it being more free in England.  If you think our government secrets acts are strict...

 

Of course, I am no expert on government secrets acts.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#22
caltrek

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An expert in geography and sustainable development explains the tiny house movement

 

https://www.alternet...house-movement/

 

Introduction:

(Alternet) Tiny houses are everywhere. They’ve received heavy coverage in the media and there are millions of followers on dozens of pages on social media. While there is no census for these homes, they have seen a surge in popularity in the decade since the Great Recession – witness the prolific growth of tiny house manufacturers, for instance. Originating in the US, tiny homes have also been popping up across Canada, Australia and the UK.

 

Tiny houses are promoted as an answer to the affordable housing crisis; a desirable alternative to traditional homes and mortgages. Yet there are many complexities and contradictions that surround these tiny spaces, as I discovered when I began investigating them.

 

I have toured homes, attended tiny house festivals, stayed in a tiny house community and interviewed several dozen people who live inside them. My research took me throughout the US, from a converted accessory unit squeezed between two average size homes on Staten Island to a community in Florida full of cute and brightly coloured tiny structures – appropriately located just down the road from Disneyland. Here are three things I unexpectedly discovered along the way. (Read linked article for further discussion).

darkness_myoldfriend.jpg


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#23
caltrek

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How to build a skyscraper out of wood

 

https://theweek.com/...skyscraper-wood

 

Introduction:

(The Week) Building skyscrapers out of wood: It sounds bizarre, unsafe, maybe even a bit twee. But it could actually be the future of construction.

 

"Each material has its different pros and cons, and there's no reason that timber shouldn't be part of that larger discussion," Todd Snapp, an architect with the global firm Perkins + Will, told The Week. "I can't say it's better than steel or concrete. I can say it should be just as relevant in the discussion of what material to use."

 

Snapp is the design principal guiding the firm's River Beech Tower project, an 800-foot residential skyscraper that would be built almost entirely out of wood.

interior_atrium.png?itok=_7WaLnxg

Artist's rendering of the River Beech Tower project.

Image courtesy of Perkins + Will.


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The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#24
caltrek

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It’s Time For A Homes Guarantee

 

https://ourfuture.or...homes-guarantee

 

Introduction:

(Our Future) Our nation is in a full-blown housing emergency. Today, a person working full time in a minimum-wage job cannot afford a two-bedroom apartment – anywhere in the United States. More than half of all Americans spend a third or more of their income on housing. Only one in five households that qualify for federal housing assistance receives it.

 

And right now, thanks to President Trump’s irresponsible government shutdown, hundreds of thousands of households may face eviction and homelessness.

 

So we have to ask again, with even greater urgency, the question we put to HUD Secretary Ben Carson when we confronted him in Las Vegas last spring: “Where will we live?”

 

This is the humanitarian crisis we should be talking about: the one that’s right under our noses, and is growing larger every day. Most people – especially low-income families and communities of color – live one emergency away from an eviction. More than three million families and individuals are already experiencing homelessness, including over one million children.

 

We need bold solutions for housing now. That’s why People’s Action members affected by this crisis traveled to Washington from New York, Los Angeles and Chicago to meet with lawmakers in December.

Screen-Shot-2019-01-13-at-10.52.18-PM.pn


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#25
caltrek

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Boy, does this bring back old memories.   Let's just say that HCD and I go a long way back.

 

California Sues ‘Surf City USA’ for Stonewalling on Affordable Housing

 

https://www.courthou...rdable-housing/

 

Introduction:

(Courthouse News) – California began taking steps Friday to crack down on cities that refuse to comply with the Golden State’s housing laws, slamming the city of Huntington Beach over its strict development rules that stand in the way of affordable housing development amid a housing crisis.

 

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office said state Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed a lawsuit against Huntington Beach in Orange County Superior Court on Friday, the first lawsuit of its kind as the state looks to address the housing crisis by holding local government officials accountable for refusing to share the burden.

 

While Newsom’s office noted Huntington Beach was on track to meet state standards, it reversed course in 2013 and by 2015 had violated state law by refusing to build a sufficient number of affordable housing units. The City Council rejected notice from the state Department of Housing and Community Development and voted down a measure to create both low-income and high-density housing developments – bowing to pressure from residents over the demands of the state.

 

By 2016, the city had fallen about 400 affordable housing units short of state mandates.

 

In 2017, California’s housing crisis prompted the passage of Assembly Bill 72. The bill took effect a year ago, and allows the state to rescind a local government’s housing rules if they violate affordable housing requirements.

HuntingtonBeachCalif.jpg?w=1140


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#26
caltrek

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I just found this old thread that I would like to hereby incorporate into this thread as it is highly relevant to the theme.

 

 

https://www.futureti...n-a-tiny-house/ 


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#27
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Community Land Trusts Come of Age

 

https://nonprofitqua...-policy-agenda/

 

(Introduction)

 

(Nonprofit Quarterly) Here at NPQ, it seems we are always covering the disappearance of affordable housing and the rise of housing prices, of evictions and gentrification, and…well, of all the problems that flow from the unfettered commodification of a basic human need. At some point, we must get to the issue of equity—both the “equity” we hold in our homes and the social equity we gain when decent housing is within the reach of most working families.

 

That is why we want to stop bemoaning our fate for a minute to say there is another way. Happy Birthday, Land Trusts, and we’d like to see more of you!

 

As NPQ has noted, the idea of the community land trust, a form of housing that creates a middle ground between renting and owning, has been gaining visibility. In a community land trust, typically the land is owned by a nonprofit, the buildings are owned by families, and a lease (or deed) specifies how equity gains are shared between the two, allowing for modest equity gains for the family while preserving permanently affordable housing for future homeowners.

 

Now, thanks to a study from the Lincoln Institute for Land Policy and Grounded Solutions Network titled Tracking Growth and Evaluating Performance of Shared Equity Homeownership Programs During Housing Market Fluctuations, we have better data on community land trust housing than ever before. The new study is easily the field’s most comprehensive, with findings culled from more than 4,100 sales or resales of community land trust housing units drawn from 264 cities in 20 states from 1985 to the present.

 

All told, today there are an estimated 12,000 units of community land trust housing nationwide—up from fewer than 2,000 units three decades ago. The first US community land trust was in Albany, Georgia in 1969. As the movement turns 50 this year, there is a growing track record of performance to review.

 


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#28
caltrek

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Commentary: The next housing bubble could come from this technology

 

https://www.latimes....0701-story.html

 

Introduction:

 

(Los Angeles Times) A decade after the housing crash, it is now possible to buy or sell a house with the click of a mouse. If the practice catches on, it could lead to a far more efficient and affordable housing market — or another devastating bubble.

 

So-called iBuying (short for “instant buying”) involves firms using algorithms to provide sellers with fixed-price offers on their homes. Although housing is a good long-term investment, it is bedeviled by multiple instances of market failure. The most fundamental is that the seller has a lot more information about the condition of the property than the potential buyer. Buyers and investors are therefore cautious. Disclosure requirements help, but they are often lengthy and confusing.

 

This is where the algorithms come in: They read disclosures, do market comparisons, evaluate timing, assess nearby rental vacancies and consider a host of other factors to arrive at an estimate of the home’s value. That enables the iBuying firms to comfortably offer an instant price. Last year in Phoenix, about 5% of the homes were sold through instant buying, and investors own as many as 22,000 houses in the area.

 

But the real potential of iBuying is during the next real estate downturn. As the real estate market slows, the opportunity to sell instantly will become more attractive, and more properties could end up in the hands of big investors.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#29
caltrek

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Whose Affordable Housing Crisis?

 

https://shelterforce...housing-crisis/

 

 

(Shelterforce) To judge from much of what one reads in the media, families with healthy middle-class incomes are unable to find decent housing in the U.S., while gentrification is running rampant, swallowing low-income neighborhoods and entire cities whole. And like most things one reads, it’s partly true. If we look at places like New York, San Francisco, or Seattle, it’s pretty much the case. At the end of 2018, the median sales price of a Seattle home was $760,000, well beyond the reach of all but the upper strata of that affluent region’s population, let alone the rest of the country. And that, in turn, was only a little more than half the median price in San Francisco, the nation’s costliest big city.

 

But at the same time, the median house sales price in Detroit was $40,000, easily within reach of anyone at just about any income level who can—a major caveat—qualify for a mortgage. But Detroit is no more typical of the “United States housing market” than San Francisco. In fact, there is no such thing; there are literally hundreds of different markets around the country, defying easy characterization. Not all strong market cities are as expensive as San Francisco; Dallas is a fast-growing city with a strong housing market, yet $199,999 will buy you a new four-bedroom house. There are many more areas like that than there are places like Seattle or Washington, D.C.

 

Rents don’t vary as much from city to city as sales prices do, but they still vary quite a bit. But once again, in most parts of the country rents are within the reach of a moderate-income family earning $35,000 or $40,000, while far from affordable to a lot of people who desperately need housing. More than 70 percent of the nation’s 300 largest metropolitan areas (not just central cities) have median rents that are affordable at 80 percent of the national median household income (roughly $60,000) and over one-third have median rents affordable at 60 percent of national median. (This is somewhat misleading because local incomes in areas with very low rents are likely to be below the national median, and those in high-rent areas are likely to be higher than the national median, but the general point still holds.)  

MetrosByIncome.png


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#30
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Climate Gentrification: Coming to a Community Near You

 

https://www.motherjo...unity-near-you/

 

Introduction:

 

(Mother Jones) In just the last two years, climate change has brought on an onslaught of disasters: more than 4 feet of rain in south Texas90 degree days in Alaska, and record-breaking wildfires that have destroyed homes and upended communities. But now, an unexpected threat from climate change is looming on the horizon: gentrification.

 

“Climate gentrification is when the response to climate impacts indirectly increases disparities in communities,” Jennie Stephens, director for strategic research collaborations at Northeastern’s Global Resilience Institute, says. Wealthy people seeking refuge from the effects of climate change are starting to move into neighborhoods that were once considered undesirable. The term is fairly new, but there are already examples of this new kind of gentrification taking place—and not just in coastal areas. “It can happen and it is happening in all kinds of communities,” Stephens says.

 

Norfolk, Virginia, is one of the country’s most climate-vulnerable areas, and an example of what happens when city officials attempt to adapt to the rising seas from climate change at the expense of the poor.  The city, which sits at the junction of the Chesapeake Bay and Elizabeth River, is home to nearly 245,000 people and regularly floods on rainy days and even on sunny days during high tide. By 2050, NOAA predicted Norfolk will have 170 sunny-day floods a year.

 

Local leaders came up with a strategy last year to reinvest in low-income neighborhoods and protect vulnerable ones from constant flooding. St. Paul’s redevelopment plan will tear down several public housing complexes in the low-lying neighborhood and replace the decrepit buildings with a mixed-income development while ceding the most vulnerable areas to the sea. “The crown jewel of the re-imaged St. Paul’s neighborhood will be the transformation of the low-lands area that is often devastated by flooding into a water eco-center comprised of great parks, green spaces,” the city’s official website reads. The lowlands that routinely flood will be transformed into parks and green spaces. In May, the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced that Norfolk was chosen for the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, a $30 million competitive grant that the city will use to help pay for the project.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#31
caltrek

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We Need to Radically Rethink Our Approach to Disaster Recovery. Here’s One Solution.

 

https://www.motherjo...s-one-solution/

 

Extract:

 

(Mother Jones) The Rapido model is relatively simple: Following a storm, contractors or even volunteers can build “the core”—basically a 400 square foot pod—out of prefabricated, interlocking panels in about a week. The core, with a small living room, bedroom, kitchenette, and bathroom, serves as housing in the immediate aftermath of a hurricane. It resembles the temporary trailers FEMA drops in disaster-ravaged communities, but unlike those trailers, Rapido cores form the permanent base of the home. As funds and labor become available, construction crews add on to the core with conventional construction methods to build a full house. The homeowner can continue to live in the home as it’s built around her. Rapido houses are designed to be more wind resistant than the average house and are elevated on a pier and beam foundation to prevent future flooding. According to Henneberger, the entire building process should take three to four months and cost about $150,000. FEMA trailers alone also cost up to $150,000 each, but are only approved for temporary use.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: United States, Housing, Economics, HUD, Community Reinvestment Act, Elizabeth Warren

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