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Is Affordable Housing Being Crucified by Inequality

IKEA home in Sweden

New Orleans      Increasingly it seems that we are going to have to decouple the issue of home ownership and affordable housing at least in the traditional sense of small footprints in the dirt with picket fences around them.  Home ownership due to harder loan standards, tighter credit, and the Great Recession [...]

Predatory Rent-to-Own Scams Hark Back to Discriminatory Schemes

New Orleans               In the early days of ACORN in Little Rock in lower income, largely African-American neighborhoods before the 1978 Community Reinvestment Act was passed forbidding racial discrimination in bank lending and outlawing redlining, the stories of families trying to rent-to-own their homes were legion.  I read many of these documents carefully and knew families [...]

New and Better Mortgage Lending Standards Maybe

New Orleans               The press is making a big deal of Mel Watt’s comments as the chief housing regulator at the Federal Housing Finance Agency to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s convention in Vegas.  He claims he has a new plan to loosen up the rules so that banks finally lend some money to first-time buyers and [...]

Inclusionary but Unaffordable “Affordable” Housing in London

London     In the dark days of neo-liberalism when cities and states are embracing private developers to impact their profound public responsibilities to provide decent and adequate housing for families regardless of income the whole notion of so-called “affordable” housing seems to have been left in the rubbish at the construction site.  Where recently we thought [...]

Gentrification on Steroids as Council Housing Turned over to London Developers

London            The dismantling of public housing in the US has been going on for more than 30 years in major cities around the country.  The fight is often around relocation, adequate section 8 subsidies in private housing, and the percentage of units that will be replacement housing for the poor.  Listening to organizers and [...]

Taking the Poor Door to Extremes in London

Warren, Arkansas       Recently we discussed the potential evolution of the so-called “poor door” housing programs implemented by developers trying to segregate one-percenters from affordable housing units in their complexes in New York City.  I warned that Mumbai offered a potential case study in how such lack of integration could lead to rebuilding substandard housing next [...]