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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 [...]

Nine Years after Katrina

Lower 9th Ward before and after, credit to Ted Jackson at nola.com

Little Rock       Perhaps the best news in the nine years since Katrina has been that we have not faced another devastating hurricane, as the city continues to struggle to rebuild.  We had a bit of problem a couple of years ago in 2012, [...]

An Architect for Disasters and the Poor

Missoula    The problem of affordable housing and post-disaster housing are coupled together by cost and for those who care, by speed.

Cost, because no one in government anymore wants to put the real price tag on what it would take to finally put all Americans into decent and affordable housing, much less the hundreds of millions [...]