Housing

The Poor Places That Made Our Cities Richer

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My latest column is now online at Governing magazine. It’s a further discussion of Howard Husock’s book The Poor Side of Town: And Why We Need It. For those of you who weren’t able to check out the recording of our AEI book event, this piece discusses some of the key points.

Below is an excerpt from the column:  read more »

The Affordable-Housing Industrial Complex

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Since 1932, Congress has passed dozens of laws aimed at making rental housing and homeownership more affordable. Many of these laws created new programs while few of the older programs were abolished.  read more »

The Anecdotal "Buyback" Effect

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I spend entirely too much time listening to experts in business, government, and academia explain the economy in general and the property market in particular. Looking back, very few people who are purported to know how the economy works, based on empirical evidence, have successfully predicted the wild spikes and crashes over the years.  read more »

No Shortage of Housing Problems But Who Decides?

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The housing and care accommodations older persons occupy often have problems making it difficult for them to age successfully—that is, to enjoy healthy, independent, active, and happy lives.

At least, that is the conclusion of professionals and family members who profess concern for their wellbeing.

They identify the following groups of old whose quality of life is at risk because of where they live:  read more »

Building on Jacobs: The City Emergent; Beyond Streets and Buildings

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Almost all theories of the city are largely qualitative, developed primarily from focused studies on specific cities or groups of cities supplemented by narratives, anecdotes, and intuition.” Geoffrey West, Scale, 2017

This recent quote recalls Jane Jacobs’s seminal book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961)  read more »

Higher Urban Densities Associated with the Worst Housing Affordability

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There is an expectation in some quarters that densification of existing urban areas will lead to improved housing affordability. This argument is used to justify densification policies around the world.  read more »

Can the South Escape its Demons?

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Out on the dusty prairie west of Houston, the construction crews have been busy. Gone are the rice fields, cattle ranches and pine forests that once dominated this part of the South. In their place sit new homes and communities. But they are not an eyesore; the homes are affordable and close to attractive town centres, large parks and lakes. These are communities rooted in the individual, the family and a belief in self-governance.  read more »

This Might Be a Good Time for Creative Zoning

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No matter what else it may have already caused and/or will continue to cause in the coming future, one thing that we know for sure is that the COVID pandemic has done is alter how people will approach land use planning and development issues in the coming years, possibly even decades.  read more »

Reply to Elizabeth Farrelly: Suburbia Not Kulturstadt

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Recently on Twitter I came across a post about the NSW Panning Minister's announcement banning dark roofing for detached houses in fringe housing estates to minimise the heat island effect. Scrolling down the comments, I noticed one by the Sydney Morning Herald’s anti-suburban architecture critic, Elizabeth Farrelly.  read more »

Survival of the City: The Need to Reopen the Metropolitan Frontier (Review)

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Survival of the City: Living and Thriving in an Age of Isolation, by Harvard University economists Edward Glaeser and David Cutler characterizes the pandemic as a serious “existential threat to the urban world, because the human proximity that enables contagion is the defining characteristic of the city”  read more »