Housing

America’s Post-Pandemic Geography

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Even as vaccination increases across the United States and an end to the tragedy of the Covid-19 pandemic seems in sight, the economic, fiscal, political, and geographic fallout from the virus cannot be overstated: a massive public health crisis that left more than half a million Americans dead, an economic catastrophe that caused record unemployment and small-business closures, and a seismic political event that surely helped tip the presidential election. The pandemic will pass, and the economy will revive, as it is already doing.  read more »

The Idaho Boom

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Idaho has recently been the fastest growing state in the country, with population growth of 2.1% last year. Of course it is easy to get high percentages on a small base, but the Idaho growth story is real. From 2018 to 2019, the most recent available data, Coeur d’Alene ranked 7th among all metro areas in population growth, Boise ranked 8th, and Idaho Falls ranked 18th.  read more »

Protect Neighborhoods by Saving Zoning

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Atlanta, your city government is trying to trick you.

Now that sentence, all by itself, may not seem to you like a “man-bites-dog” lead.  read more »

Historically Black and White Neighborhoods Share Opposition to Affordable Housing Apartment Complexes

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The Dallas Morning News editorial, A Blow to Affordable Housing, illuminates the opposition to the affordable housing apartment complex by the historically Black neighborhood, Hamilton Park. They are joined by the ethnically diverse neighborhood area of Stults Road in their opposition to this proposed apartment complex named Cypress Creek at Forest Lane.  read more »

What Happened to Social Democracy?

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In a world that seems to be divided between neoliberal orthodoxy and identitarian dogmas, it is possible to miss the waning presence of traditional social democracy. Born of the radical Left in Marx’s own time, social democrats worked, sometimes with remarkable success, to improve the living standards of working people by accommodating the virtues of capitalism. Today, that kind of social democracy—learned at home from my immigrant grandparents and from the late Michael Harrington, one time head of the American Socialist Party—is all but dead.  read more »

The California Economy vs. Sacramento

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Over the past few years California’s plight has taken on mythic proportions — a cautionary tale of progressive woe among conservatives, but a beacon for a future enlightened capitalism among its woke supporters. The current battle over the potential recall of the preening governor, Gavin Newsom, likely will enhance these extreme interpretations on both sides, but likely will not be sufficient to make the changes needed to restore the state’s legendary promise.  read more »

Housing Affordability and the Pandemic

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The median price of homes in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, grew by $100,000 in February, reports the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand. That means prices were growing by $25,000 a week. The good news is that these are New Zealand dollars, which are only worth about 72 cents U.S., which means prices grew by “only” US$18,000 a week.  read more »

Reasons People Are Moving From Los Angeles to Dallas — More Important Than Escaping Higher Taxes

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Californians escaping high taxes dominate the real estate news. Yes it is true, leaving California because of high city, county and state income tax for Dallas and Texas, with no income tax, is a motivation, but last on my list of seven reasons why people are moving from Los Angeles to Dallas. People will pay more to live where they like living, whether that means higher taxes, higher home prices or higher cost of living. People will leave a place they do not enjoy if they can afford to. This is the case with Angelenos. Residents have found Los Angeles increasingly unpleasant.  read more »

The Transformational Role of Remote Work

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One of the most significant effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a large increase in remote work. The ability to work from home has rescued the U.S. and the world from a steeper economic decline. Fortunately, information technology made it possible for a much larger part of the economy to continue working than otherwise would have been possible.  read more »

If Housing is a Human Right...

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If housing is a human right, then it should no more be the vehicle for profiteering than other basic utilities of human existence such as the supply of water, education or life-saving medicine. If housing is a human right, then profiteering off housing is not only bad policy, it’s also immoral.

Among numerous groups in California and elsewhere, there is much talk about a “housing crisis.” Yet this talk is misleading, and if self-styled “housing advocates” want to invoke any crisis, they should more properly be discussing an “affordable housing crisis.”  read more »