Redeveloped with the promise of new social housing, the Heygate Estate's units have been entirely sold off to foreign investors
The Heygate Estate in London was torn down in 2014, forcing tenants out of their homes with compensation that was less than 40% of market value. Supposedly, the replacement building would have affordable housing as well. But, according to Vice, 100% of the properties sold in the building so far... View full entry
Oil company proposes turning L.A. oil-drilling site into affordable housing
Sentinel Peak Resources, which took over the roughly 1.1-acre site in December, now believes that affordable housing is the “best beneficial use” for the land [...] Neighborhood leaders said they were interested in closing and re-purposing the site, but are awaiting more details. They stressed that regardless of any plans, they still want the city to pursue their concerns about violations at the site, which Sentinel Peak Resources has so far brushed off.
— Los Angeles Times
According to the L.A. Times, “No official plan has been drafted and details are scant, but [L.A. City Council President Herb] Wesson said he was ‘unbelievably excited’ about the idea, arguing it could pave the way to convert other local drilling sites.”But converting the site — which is... View full entry
Ben Carson gets stuck in an elevator during a tour of a public housing complex
With limited funds, many American affordable housing projects aren’t in great shape. Their fate is ever more tenuous with the impending budget cuts to the Department of Housing and Urban Development proposed by the Trump Administration. In an ironic twist of fate, the often-sorry state of... View full entry
The issue with the median as indicator of housing affordability
The standard yardstick for judging housing affordability is to look at the median level of rents or home prices. As we all remember from statistics, the median is the observation in the middle of the distribution. And while for many purposes, it’s a reliable indicator of typical prices, in some neighborhoods, particularly those with a mix of expensive and cheap housing, the median is actually a weak indicator of affordability.
— City Observatory
"For an illustration of this problem, imagine two neighborhoods. In both places, the median home costs $300,000. But in the first neighborhood, every home costs exactly $300,000, while in the second, there are a range of homes from $100,000 to $500,000. Although both neighborhoods have the same... View full entry
691 New Homes in North London given the go-ahead by Sadiq Khan
Announcing the decisions, Khan said he had fully considered all the evidence available and was “confident” both high-density developments would deliver hundreds of genuinely affordable homes for Londoners.
“Building the homes Londoners urgently need will mean town centres and suburbs becoming denser, so we expect developers to continue to come up with high-quality designs which don’t have a negative impact on their surroundings.”
— Building Design
Overruling councillors in two north London Boroughs, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has approved an Allies and Morrisson scheme in Tottenham Hale and another in Harrow by Moss Architecture; both will be high-density housing developments which together will deliver 691 new homes for Londoners within... View full entry
In 24 hours, get a 3D-printed house that will last 175 years
Although it's unclear when the furnishing/window and door fitting process takes place, one thing is certain: you can now have the basic components of an entire 400 square foot house printed in about a day from the company Apis Cor. Aside from being speedy, the $10,000 printing process is... View full entry
Brooks + Scarpa's mixed-use complex featuring low-income housing to break ground
Adding 84,000 square feet of a custom-aluminum-facade-bearing mixed-use structure to a Metro Red Line adjacent corner of North Hollywood, Brooks + Scarpa are continuing their aesthetically pioneering work in low-income housing.The structure, deemed "NOHO on Camarillo," will defy old-school... View full entry
Neurosurgeon Ben Carson officially confirmed to run HUD
Urban policy experts and progressive activists have expressed intense concern that Carson, in keeping with his strong conservative positions, will seek to cut money for government assistance programs and wear down the social safety net. The Trump administration has recently signaled that many government agencies can expect budget reductions in favor of increasing defense spending.
— Washington Post
Realizing the latent dream of every neurosurgeon to one day run the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson has been officially confirmed by the U.S. Senate to start operating on the HUD. Although his plans for the agency are vague, Carson has spoken of being against granting... View full entry
How New York City's luxury housing tax could finance affordable units
While President Trump talks repeatedly about fixing America’s inner cities, it’s a good bet that in the coming years, New York and other large metropolitan areas will need to be more self-reliant in solving pressing problems, especially low-income housing. [...]
Fortunately, there’s an already tested alternative: an annual luxury housing tax, levied on new high-end condos and rentals, which would feed a self-sustaining fund dedicated to develop truly affordable units.
— New York Times Op-Ed by Eric Uhlfelder
Harvard Graduate School of Design announces Richard Rogers Fellows
Harvard’s GSD has announced the 2017 winners of the Richard Rogers Fellowship, a new residency program to be hosted at the Wimbledon House. The Wimbledon House was designed by acclaimed architect Lord Richard Rogers for his parents in the 60s and generously gifted to Harvard.The landmarked... View full entry
How a mobile home community created a co-op and bought its own land
Park Plaza is a mobile home park, or what industry calls a manufactured housing community. Five years ago, the residents banded together, formed a nonprofit co-op and bought their entire neighborhood from the company that owned it. Today, these residents exert democratic control over almost 9 acres of prime suburbs, with 80 manufactured houses sited on them.
"There are no precise figures, but the U.S. Census Bureau estimates there are more than 8 million manufactured houses across the country. Housing specialists say they're an important source of affordable housing."Related stories in the Archinect news:5 housing experts offer opinions about Ben... View full entry
Inside San Francisco's complex relationship with homelessness
In this historically researched and nuanced piece for The New York Times, Daniel Duane examines the conflicted attitude of San Franciscans--and Californians in general--toward homelessness, immigration, and the problems of housing density. He notes that despite the state's fame for its... View full entry
Colorado governor proposes building affordable housing from marijuana tax revenue, mainly to address issues from marijuana legalization
A proposal by Gov. John Hickenlooper to direct marijuana revenue toward building affordable housing and curbing homelessness offers a glimpse into the potential the new revenue can have on public services and projects...To the chagrin of pro-marijuana activists, Hickenlooper believes there is a correlation between homelessness, a need for affordable housing and substance abuse, including impacts from marijuana legalization.
— The Gazette
Gov. Hickenlooper requested $18.3 million ($16.3 million from marijuana taxes and $2.0 million from the General Fund) toward affordable housing as part of his FY 2017-18 State budget this past November. The Gazette reports that Hickenlooper and his administration “are hesitant to acknowledge... View full entry
5 housing experts offer opinions about Ben Carson's direction as HUD head
What are the likely policy goals of a neurosurgeon appointed secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development by a man who can't stop disappointedly tweeting at Alec Baldwin? "There’s not a dearth of qualified Republicans for that job, so if you choose somebody with no background in... View full entry
Frank Gehry's Sunset Strip mixed-user unanimously approved by L.A. City Council
the developer, Townscape Partners, agreed to reduce its tallest tower to 178 feet and add more affordable housing and more parking spaces. It will also provide $2 million to ease traffic congestion.
The project will have 229 residential units, including 38 for low-income families. There will be 65,000 square feet of commercial space and a pedestrian plaza.
When Gehry's Sunset Strip development was approved by the L.A. City Planning Commission last August, the plan called for 28 affordable housing units (15% of the total stock)—a number that some at the Commission meeting were concerned set a "low bar" for a development of its size, stature and... View full entry