Some pretty lackluster news from the housing market today.
Construction spending rose a measly .1% in February. Part of that was because of the wild weather we saw this winter, but economists say that only accounts for part of the lacklusterness. It seems we’re not building or buying homes like we used to. Pending home sales fell in February to their lowest level in more than 2 years. The housing market made big gains last year, but so far 2014 isn’t looking so hot. — marketplace.org
New homes in America are a lot bigger than they used to be. In fact since 1950 they've doubled in size, to an average about 2,500-square feet per home. And a bigger home generally uses more energy. So one college professor is attempting to trash some of our ideas about home ownership, by sleeping in a six-by-six-foot dumpster.
[...] this month, Wilson moved into a sanitized recycling dumpster on the Austin, Texas, campus of Huston-Tillotson University. — marketplace.org
To make housing affordable again, we need to catch up to decades-worth of unmet demand, over the next few years. In many cities, this means goals measured in the tens of thousands of new homes; in the fastest-growing cities, it means hundreds of thousands. Build enough housing and (economists and experience both tell us) prices should at least stabilise. Want social justice? Build a lot more housing. — theguardian.com
San Francisco is practically the reductio ad absurdum of gentrification: It’s already land limited on three sides by water, and the massive rise of the tech industry over the last few decades has dramatically increased both the population of the area and its wealth. [...]
But the blame shouldn’t go to the tech companies or their employees moving to San Francisco, however despicable some might be. Blame San Francisco for being pleasant, and its policymakers for being foolish — Quartz
With the help of young UK architects, London housing association Peabody is already looking to the future of social housing with their "Small Projects Panel" competition launched this past November.
Peabody recently announced 20 shortlisted proposals that have advanced to the last stage. Each team will be interviewed before the jury picks 6-8 firms by the end of January. The winning firms will help Peabody develop new housing schemes that have a maximum of 20 homes. — bustler.net
Check out some of the shortlisted projects. Project author: Coffey Architects Project author: Studio Octopi Project author: Stephen Taylor Architects Project author: Allsop Gollings Architects Project author: Studio Sam Causer and Geraldine Dening Project author: Paul Archer Design See more of...
Yutaka Sho has been working on housing redevelopment strategies in Rwanda since 2008, and from the beginning the challenges were clear. Building materials were severely limited and ripple effects from the 1994 genocide were still strong, leaving Rwandan society displaced and disproportionately...
Last week, the city of Phoenix made a startling announcement. The Arizona capital had previously identified 222 chronically homeless veterans living in the city, more than half of them veterans of the Vietnam War. [...]
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said last week that every last one of them now had a roof overhead. The city has effectively ended chronic veteran homelessness, according to the mayor [...].
Phoenix did this – prioritizing housing first, then wrapping other services around it. — theatlanticcities.com
"It looks like a prison to be honest with you," said Lynda Johnson, an assistant professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology and editor and founder of KidStyleSource.com who has owned a townhouse on St. Nicholas Place for 20 years and is a member of the Hamilton Heights Homeowners Association.
Some feel the design does not fit into the context of the nearby Hamilton Heights-Sugar Hill Historic District, which is filled with Beaux Arts and Queen Anne-style 19th-century row houses. — dnainfo.com
Shivihah Smith’s East Baltimore neighborhood, where he lives with his mother and grandmother, is disappearing. The block one over is gone. A dozen rowhouses on an adjacent block were removed one afternoon last year. [...]
For the Smiths, the bulldozing of city blocks is a source of anguish. But for Baltimore, as for a number of American cities in the Northeast and Midwest that have lost big chunks of their population, it is increasingly regarded as a path to salvation. — nytimes.com
In light of yesterday's decision to allocate a chunk of the $13 billion JPMorgan Chase mortgage settlement to anti-blight measures across the country, I also recommend this NPR interview with Jim Rokakis, director of the Thriving Communities Institute in Cleveland, Ohio. NPR host Melissa Block...
A year after gathering ideas on how a eurozone country could leave the single-currency bloc, the organisers of the 2014 Wolfson Economics Prize are plunging into Britain’s highly politicised housing debate and challenging people to design a garden city.
Offering £250,000 in prize money, entrants are required to answer: “How would you deliver a new garden city which is visionary, economically viable and popular?” — FT.com
The winners of the 2013 World Habitat Awards were officially announced by the Building and Social Housing Foundation (BSHF) on Oct. 7 during World Habitat Day in Medellín, Colombia. Out of 200 entries from around the world, the winning projects were selected based on which ones presented the most innovative and sustainable housing solutions to support economic and community restoration and provide for homeless individuals. — bustler.net
The Buffalo Planning Board will be reviewing plans to construct 48 apartments in eight new buildings next week. The complex at 270 Niagara Street sits in the shadow of City Hall. It currently contains 472 units on 9.5 acres and was completed in 1972. — Buffalo Rising
On Nov 6, 2013 in Buffalo the City Planning Board will meet to review plans submitted by Norstar Development that will demolish five buildings of the Paul Rudolph-designed Shoreline Apartments to make room for eight new residential buildings. The is being described as "Phase 1,"...
The Holloway Team was selected as the winners of New Zealand's international "Breathe - The New Urban Village Project" design competition. The team is led by Holloway Builders from Christchurch, NZ in partnership with architecture firm Anselmi Attiani Associated Architects and Cresco engineers, both from Italy. Building and Construction Minister, Hon. Maurice Williamson made the official announcement on Oct. 22 at an event in the transitional Cardboard Cathedral in Christchurch. — bustler.net
A question I have heard a lot lately is “why can’t developers build housing for the people who need it most instead of for the rich.” Let’s look at what a typical multi-family development project in a reasonably central part of San Francisco would cost to build (in a very simplified way). I’m assuming an 800 square foot apartment in a five story 100 unit wood-framed building over a concrete first story (very common in San Francisco)... — markasaurus.com
In 2009, a pair of academics, Kim Steele and Sherry Ahrentzen, collaborated on “Advancing Full Spectrum Housing,” a comprehensive design guideline for housing adults with autism. (An expanded book on the topic is scheduled to come out next year.)
Perhaps the first development to closely follow their template is Sweetwater Spectrum, a residence for 16 adults whose abilities and disabilities span the full range of autism. — nytimes.com
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