Back in 2004, Elio Ciampanella was evicted from his apartment of three decades...So he applied for an apartment in Rome’s public housing. And he waited. More than a decade passed.
Then, in February, [Ciampanella] unexpectedly had his choice of several apartments. His tale might be considered one of patience rewarded, but there was a twist: It turned out Rome’s municipal government never really had a shortage of properties. — the New York Times
"Instead, the government actually owned so many thousands of apartments and buildings that no one was quite certain how many there were, who lived in them or where they were. That was, until staff members for Rome’s new interim administrator, Francesco Paolo Tronca, discovered nine boxes...
New York City once set the standard for subsidized housing. The city started out building and maintaining tens of thousands of apartments for working families, sponsoring job training and social programs. It ran a budget surplus. [...] Now the Village is like a gated playground for runaway wealth. Subsidized apartments all across town are converting to market-rate rentals and condos faster than City Hall can build affordable units or preserve old ones. — nytimes.com
As Chicago prepares to enter a new era of ramped-up affordable-housing development, a key question is whether private developers will go along with the city’s new guidances. A lawsuit filed... last Thursday shows signs of possible peril for the city’s low-income housing agenda.
At the heart of the lawsuit is the Affordable Requirements Ordinance (ARO), which is part of Chicago’s five-year “Bouncing Back” plan for increasing affordable housing. [...] — City Lab
Accepted wisdom has it that the continuing social unrest in the banlieues, as these suburbs are called, is a direct result of their built form: repetitive slabs and blocks of modern housing, often in large isolated estates. [...]
In fact, environmental determinism accompanied the very making of the French suburbs in the postwar period and the development of modern urbanism more generally.
Why is it that we assign so much power to buildings? — blog.oup.com
Nicholas Korody interviewed Smiljan Radić. They discussed Architecture at the limits of instability. Therein Radić explains "In Chile, it’s better to do it really brut rather than try to do it perfectly...And here to do something brut it's cheap, but in Europe it's really...
They were once the tallest residential structures in Europe and a beacon of hope for residents of Glasgow’s slums. Now ... the remaining structures of the Red Road flats will, at last, be demolished. [...]
Built in the 1960s on Glasgow’s north-eastern edge, the flats were intended to house almost 5,000 people as part of an effort to ease overcrowding and combat slum conditions. But in the decades that followed, they were plagued by a range of problems, social and structural. — theguardian.com
Regulations have progressively made homes more sustainable and energy-efficient, and voluntary codes take these standards further. Architects like to push them further still [...]
There are now housing associations and developers who can see the point of good design, and others who can’t quite, but still feel as if they should employ it. The public, too, perhaps encouraged by the TV programmes of Kevin McCloud, are more open to contemporary architecture. — theguardian.com
According to The Guardian's Rowan Moore at least, who takes the long-view on how Britain's public housing policy and execution have changed in the last 50 years.Related on Archinect: 4 Public Housing Lessons the U.S. Could Learn From the Rest of the WorldLondon is eating itselfHousing mobility...
Still, when Mayor Bill de Blasio today unveiled his plan for New York’s troubled housing authority, NYCHA, dismantling these aging towers was not a piece of it. The plan calls for charging more for parking, redeploying staff to other agencies to save costs and leasing land within the housing complexes to private developers to save money. [...]
So why does New York City still have so many high-rise housing projects? — theatlantic.com
The residents of Belle Harbor Manor spent four miserable months in emergency shelters after Superstorm Sandy's floodwaters surged through their assisted-living center on New York City's Rockaway peninsula.
Now, the home's disabled, elderly and mostly poor residents have a new headache: The Federal Emergency Management Agency has asked at least a dozen of them to pay back thousands of dollars in disaster aid. — AP
Public housing in the United States is associated with failure and misery. The very words conjure up visions of concrete tower blocks, drug-related violence and concentrated poverty. But contrary to popular belief, public housing in the U.S. has not been an utter disaster [...].
Many of public housing’s failures can be traced to the American political and economic context, especially easy to see when compared with the success of similar policies around the world. — nextcity.org
For most of the 20th century, Atlanta was known for its public housing. The city had pioneered the concept in the 1930s [...]
Two decades later, that proportion has fallen all the way to zero. [...]
Looking at these two decades of rapid residential change, Atlanta native and filmmaker King Williams is looking for an answer to a seemingly obvious question. With his in-production documentary The Atlanta Way, Williams asks: Where did all of these people end up? — theatlanticcities.com
In the third article in our Typecast series, writer Brad Fox travels to Todt Hill Houses on Staten Island. Safe, suburban, and well-maintained, Todt Hill defies many of the stereotypes of New York City housing projects. Unlike the Lower East Side’s Smith Houses, which were constructed in the place of demolished tenements, Todt Hill predates most of the single-family homes in its surrounding neighborhood. — urbanomnibus.net
Foreclosed is controversial because it suggests that the state, or the public sector — conceived along with civil society in terms of multiple, overlapping, virtual and actual publics — might play a more active, direct and enlightened role in the provision of housing and, by extension, of education, health care and other infrastructures of daily life in the United States.... Simply put, can we no longer imagine architecture without developers? — Places Journal
Earlier this year Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream opened at MoMA in New York. The exhibition quickly became controversial, with some decrying it as elitist and paternalistic, others defending it as powerful and ambitious. On Places, Reinhold Martin, co-organizer of Foreclosed, and...
The saga of Cabrini-Green compels us to engage some hard and fundamental questions. It is not enough to ask: who benefits from public housing redevelopment? We must also ask: how we measure such benefits and who gets to do that measuring? — Places Journal
When the last of the Cabrini-Green towers was demolished by the Chicago Housing Authority a year ago, where did the residents go? Urban historian Lawrence Vale looks at the politics and policies of subsidized housing in the city and interviews the developer of the mixed-income "village" that...
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