Archinect - News 2018-03-17T16:05:54-04:00 San Francisco nixes funding for affordable senior housing project in wealthy neighborhood after pushback from residents Alexander Walter 2018-03-12T17:35:00-04:00 >2018-03-13T11:59:06-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>The City quietly told developers this week that it will no longer fund a 150-unit affordable senior housing project proposed in the wealthy Forest Hill neighborhood, citing rising costs and neighborhood pushback. [...] Neighbors have also railed against the project at community meetings since 2016 when the project was first funded, claiming impoverished tenants at the affordable housing project would endanger their neighborhood.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Pritzker Prize laureate Balkrishna Doshi: architecture needs to invest in dignity of low-income housing Alexander Walter 2018-03-12T13:35:00-04:00 >2018-03-12T13:38:17-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Speaking to the Guardian after the announcement of his award, Doshi said that architects and urban planners involved in low-income housing projects &ndash; as well as architectural education &ndash; needed to move away from their focus on the designer as individual to being far more collaborative, compassionate and invested in the dignity of those they house.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Study up on the impressive body of work of freshly minted Pritzker Prize laureate, Balkrishna Doshi, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">here</a>.<br></p> Another car brand enters residential design: MINI is creating China's first co-living project Alexander Walter 2018-03-08T13:49:00-05:00 >2018-03-08T13:51:00-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>With its newest project, the MINI Living building in Shanghai, the car brand is continuing its venture into the urban living sector. The rental market in big cities across the world is an interesting addition to the list of urban challenges that it seeks to address with its MINI Living program.</p></em><br /><br /><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Image: MINI</figcaption></figure><p>"MINI LIVING will become a home for singles, sharers and families on short, medium-term and extended tenancies," a <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">statement</a> by the BMW-owned car(ish) brand explains the co-living concept. "The design and therefore the character of the apartment interiors is international, modern and clean, and features references to the history of Shanghai. However, living in an apartment that occupies only a small surface area in no way means going without. Anything that doesn&rsquo;t fit inside the apartments can be accommodated in the adjacent spaces."</p> The half-billion-dollar Bel Air giga-mansion is still looking for a buyer Alexander Walter 2018-03-05T14:14:00-05:00 >2018-03-05T20:19:24-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>The construction of this and other so-called giga-mansions underscores a new gilded age in the United States and especially in LA. [...] The splurge comes amid a housing shortage that has fuelled a homelessness crisis, with 57,000 people without permanent shelter in LA county [...]. The Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez compared the city&rsquo;s hilltop mansions to giant tombstones marking the death of humility.</p></em><br /><br /><p><em>The Guardian</em> takes a peek into the world of ultra-luxury real estate developer Niles Niami whose latest endeavor&mdash;the sprawling Bel Air hilltop giga-mansion with its four swimming pools, 20 bedrooms, movie theater, and nightly club aptly called The One&mdash;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">frequently makes the news</a> for being America's priciest home. Clocking in at $500m, the property is still waiting for a billionaire buyer.</p> L.A.'s homeless count nearly doubled in six years Alexander Walter 2018-02-10T09:00:00-05:00 >2018-02-09T21:15:37-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>The number of those living in the streets and shelters of the city of L.A. and most of the county surged 75% &mdash; to roughly 55,000 from about 32,000 &mdash; in the last six years. But the crisis has been decades in the making. If homelessness continues to escalate at current rates, it will swamp even the best efforts.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Despite <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">declaring homelessness in the city an 'emergency'</a> and <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">committing drastically increased funds</a> to housing and services, Los Angeles is failing to improve the lives of its unsheltered citizens.</p> The 'Tinder' for apartment swapping launches in the Netherlands Alexander Walter 2018-01-23T15:06:00-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Dutch social renters wanting to move to a new apartment can now use an app to swap houses with other renters. One precondition, both renters need to &lsquo;like&rsquo; each other&rsquo;s apartment to get a match. [...] Young renters with small apartments may swap with older residents who live in bigger apartments. In this way, the issue of scheefwonen (skew living &mdash; when people live in apartments that do not match their needs and desires) within the Dutch rental sector could be solved.</p></em><br /><br /><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p></figure><p><em>"After two apartments are matched, the users are introduced to each other, after which they have to find out if their rental agreements are compatible enough for the renters to swap house."</em></p> A look at the alarmingly long wait times for Section 8 housing in U.S. cities Alexander Walter 2018-01-04T13:59:00-05:00 >2018-01-04T14:04:18-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Stacker was one of 188,000 people who applied for 20,000 spots in the voucher waiting line for the Housing Authority of the city of Los Angeles. And that line won&rsquo;t be moving quickly. The Housing Authority&rsquo;s Section 8 director, Carlos VanNatter, said only about 200 vouchers become available here every month, basically when a pay raise makes someone ineligible or someone dies.</p></em><br /><br /><p>While the national average wait time for Section 8 vouchers is currently more than two years (with nearly half of all housing authorities having closed their lists to new applicants), the situation in big cities like New York and Los Angeles is so dire that residents have to apply for a coveted spot on the waiting list via a lottery held every few years. And there's no sign of easing: "President Donald Trump's proposed 2018 budget would slash more than $6 billion from the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">U.S. Housing office, or HUD</a>, which funds Section 8," Marketplace reports.</p> In search of better affordable housing: the origin story of the Bronx's Twin Parks development Alexander Walter 2017-12-27T14:02:00-05:00 >2017-12-27T14:02:39-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>In the 1970s, a state agency tapped some of the best young architects in the country for an ambitious affordable housing effort that&mdash;despite its flaws&mdash;could not be matched today. Twin Parks, an affordable housing project in the Bronx, does not comport with expectations. [...] Overall, it provides palpably better affordable housing than what&rsquo;s typically offered in the U.S., and maintains an engaged community.</p></em><br /><br /><p><em>CityLab</em> writer Anthony Paletta looks back at the origins of the 1970s Twin Parks affordable housing development in the Bronx and its (now) famous architects who were then just gaining traction in their young careers, most notably Richard Meier, James Polshek (and this year's winner of the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">AIA Gold Medal</a>), and Lo-Yi Chan.</p> One of Britain's most important 20th-century housing complexes may be demolished Mackenzie Goldberg 2017-12-26T10:00:00-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>Despite being in the midst of a housing crisis, the United Kingdom seems bent on destroying some of the finest examples of social housing the post-war era has to offer, even <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">tampering with the heritage-listing system</a>&nbsp;in order to do so. The <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Robin Hood Gardens</a> council estate, an icon of brutalist architecture, was recently demolished despite a huge effort involving nation wide press coverage and support from architects like Zaha Hadid and Richard Rogers to save it&mdash;a <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">three story segment was even purchased quite unusually by the V&amp;A Museum</a> in order to salvage an intact piece of the building.</p> <p>Now, it appears the Alton Estate in Roehampton may be next in line for the chopping block. According to <em><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Apollo Magazine</a></em>, the complex is under threat "from proposals to demolish the center of the estate and replace it with a very large, very clashing new development." Inspired by <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Le Corbusier</a>'s L'Unite d'Habitation in Marseille, the Alton estate designed by London County Council's architects departme...</p> Corrupt NYC landlord ordered to pay a record $8M to tenants and sentenced to 1 year at Rikers Mackenzie Goldberg 2017-12-22T14:31:00-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>In the summer of 2016, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman charged Croman with 20 felonies, including harassing tenants at rent-regulated apartments within his various properties as well as falsifying rental income in order to secure as much as $45 million in financing. This fall, Croman plead guilty to charges of grand larceny, tax fraud, and an additional fraud charge relating to false statements.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The notorious <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Manhattan</a> landlord Steve Croman, who owned nearly 150 buildings across the city, has agreed to pay $8 million to his former tenants, the largest-ever settlement with an individual landlord in the state. Additionally, he has been sentenced to serve one year of jail time at Rikers Island.</p> <p>In recent years, New York lawmakers have been pushing for stricter laws to crack down on abusive landlords. Back in August, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an 18-law package that aims to protect tenants from harassment by landlords and make it easier for residents to take abusive building owners to court. They also increase punishments and enforce laws against dangerous and illegal construction.&nbsp;</p> <p>Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has echoed these efforts, emphasizing that his office has zero tolerance for landlords who try to boost their profits while disregarding the wellbeing of their tenants. Croman, who would push out rent-regulated tenants by <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">turning off their electricity, removing wa...</a></p> Lifting poor neighborhoods out of poverty with alternative investment models Alexander Walter 2017-12-06T14:08:00-05:00 >2017-12-06T14:10:40-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>How do you raise the standard of living in the poorest neighborhoods in the country? That&rsquo;s what community developers, typically nonprofits that build and finance affordable housing, have tried to do over the last few decades. And yet [...] many of these communities remain stuck in poverty. [...] This problem has stumped community developers for decades. But two local nonprofits think they&rsquo;ve hit on something: They&rsquo;ve created a private equity fund.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> New case of proposed "Poor Door" in Honolulu Alexander Walter 2017-12-04T14:01:00-05:00 >2017-12-04T14:01:52-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>A real estate developer in Hawaii is under scrutiny for its plans to build a residential high-rise that has two separate entrances: one for high-income residents and another for low-income earners. [...] will include 78 affordable rental units for people earning 80 percent or less of the area median income, as required by Honolulu&rsquo;s affordable housing strategy. The other 351 units will be market-priced condominiums. If things go as ProsPac plans, the units will be separated with two entrances.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Various examples of so-called "poor doors" in New York City, London, and Vancouver made the headlines in previous years, sparking heated debate <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">across a number of Archinect comment sections</a>.</p> Framework Awarded $6M from City of Portland “Fast Starts” Program to Support Affordable Housing Anthony Morey 2017-11-12T09:00:00-05:00 >2017-11-12T01:47:59-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>"By investing in Framework, our city will now be home to the first skyscraper made from wood in the United States. This project not only reflects Oregon&rsquo;s leadership in the newly emerging wood products industry of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT), it also demonstrates our city&rsquo;s commitment to finding innovative ways to quickly deliver affordable units during our housing crisis,&rdquo; said Portland Mayor, Ted Wheeler.</p></em><br /><br /><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">LEVER Architecture</a>'s project, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Framework</a>, has been awarded 6M from the city of Portland as a recipient of the City's "Fast Starts" Affordable Housing Program. The program aims at providing financial and city level assistance in the development and deployment of affordable housing projects that aim to deliver on both the means and methods of relieving the city's housing crisis.&nbsp;</p> You get a home! And you get a home! We all get homes. Anthony Morey 2017-11-12T01:45:00-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>A big obstacle to attracting new recruits is the stigma around working in the public sector. There remains a widely-held stereotype that planning departments are the realm of dusty, tweed-jacketed types, nested in their booths for the last half century. Williams says that when he started at Croydon, a colleague pitied him, assuming he had ended up there because he couldn&rsquo;t get a job in an architecture practice.</p></em><br /><br /><p>With the explosion of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">STARCHITECTS</a>&nbsp;collecting major commission after major commission in the same manner children collect toys, a young office in London, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Public Practice</a>, has found a niche all to their own &mdash; one who's historical stigma only expanded Public Practice's potential and possibilities.</p> <p>Finn Williams and Pooja Agrawal opened Public Practice as a means to bring a new generation of architects, planners, and local government together with the aim of shaping the public realm effectively, creatively and collaboratively.&nbsp;</p> <p><em>&ldquo;I realized important decisions were happening much further upstream, in the realms of policy, way before an architect would even get involved.&rdquo; </em>Fin&nbsp;Williams</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Finn Williams and Pooja Agrawal. Photograph: Eleanor Bentall/Greater London Authority</figcaption></figure> Mosul scheme focuses on housing some of the city’s 900,000 internally displaced people post-liberation Weston Williamson 2017-10-31T19:05:00-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>A prototype affordable housing scheme for post-Daesh Mosul by Weston Williamson + Partners has received an honourable mention in the Rifat Chadirji Prize.&nbsp; It was the only UK entry among the finalists.&nbsp;</p> <figure><img src=";auto=compress%2Cformat&amp;w=1028"></figure><figure><img src=";auto=compress%2Cformat&amp;w=1028"></figure><p>The prototype focuses on housing some of the city&rsquo;s 900,000 internally displaced people who will be returning to their homes following its liberation.&nbsp; It addresses the long term housing crisis as well as the situation immediate post-occupation and suggests a predominantly autonomous, self-build housing process.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <figure><img src=";auto=compress%2Cformat&amp;w=1028"></figure><p>Opportunities for choice and adaptation over time are incorporated, ingraining sustainability through a sense of ownership. People can build what they need as they need it; funding is used more efficiently and more directly. </p> <figure><img src=";auto=compress%2Cformat&amp;w=1028"></figure><p>In the short term, data about the current condition of the city can be gathered through crowd-sourcing mechanisms.&nbsp; Waste material from the city centre can be cleared to the city periphery, to be processed into basic building materials, for a range ...</p> New report shows 60-percent drop in U.S. affordable-housing stock between 2010 and 2016 Alexander Walter 2017-10-24T14:20:00-04:00 >2017-10-24T14:20:47-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>The number of apartments deemed affordable for very low-income families&nbsp;across the United States fell by more than 60 percent between 2010 and 2016, according to a new report by Freddie Mac. The report by the government-backed mortgage financier is the first to compare rent increases in specific units over time. It examined loans that the corporation had financed twice between 2010 and 2016, allowing a comparison of the exact same rental units and how their affordability changed.</p></em><br /><br /><p><em>The Washington Post </em>reports about a <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">new report</a> by Freddie Mac: "More renters flooded the market after people lost their homes in the housing crisis. The apartment vacancy rate was 8 percent in 2009, compared to 4 percent in 2017. That trend, coupled with a stagnant supply of apartments, resulted in increased rents."</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p></figure><p>Some of the states with the highest decreases in the percentage of affordable units were Colorado and North&nbsp;Carolina.</p> Neave Brown, this year's RIBA Royal Gold Medal laureate, caught by "dumbfounding surprise" to receive highest honor Alexander Walter 2017-10-06T14:25:00-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>&ldquo;It is an absolutely dumbfounding surprise [...] I stopped following architecture years ago, so I had no idea there was this renewed interest in my work until recently. I thought my buildings were a curiosity of the past that people had largely forgotten about.&rdquo; Brown is now celebrated for his inventive housing schemes and enjoys the accolade of being the only living architect to have all of his work in the UK listed. But recognition has been a long time coming.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Social housing pioneer Neave Brown, now 88 years old, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">was awarded</a> the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">RIBA Royal Gold Medal</a>, the UK's highest accolade for architecture, just a week ago. <em>The Guardian</em> architecture critic Oliver Wainwright got a chance to chat with Brown about his career and good London housing.<br></p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Current condition of Alexandra Road Estate. Image courtesy of RIBA.</figcaption></figure> As shopping malls are dying in urban areas, land becomes available again for housing Alexander Walter 2017-10-04T13:47:00-04:00 >2017-10-04T13:50:02-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Acres of prime real estate are opening for redevelopment as America&rsquo;s malls struggle to compete with Amazon and other online giants, offering developers a rare shot to remake swaths of land in the country&rsquo;s built-out metropolises. In particular, real estate experts say, the demise of retail centers provides one of the best chances to add needed housing [...].</p></em><br /><br /><p>In his article, <em>LA Times</em> reporter Andrew Khouri also points out the drawbacks of these new development opportunities, writing "residents voiced concern that the development will make the area more attractive to those of higher incomes and put upward pressure on rents in the surrounding area, even as the housing supply expands."</p> Two-family house designed and built by Yale students opens in New Haven Noémie Despland-Lichtert 2017-09-29T15:33:00-04:00 >2017-09-29T16:45:37-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>This year&rsquo;s house marks the 50th project built by first-year students in the Yale School of Architecture&rsquo;s professional degree program. Since it started in 1967, the building project has produced structures for communities around New Haven, including the Bridgeport band shell, pavilions in East Rock Park and Lighthouse Point Park, and since 1989, affordable housing units for over 30 families.</p></em><br /><br /><p>First-year graduate students at Yale School of Architecture and Design have built a family house in New Haven. The two units are separated by a walkway but under the same roof. The project was realized in collaboration with&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Columbus House</a>, a New Haven-based <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">homelessness</a> services provider. Most of the house was prefabricated on Yale campus.&nbsp;</p> Richard Florida on the fragility of the Urban Revival Alexander Walter 2017-09-06T15:26:00-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>For all the concern about the gentrification, rising housing prices and the growing gap between the rich and poor in our leading cities, an even bigger threat lies on the horizon: The urban revival that swept across America over the past decade or two may be in danger. As it turns out, the much-ballyhooed new age of the city might be giving way to a great urban stall-out.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Richard Florida paints a gloomy picture of the state of the great American urban revival in his <em>NYT</em> op-ed, "<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The Urban Revival Is Over</a>," citing gentrification, income disparity, rising crime numbers, unaffordable housing prices, and the anti-urban agenda of the current White House tenants. <br></p> <p>Joe Cortright, over at <em>City Observatory</em>, offers a <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">good analysis</a> of Florida's piece; breaking down numbers, highlighting statistics, weighing in on the crime numbers claim, and easing the general dystopian mood: "Rather than proclaiming the end of the urban revival, Florida&rsquo;s evidence really makes the case for a renewed national commitment to building more great urban neighborhoods."<br></p> Examining the Housing Crisis—a book and a film Anastasia Tokmakova 2017-09-01T15:46:00-04:00 >2017-09-01T15:46:31-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Housing has instead become one of the primary drivers of global capitalism, through commodification and financialization, making its function as real estate more important than its use as lived, space. It is the result of spatial developments being market-driven. Madden and Marcuse: &ldquo;housing is not produced and distributed for dwelling at all,&rdquo; but &ldquo;as a commodity to enrich the few.&rdquo;</p></em><br /><br /><p>The German documentary <em>City for Sale</em> that came out last year and the recently released book <em>In Defense of Housing</em> are the perfect match for anyone who wants to learn about the broken nature of housing markets, the crisis currently happening in all big cities worldwide.</p> <p><em>City for Sale</em> consists of interviews taken over a course&nbsp;of 4 years, where the author, Andreas Wilcke, accompanies real estate agents and investors during their daily routine and films tenants struggling to cope with the situation, providing the viewers with an opportunity to experience the turnaround of a whole city virtually at first hand. <em><br></em></p><p><em>In&nbsp;Defense of Housing</em> by&nbsp;David Madden and Peter Marcuse, too, is full of examples from both sides of the story, where personal property are examined as both categories&ndash;shelter, safety, identity for the general population versus investment and a supplemental source of income for the lucky few. The book also demonstrates examples of numerous cities and countries, detailing destructi...</p> Housing shortage statistics demonstrate the cities that are still building Anastasia Tokmakova 2017-08-29T15:03:00-04:00 >2017-08-29T15:03:50-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Trulia isolated the markets in which building permits for residential construction are being issued at rates above historical averages, which have been calculated by looking at the number of permits issued each year between 1980 and 2016. The study also shows that Austin, Dallas and Houston, issued over 10% of all permits in the nation in 2017.These cities are projected to add about 130,000 new homes by the end of the year, their growth driven by abundant jobs and rising incomes and home prices.</p></em><br /><br /><p>According to the real estate website Trulia, the number of homes available for sale decreased 8.9 percent in the second quarter of 2017 compared to a year earlier, which follows decreases every quarter for the two past years.&nbsp;</p> <p>The projected number of new building permits in 2017 grew the most in the following cities: <br></p><ol><li>Austin, TX (+107.7% higher than historical average)</li><li>Charleston, SC (+72.8%)</li><li>Nashville, TN (+65.8%)</li><li>Philadelphia, PA (+62.3%)</li><li>Boston, MA (+61%)</li></ol><p>Decreasing the most in: <br></p><ol><li>Worcester, MA (-85.5%)</li><li>Allentown, PA (-85.0%)</li><li>New Haven, CT (-80.8%)</li><li>Akron, OH (-77.1%)</li><li>Syracuse, NY (-70.8%)</li></ol> How social equality is linked to health, as manifested in the built environment Anastasia Tokmakova 2017-08-29T14:13:00-04:00 >2017-08-29T14:14:41-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Residents of the outer suburbs tend to travel much longer distances between home, work and the services they need daily. Getting around necessarily defaults to the car, which has serious long-term implications for health. Driving is particularly associated with extended sitting in a confined space and, as a result, not getting enough exercise each day. When poorer communities are located in areas of lesser amenity due to lower housing costs, this exacerbates their health problems.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">close correlation</a> between socioeconomic status and&nbsp;health has long been out of question.&nbsp;The built environment and the environmental context serve as direct&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">social determinants of health</a>.</p> <p>Due to lower housing costs, poorer communities are often restricted to residing in areas of lesser amenity that exacerbate the obstacles to mental and physical well-being&mdash;lack of quality services and infrastructure, scarcity of green space and long work commutes challenge health. Additionally, poor building design and construction, and the excessive noise that it causes, can significantly contribute to stress, anxiety, sleep deprivation, and sometimes even neighbor conflict and violence. What might appear as light threats, such as sleep deprivation which is linked to obesity, serve as risk factors for many chronic diseases.&nbsp;</p> <p>While high-density living is increasingly trumpeted as &ldquo;healthy,&rdquo; health and well-being of poor communities in high-rise housing heavily depends on the specifics&mdash;geographic...</p> "Dismantling of the administrative state" under Ben Carson Anastasia Tokmakova 2017-08-24T13:23:00-04:00 >2017-08-26T21:16:03-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>HUD has emerged as the perfect distillation of the right&rsquo;s antipathy to governing. If the great radical-conservative dream was, in Grover Norquist&rsquo;s famous words, to &ldquo;drown government in a bathtub,&rdquo; then this was what the final gasps of one department might look like.</p></em><br /><br /><p>In his new piece for <em>New York Magazine</em>, Alec MacGillis examines <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Ben Carson</a>'s turbulent and confusing time at <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">HUD</a>. He describes in detail, the situation at the headquarters, the Trump Cuts, and the secretary's July trip to Baltimore.&nbsp;</p> <p><em>He had been chosen for a job he had few qualifications for by a man who had few obvious qualifications for his own job, and he was now being left to his own devices to defend the dismantling of the department he was supposed to run, with an underpopulated corps of deputies at his side.<br></em></p> <p><em>HUD has long been something of an overlooked stepchild within the federal government. Founded in 1965 in a burst of Great Society resolve to confront the &ldquo;urban crisis,&rdquo; it has seen its manpower slide by more than half since the Reagan Revolution. (The HUD headquarters is now so eerily underpopulated that it can&rsquo;t even support a cafeteria; it sits vacant on the first floor.) But HUD still serves a function that millions of low-income Americans depend on &mdash; it funds 3,300 p...</em></p> Sadiq Khan to invest £25m to bring 1,000 'Pocket Homes' to London Mackenzie Goldberg 2017-08-24T04:00:00-04:00 >2017-08-23T20:42:02-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>The Mayor of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">London</a>,&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Sadiq Khan</a>, has announced that the city will be investing&nbsp;&pound;25 million&nbsp;into constructing over 1,000 affordable <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">prefab</a> apartments. Funding from the city will go into purchasing small brownfield sites that will then be built on by Pocket Living, a developer specializing in 400-square-foot modular apartments. The apartments will go to first-time home buyers, already living in the relevant borough, and will be sold roughly 20% below market rate. The initiative also ensures that the Pocket homes remain affordable for the lifetime of the building. The new homes are expected for completion by 2021.</p> <p>Upon making the announcement, the Mayor acknowledged his commitment to helping solve <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">London's housing crisis</a>: "The housing crisis is the biggest challenge facing Londoners today and I have been honest from the start that we won&rsquo;t be able to turn things round overnight. For decades, we have simply not built enough new and affordable homes in the capital, meaning that for too m...</p> Does adding luxury housing trickle down to make housing more affordable for all? Mackenzie Goldberg 2017-08-22T15:20:00-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>One of the new luxury apartment buildings constructed in 1910 was the Belmont Court, on the city&rsquo;s growing East Side. Plans called for a modern 24 unit-apartment building with a range of conveniences. More than a century later, the Belmont Court building still stands...According to Zillow, average apartment rents in Portland are about $1,600 per month. With studio apartments renting at just under $1,100 they&rsquo;re not exactly cheap, but they cost less per square foot than newly built units.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Drawing on research from housing blogger, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Iain MacKenzie</a> who runs <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Next Portland</a>, Joe Cortright at&nbsp;<em>CityObservatory</em> shares some examples of affordable housing in Portland that had been considered luxury when originally constructed. The author argues that affordable housing has always been generated through a process called "filtering," in which the value of luxury apartments depreciates over time and those units subsequently, move down the market and become affordable. When building and development halts or slows, however, aging housing is not allowed to filter down and higher income households bid up the existing housing stock.&nbsp;</p> Aging office parks are making a comeback as (sub)urban residences Alexander Walter 2017-08-07T14:00:00-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>From the rooftop terrace of their new townhouse, Keisuke and Idalia Yabe take in their suburban Maryland neighborhood: a staid, 1970s-era office park of glass office buildings and concrete parking garages. The Yabes say they have found the advantages of urban living in a shorter commute and the ability to walk to shopping centers and a park. They also have what feels like the best of suburbia &mdash; mature trees, plentiful parking, Bethesda&rsquo;s sought-after schools and a more affordable mortgage.</p></em><br /><br /><p>"[...]&nbsp;suburban office parks have plenty to offer residential developers," <em>The</em> <em>Washington Post</em> explains. "Many are close to major roads and near top-ranked public schools, and their sprawling campuses and vast parking lots provide land that has become increasingly scarce in lucrative areas."</p> "Humanitarian emergency": Michael Greenberg looks inside New York City’s housing crisis Alexander Walter 2017-08-01T15:47:00-04:00 >2017-08-01T15:49:19-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>New York City is in the throes of a humanitarian emergency, a term defined by the Humanitarian Coalition of large international aid organizations as &ldquo;an event or series of events that represents a critical threat to the health, safety, security or wellbeing of a community or other large group of people.&rdquo; New York&rsquo;s is [...] a &ldquo;complex emergency&rdquo;: man-made and shaped by a combination of forces that have led to a large-scale &ldquo;displacement of populations&rdquo; from their homes.</p></em><br /><br /><p>"What makes the crisis especially startling," author Michael Greenberg continues in his latest piece for <em>The New York Review of Books</em>, "is that New York has the most progressive housing laws in the country and a mayor who has made tenants&rsquo; rights and affordable housing a central focus of his administration."</p> 82 buildings fail fire safety test in the wake of Grenfell Tower tragedy Alexander Walter 2017-08-01T04:00:00-04:00 >2017-07-31T17:34:17-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Eighty-two buildings have failed a new fire safety test set up in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire, ministers say. The test examines the safety of building cladding and insulation in combination. It comes as an independent review of building regulations and fire safety has also been announced by the government. It will look at current building regulations and fire safety, focusing on high-rise residential buildings.</p></em><br /><br /><p>"The new fire safety test is the first of a wave of more comprehensive assessments, which come after previous tests were carried out on hundreds of cladding samples in recent months - many of these failed standards for flammability," the BBC reports and outlines key examination goals of the upcoming independent review.&nbsp;</p> <p>At least 80 people lost their lives and over 70 were injured in a tragic fire on June 14 that rapidly spread through the building and engulfed the majority of the&nbsp;24-story <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Grenfell Tower</a> block of public housing flats in West London.</p> Los Angeles and Honolulu are the toughest cities to build in Mackenzie Goldberg 2017-07-27T17:15:00-04:00 >2017-07-27T17:15:16-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>Last week,&nbsp;<em>The Wall Street Journal</em> reported on the housing shortage in&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Venice Beach</a>. As one of&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Los Angeles</a>' hottest neighborhoods&mdash;in large part due to the influx of tech companies that have made it their home and lent it the new nickname, Silicon Beach&mdash;it might come as a surprise to learn that the zip code has not added a single new housing unit in 15 years. In fact, Venice Beach had roughly 700 fewer housing units in 2015 than it did in 2000 and despite adding 4,000 new jobs, lost 3,800 residents.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">According to Issi Romem</a>, a chief economist at&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">BuildZoom</a>&nbsp;who conducted the analysis of data for the publication, the lack of new housing accommodations is a result of overly strict building and zoning restrictions as well as stiff community opposition that has caused the precinct to become the "Toughest Zip Code in America to Build In." When we expand from zip code to city limit, Romem's data found that Los Angeles, in general, sits right behind Honolulu to take second place in terms of t...</p>