Monthly Archives: January 2012

Can the government do a better job?

The federal government has an incredibly mixed record on affordable housing.  High-rise public housing and urban renewal are notorious cases, while certain housing vouchers and tax-credits have supported low-income renters and buyers.  Across all programs, a major conceptual debate rages: do governments have the capacity to do anything about affordable housing?
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Aretha likes building houses, too

Here’s a great song to start your weekend:

Even the Queen of Soul sang about building houses!  It’s Friday… help me celebrate with a donation to my Bike & Build trip?  Any amount will help!

DIY community analysis

Community Commons

Example analysis of fair market rents using Community Commons.

I’m going to be posting about affordable housing over the next several months as part of my preparation for a summer Bike & Build trip.  As part of this, I’d like to do some housing analysis of communities we’ll be passing through.  

I’ll probably be using a variety of data sources and tools to collect and display the information.  Some of these are really user-friendly sites that allow you to do your own community’s analysis – a great way to learn about affordability in your area! Continue reading

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The moral hazard of not helping underwater mortgages

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With his State of the Union address last night, President Obama introduced new proposals to help struggling homeowners.  This is hardly the first effort by the Obama administration, though many of the others have been short-term fixes that did not suffer enormous opposition.  This probably will be different. Continue reading

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Here we go

I’m doing it.

The Route

From May to July 2012, I’m stepping outside the city planning classroom to bike across the country with nonprofit organization, Bike & Build.  It’s a journey of over 3500 miles to raise awareness about affordable housing, and the work starts now.  Over the next several months, I’ll be fundraising and learning more about affordable housing issues.  Once I start my trip, I’ll do my best to document the journey on this blog.

I invite you to join me along the way.