November 12, 2014

Beyond Bricks and Sticks

A weekly digest of current trends in housing and community development. The discussion examines topics from infrastructure to community fabric.

Trailer Parks: An Underdog Solution to the Housing Crisis

(RECAP: Some may judge these pre-fab homes as shoddily built, cheap eyesores in a country that’s increasingly eschewing the suburbs for walkable urban areas. But pre-fabricated homes just might be part of the solution to America's affordable housing crisis.)

Closing the Workforce Housing Gap

(RECAP: The demand for affordable workforce rental housing is outpacing supply. Research shows that around 440,000 additional apartments will be needed each year for the next 10 years to meet coming demand; the historical average is around 300,000 a year.)

Uber Comes to Senior Living With New UberASSIST Rides

(RECAP: At just five years since its inception, Uber has revolutionized how we get a ride from Point A to Point B. It has become a household name, and valued at an estimated $18 billion. And now, the company is taking aim at the way seniors get around.)

The Cooperative Solution

(RECAP: Cooperatives align closely with the goals and values of community developers and deserve more attention as an economic development strategy.)

Support Urged For Families Weighing Out-Of-Home Placements

(RECAP: In a clinical report this month, the American Academy of Pediatrics said doctors should be well-versed in community-based options available to families with children who have disabilities and guide them in how to select an appropriate setting.)

Homes for the homeless...inside billboards

(RECAP: Billboard ads are expensive to construct, maintain and rent, but they don't serve any functional purposes -- so Michal Polacek redesigned them to house the homeless. His concept would create two-room wooden billboard structures fitted with noise and thermal insulation.) 

Opinions on Housing 

The views and opinions expressed in Opinions on Housing are solely those of the original authors, and do not necessarily represent those of VHDA, our stakeholders or any/all contributors to this blog.

Why Middle-Class Americans Can't Afford to Live in Liberal Cities

(RECAP: There is a deep literature tying liberal residents to illiberal housing policies that create affordability crunches for the middle class.)

Blue Markets Face Bigger Housing Challenges Than Red Markets

(RECAP: Because blue markets are less affordable, have lower homeownership and have greater income inequality, political leaders in Democratic-leaning and Republican-leaning metros may push for different policies. The differences may add to the challenge of reaching agreement on national housing policies.)

Is Urban Revitalization Without Gentrification Possible?

(RECAP: New discussions of turning existing urban neighborhoods into “ecodistricts” may just be gentrification in a green dress. How can cities encourage growth but also provide a sense of continuity? How can over-taxed city planning departments accommodate the forces of change while also respecting local communities and cultures?)

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