‘Affordable Housing’ Archive

Two Dilemmas Urbanists and Housing Advocates have to Face March 6, 2018 No Comments

First, we often have two inconsistent objectives.  The first is good housing for all and ownership for many. The second is that home ownership should be a ‘wealth builder’ for those who achieve it.  You can’t have it both ways.  What makes home ownership a ‘wealth builder’ is a relative scarcity of land for housing. […]

The Tastes of our Southern Neighbors, and our Housing Issues February 3, 2018 No Comments

Instead of Berbers, ‘Arabs’, Turks, and other Muslim groups, we have to our south Mexico.  Maybe we could consider ourselves relatively fortunate because of this.  The best book in English on Mexican culture in recent times that I know of is Mañana Forever? by Jorge Castañeda.  In the last part of his first chapter, he […]

Suggestions for the Democratic Party, Part 2:  The Housing Issue March 29, 2017 1 Comment

I just put out a post on the weaknesses and inconsistencies of the Democratic Party, and then realized that I had omitted one issue that is close to our heart here at Blue Kennel.  I refer to, of course, the issue of housing.  Jed Kolko and Derek Thompson discovered that the housing crunch was most severe in […]

How Employers Impose Their Own ‘Growth Boundaries’ February 10, 2017 No Comments

There has been a lot of publicity about how the imposition of ‘growth boundaries’ on metropolitan areas often succeeds mainly in driving up the price of land within the boundaries.  But companies and employers often impose their own ‘growth boundaries’ by where they choose to locate, or not locate.  A person with a car will […]

The ‘Single Family or Bust’ People Will Probably Leave Southern California, No Matter What Land Use Policy We Now Follow September 15, 2016 No Comments

A lot of people, especially families with children, would prefer a single-family home.  Of course they would, and I’m not going to find fault with that lifestyle as long as it’s not forced on everyone.  Perhaps they should be required to pay the full cost of maintaining the costly infrastructure it takes to maintain single-family […]

The Beach Bum’s View of Real Estate Values March 14, 2016 No Comments

As one who lives by the beach in California, I’m prone to think of housing values as being almost exclusively the land underneath the house, and the improvements as almost irrelevant.  Several times a year a widow dies, and her old fashioned beach house is torn down to be replaced by a two story blocky […]

Where in Southern California Could We Fit New Suburbs? December 10, 2014 No Comments

People like Joel Kotkin and Wendell Cox have argued, to some extent rightly, that the majority of Americans prefer a suburban environment; and even the younger Millennial generation, willing to live in more urban places during their single and cohabiting years, hope to raise their children in a more suburban environment.  Some have argued, in this […]

If We Treated Food the Way We Treated Housing November 18, 2014 No Comments

Josh Barro, an economics columnist at the New York Times who used to be at Forbes, has written an interesting column on what the food marketplace would be like if we owned lifetime resaleable futures in our food instead of buying it weekly or daily.  The incentives, he said, would be very different.  Instead of […]

The Homeless Prefer Suburbia March 11, 2014 No Comments

Even the homeless see the virtues of suburban life, apparently.

Why The Dream Declined April 7, 2013 No Comments

The best single post on the decline of affordable housing that I have seen on one of my favorite sites, newgeography.com, is this by Roger Selbert.  He most succinctly explains the reasons why the American dream of subsidized home ownership [discussed in Eric Abrahamson’s new book, Building Home] imploded in the 1970s despite the fact that the […]

Changing my mind about single family homes April 5, 2013 No Comments

I used to believe that social justice required that a region be overbuilt [or at least over-entitled at law] in high-density housing and other locally undesirable land uses.  Now, thanks to Joel Kotkin’s influence, I believe that social justice requires that a region be overbuilt, or at least over-entitled, in ‘both’ high-density housing and single […]

The Salinas Gang Problem and Restricted Housing January 30, 2012 No Comments

Is there any connection between the fact that Salinas has the gang problem that it does, and the fact that Monterey County’s restrictions on the building of housing are very strict? I can see why the inhabitants of the Monterey Peninsula might want to protect the coastal strip. But if they apply their policies to […]

The Suburban Paradox January 17, 2012 No Comments

The attached article criticizes the effect of ‘greenbelts’ in Britain, and calls for ‘green patches’ instead of ‘green belts.’  The paradox is that a lot of what people move out to the suburbs for is precisely what these anti-suburban NIMBYs are trying to protect.  And, more to the point, when people do move out to […]

Will Riverside, Fresno, and Bakersfield Become Civilized? December 15, 2011 1 Comment

Joel Kotkin and William Frey, in an article written before the crash, speculate that as Coastal California prices itself out of the market, Inland California may become a more civilized and upscale region.  In fact, the crash and the wave of foreclosures hit Inland California the hardest, while making the coast [much to the discomfiture […]

Some Points on Housing November 3, 2011 No Comments

Recently The Weekly Standard ran an article by Ike Brannon and Benjamin Gitis suggesting that the mortgage deduction was no longer so important as it had been in the past, and recommending instead a program in Wisconsin called WHEDA, which stands for Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority, which helps marginal homebuyers [those with incomes under […]

Why Non-Suburbanites Distrust Suburbanites August 30, 2011 No Comments

I’ve had the great Arcade Fire album, The Suburbs, on in my car recently, and have been inspired by it to a few thoughts. Most people, especially people with children, aspire to a real house and not a condominium or an apartment, a house you can walk around the outside of, with at least a semblance […]

Will Riverside, Fresno, and Bakersfield Become Civilized? April 21, 2011 No Comments

Joel Kotkin and William Frey, in their article “The Third California,” speculate that as Coastal California prices itself out of the market, Inland California may become a more civilized and upscale region.  In fact, the crash and the wave of foreclosures hit Inland California the hardest, while making the coast [much to the discomfiture of existing homeowners, […]

New Urbanism: Not Suitable for Large Families November 1, 2010 No Comments

Jonathan V. Last has written an excellent article on natality in America and why we have few large families now, whereas 50 years ago they were very common.  (I can testify, being of a certain age myself, that I as an only child was very unusual in my own childhood.)  While I do not have […]

The New Suburbs, a Plane Ride Away July 30, 2010 3 Comments

Does anyone air-commute from Phoenix to LA or OC? I”ll bet they do! Read: “The New Suburbs, a Plane Ride Away” by Nick Wingfield via WSJ.com.