A strong town naturally blends housing styles at many different price points.
This can be accomplished with several tactics:
- Encourage small-scale incremental development to empower local residents and increase community wealth.
- Adjust zoning laws to allow for more choices within the marketplace.
- Remove distortions in the federal mortgage market which favor the creation of single-family homes while discouraging any other housing style. (We explored this concept in depth in a series of articles in February 2016.)
Giorgio Angelini’s documentary Owned chronicles the commoditization of homeownership in the U.S. and its fallout—both for those who were left out, and for those who were sold promises that we’re now struggling to fulfill.
San Bruno, California laid out a detailed blueprint for more housing. One developer followed that blueprint. $3 million and 3 years later, the city killed his project anyway.
Forget Barbie. What does the Millennial Dream House look like?
Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are a quintessentially Strong Towns approach to urban growth and affordability issues: bottom-up, decentralized, incremental, scalable and adaptable. Unfortunately, a litany of restrictions often makes them an unappealing option even where allowed.
"Developers in my city are only building luxury housing. They're not building anything that ordinary people can afford." If you’ve said this lately, or heard someone else say it, here are five possible reasons why.
By choosing to rehab and rent the homes in the worst condition, these developers are helping low income neighborhoods find a new future.
6 months ago, my partner and I tried to buy an ailing property in a poor neighborhood and transform it into quality affordable housing. Here’s what happened instead.
It’s about so much more than just the cost of housing.
Do you care about increasing housing options and ensuring that your town can appropriately house its residents?
Become a member of Strong Towns, the movement that is pushing for true housing choice and a resilient housing market.
Mid-size regions like Kansas City don’t have the affordability struggles of, say, a fast-growing Denver or Seattle: they have their own unique challenges instead. Here’s how the “natural” affordability of homes in these places can be turned into an opportunity for an urban renaissance.
Google wants to dedicate $1 billion to creating housing in the San Francisco Bay Area. This is a big enough number to make a real dent, but will it help tackle the systemic issues driving the region’s housing crisis?
The newer generation of public housing projects offer a superficially pleasant facsimile of a New Urbanist neighborhood. But these are places built all at once, to a finished state, and deeply dependent on fragile institutional arrangements.
If your city is struggling to balance its budget, it’s not enough to just cut costs and not seek to increase revenues. That’s like a cyclist who tries to improve their performance only by losing weight.
Denton, Texas seemed to be on the verge of an important step toward financial resilience: allowing its core neighborhoods to incrementally evolve and provide much-needed new housing. Now, is the city on the verge of moving in the wrong direction instead?
Since 1913, Pennsylvania has allowed cities to tax land at a higher rate than buildings. This decision has led to some unique success stories: cities that have weathered post-industrial decline and revitalized their urban cores.