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Housing

About Those Swelling Suburbs....

About Those Swelling Suburbs....

Another spate of headlines suggest that rapid suburban growth means that Millennial homebuyers must prefer the greener pastures of suburbia to life in inner-city neighborhoods. Here’s why the real story is not that simple.

Making Normal Neighborhoods Legal Again

Making Normal Neighborhoods Legal Again

The growing movement to end exclusive single-family zoning—as Oregon just did in its cities—is not a radical or untested experiment: it’s a return to a historical norm. The actual radical experiment is the strange notion that a neighborhood should be required to contain only one type of home.

A City Shaped by Many Hands

A City Shaped by Many Hands

Incrementalism is not an end in itself. It’s not about stubborn insistence on some sort of small-is-beautiful aesthetic for its own sake. Incremental development is a practical means to the end of resilient, financially sound places.

Is Strong Towns NIMBY, YIMBY, or What?

Is Strong Towns NIMBY, YIMBY, or What?

Some YIMBYs don’t like Strong Towns and claim we are anti-development NIMBY. Yet, NIMBYs hate us because we insist neighborhood evolve, adapt, and change. What’s going on here?

Change is a Constant in Most Neighborhoods

Change is a Constant in Most Neighborhoods

We tend to talk about neighborhoods in a static way: if they’re not rapidly, visibly transforming, we assume they’re not changing at all. A look at the data provides a helpful reminder that the places we live are actually changing all the time.

Eating Jell-O With Chopsticks

Eating Jell-O With Chopsticks

Trying to navigate opaque bureaucracies, just to get permission to build something that used to be legal everywhere, is like eating Jell-O with chopsticks: tedious and unsatisfying. No wonder people find pragmatic work-arounds instead.

You Can’t Judge Housing Affordability Without Knowing Transportation Costs

You Can’t Judge Housing Affordability Without Knowing Transportation Costs

You might get more house for your money in an outer-ring suburb. But if you have to own and maintain multiple cars, are you better off? Common measures of housing affordability don’t include transportation costs, and so they fail to capture a realistic view of the true cost of living in certain places.

The Connectedness of Our Housing Ecosystem

The Connectedness of Our Housing Ecosystem

That high-end apartment building over there has nothing to do with the low-income families who need affordable housing over here, right? In fact, we’re all more connected than we tend to think—and a new study demonstrates this in a surprising way.

Who Benefits From Lower Housing Prices?

Who Benefits From Lower Housing Prices?

It’s hard to have a coherent conversation on affordable housing when most of those involved in the discussion directly benefit from — and in some ways depend on — higher housing prices.

Doing the Math on Housing the Homeless

Doing the Math on Housing the Homeless

What would it actually cost to put a roof over the head of every person experiencing chronic homelessness? Some number crunching suggests not as much as you think, and an amount we could afford—especially given what it already costs not to.

Housing Markets Should Be More Like Supermarkets

Housing Markets Should Be More Like Supermarkets

In many areas of modern life, the market provides a cornucopia of choices to accommodate people’s diverse needs, wants, and tastes: just visit a supermarket to see this. When it comes to housing options, though, the reality is starkly different.

The Death of the Suburban Fourplex

The Death of the Suburban Fourplex

Most apartments built today are in huge complexes along busy streets, not tucked away in quiet neighborhoods in “missing middle” buildings like fourplexes, which used to be common. But how did the missing middle go missing, anyway?

Sliding Downhill in America's Divided Cities

Sliding Downhill in America's Divided Cities

An excerpt from our upcoming AMA webcast guest Alan Mallach’s book The Divided City explores the havoc that the Great Recession’s continuing aftermath has wrought on homeownership patterns, profoundly destabilizing many urban neighborhoods.

Form Without Function in Public Housing

Form Without Function in Public Housing

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.