Think tanks and government agencies aren’t solving our housing crisis nearly as fast as our cities need. Should we let the public have a shot—and give the person with the winning idea a big prize if they can make a dent?
California recently passed a statewide rent control bill. Will it protect tenants, alleviate the housing crisis, and strengthen communities? Or is it another massive #california intervention that will do little to clean up the mess made by the LAST massive intervention?
Fast-growing Austin is at a crossroads. Officials there are weighing the adoption of a new land development code. Will the city settle for the status quo—drive-by urbanism and a code that doesn’t adequately address the need for more housing? Or can something better emerge?
A leading infill developer in Victoria, BC is building beautiful homes that address the housing crisis and make neighborhoods stronger. They’re also changing the conversation about what’s possible.
In Seattle, policy victories tend to be long-fought and hard-won. What will it take to achieve a city that can flex, evolve, and meet its residents’ needs in a more organic way, without every change becoming an arduous political battle?
A remarkably diverse coalition of activists is moving the needle in Seattle on the question of who—and what—belongs in the city’s neighborhoods. And they’ve scored two big policy victories in 2019. Is it enough?
Lexington, Kentucky recently proposed an ordinance that would allow accessory dwelling units. Nolan Gray explains how ADUs are good for renters, good for homeowners, and good for the city — and why Lexington’s ordinance is (almost) perfect.
There’s a 30% chance your house will be worth less in five years. Homeownership is not the surefire investment vehicle it often gets advertised as.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
Every time it seems like our housing crisis is going to bring everything crashing down, banks inject a dose of antigravity. How long can it go on?
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 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.