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Recent Comments

Re: “Housing Groups Slam Proposal to Redefine Affordable Housing in Oakland

I don't think it's quite accurate to say that Oakland officials are proposing a redefinition of the term "affordable housing." Usually in US governments define 'affordable' in reference to particular households or income groups, not generally; and different "affordable housing" programs often apply only to certain of those groups.

Oakland government, like San Francisco and others, is recommending for various reasons that some locally-generated affordable-housing funds be used to help households of income above Federal/State "low-income" category. They note that, for example, the Mortgage Assistance Program is targeted to Public Safety Employees and teachers, but such households often have higher than LI income levels; and that due to rise in Oakland house prices, typical mortgage eligibility requires higher incomes.

There are certainly arguments against shifting benefits from lower to moderate income households, as the city's own reports acknowledge, but that it redefines a settled definition of "affordable housing" isn't one of them, I would say.

Context: Oakland city reports & proposed changed: #3, 4 at…).

Tim McCormick
San Francisco / Portland @tmccormick

Posted by tmccormick on 03/23/2016 at 5:34 PM

Re: “An Intentional Homeless Community

"A homeless protest and occupation in Portland last year evolved into Dignity Village, which now exists with the city's approval."

Dignity Village began in 2001. It has had a permanent location on leased city land for many years.

Two out of three of Seattle's sanctioned homeless villages have already opened. There is also Opportunity Village in Eugene and Emerald Village opening, and many other examples in other cities.

Cities considering alternate housing models such as considered in the article should look at these various models/precedents which have been operating and studied for years. (see eg Andrew Heben's book and site, "Tent City Urbanism"). What happens often instead is cities mainly react to the situation in front of them, or debate abstractions like 'encampments' rather than particular models/proposals.

Tim McCormick
San Francisco / Portland

Posted by tmccormick on 02/10/2016 at 3:14 PM

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