Category: Housing

We All Might Want to Walk to Breakfast

I’m supposed to want a rambling four bedroom colonial with a two-car garage on a cul-de-sac, given my demographics of age, marital status and educational achievement. Big surprise: that’s not what I want. Seriously, who actually wants to get in the car every time there is a need for a loaf of bread, a light

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An Essential Role for Fannie and Freddie

For all the talk about reform of the mortgage finance system, the anticipated changes to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are likely to be rather modest. In the run-up to Secretary Geithner’s end-of-January deadline to offer a proposal to Congress, only two options are under serious consideration to support the goal of ensuring long-term liquidity

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Housing Needs for the Next Decade

For local policy makers anticipating the economic landscape in the post-recession and post-foreclosure period, there are three factors that will influence decisions about new housing development – the number of homeless families; the slowdown in household formation; and the severe cost burden that so many face for housing. The combination of these factors means that

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Ode to Judges

Judges hold a special place in the American legal system. One might argue that they are in fact iconic, even if they don’t wear the traditional wigs of our British forbearers. Although more people have probably heard of Judge Wapner and Judge Judy than have heard of Judge Isaac C. Parker – the real “hanging

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Vacant Properties Compound the Forclosure Disaster

You don’t have to be a policy researcher to know intuitively that mortgage foreclosures and vacant and abandoned properties are a serious threat to the well-being of a neighborhood.  An increase in foreclosed properties in any neighborhood, especially a high concentration of properties in one neighborhood, creates an oversupply of housing stock (including low value

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The Lives of the Next 100 Million

It’s regrettable that Joel Kotkin’s vision of America in 2050 is not more imaginative.  His rejection of the entire new urbanism agenda as a tool to accommodate the next hundred million U.S. residents ties his “cities of aspiration” to the automobile, to fossil fuels, to the large single family dwelling and to an expectation that

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Back to school for immigrant parents

Schools can provide strong footholds for immigrant children in their new communities. Aside from access to critical learning opportunities, such as English as Second Language classes, they are able to become involved in sports teams, clubs, and other community activities that help ease the transition to life in a new place. Immigrant parents, however, do

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FOR RENT: Cozy Cottage, Serene Backyard Setting, Landlord Close-by

The City of Seattle recently amended a restricting and outdated zoning regulation.  This change encourages homeowners to reject—to an extent—the separation of housing types and the segregation of people of different income levels.  The zoning change allows homeowners in single-family residential neighborhoods to construct small, free-standing cottages on their properties for rental purposes.  USA Today

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Forget Everything You Knew About Housing

In the wake of the home mortgage bust there needs to be a reevaluation of every assumption about residential housing. Is ownership always better than renting? Is appreciation always better than equity as a tool for wealth creation? Is bigger in the suburbs always better than smaller in town? The composition of families is different.

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Locals are Effective as Home Mortgages Collapse

Just-released figures from Treasury and HUD report that the number of homeowners who defaulted on their mortgages, even after securing lower payments through loan modification, nearly doubled in March. Relief efforts are diminishing rather than growing. The Federal Reserve has ended its $1.25 trillion program to buy mortgage backed securities. The first-time homebuyer tax credit

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