affordable housing - Articles

Moving to a New Place: How to Know If You Can Carry the Costs

Shutterstock By Christine DiGangi Perhaps you've always wanted to live in the heart of your city, have a bigger house with a backyard, or live on your own. But there's an important question to answer before making any changes: Can you actually afford to move? Of the 11.6 percent of people who moved within the U.S. in... Continue Reading »

Border Patrol's Arizona Housing Project: Bargain or Boondoggle?

How many workers who face a long commute would wish for an affordable home close to work -- built just for them by their employer? That's just what the government gave U.S. Border Patrol agents working along the Mexican border, according to a newspaper report, at a cost far exceeding the price of local homes. The... Continue Reading »

How Much House Can You Get for $150,000?

By Catherine Sherman With home values up 5.8 percent year-over-year, the national median has increased to $161,100. For prospective buyers, this raises the question: How much house can I afford? Is that starter home still within reach? To aid your home search, we've gathered for-sale listings around the U.S. priced in... Continue Reading »

10 Least Affordable Cities to Buy a Home

Looking to buy a home? You may want to skip these places. Prices are either so high or incomes so low that many families can't afford to buy homes here, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index. %Gallery-172312% See more on CNNMoney: Fiscal battle over... Continue Reading »

Survey Says: Fewer Affordable Homes

By Les Christie NEW YORK -- It just got a little harder for most Americans to buy a home, according to an industry survey. Nearly 74 percent of the new and existing homes sold in the three months ended June 30 were affordable to families who earn the national median income of $65,000, according to the National... Continue Reading »

The Most Affordable U.S. Cities to Buy a House

The housing crash that began in late 2006 resulted in trillions of dollars in lost wealth and millions of families owing more on their mortgage than their houses are worth. But while the economic downturn has made it nearly impossible for many to sell their homes, prospective buyers in key metropolitan areas can get quite... Continue Reading »

George Lucas Proposes Affordable Housing Plan

By Les Christie The film emperor may be striking back. For 25 years, filmmaker George Lucas tried to persuade his Marin County, Calif., neighbors to let him build a digital production studio on his ranch there, but the area's residents thwarted the plan. So Lucas has come up with an alternative for his Grady Ranch... Continue Reading »

1 in 4 Spend More Than Half of Income on Housing, Study Says

In the wake of the housing bust, almost 1 in 4 working families spend more than half their income on housing costs, according to a new study. The study by the Center for Housing Policy found that both homeowners and renters continue to struggle with housing costs since the market tanked in 2008. Between 2008 and 2010,... Continue Reading »

Obama May Turn 250,000 Foreclosures Into Rentals

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration may turn thousands of government-owned foreclosures into rental properties to help boost falling home prices. The Federal Housing Finance Agency said Wednesday it is seeking input from investors on how to rent roughly 250,000 homes owned by government-controlled mortgage companies... Continue Reading »

Affordable Rentals -- in a Mansion?

Affordable rentals are becoming harder to come by as people decide against buying a home in the current distressed market. Well, here's an option you may not have thought of: Rent a room in a mansion. Alyssa Abkowitz of SmartMoney reports on this emerging trend that has average renters curling up in the lap of... Continue Reading »

Second Homes for the Rest of Us

Second homes were once only the provenance of the very rich. But decades of American prosperity (the last few years excepted) made the weekend home a middle-class dream. For many, however, it remains just that: a dream. But Kristine Hansen of our sister site, Shelterpop.com, explores how to make a home away from home... Continue Reading »

Cheap Housing? Beijing Man Builds Egg Home

Environmentalists might just approve of this cheap housing, a mobile egg-shaped home covered in bamboo and grass seed-filled burlap sacks. But will it catch on as a real living space? Dai Haifei, a 24-year-old Beijing architect who developed the egg home, had been living in it on a sidewalk in the high-rent Chinese city... Continue Reading »

Long Island Real Estate: Levittown Suburb Abandons Its Affordable Roots

You might not notice it while cruising down the Long Island Expressway on the Hampton Jitney, but Long Island, N.Y. -- once the epitome of the suburban dream -- is having something of a midlife crisis as politicians, civic organizations and developers debate how to create more affordable housing. Yes, the place that... Continue Reading »

Santa Monica Builder Flouts Affordable Housing Rules

Santa Monica has some of the strictest laws in California regarding affordable housing, including rent control and inclusionary housing laws (I'll explain more in a minute). However, the Santa Monica Daily Press details how JSM Construction -- builder of much of Santa Monica's downtown housing -- did not build the 52... Continue Reading »

Brooklyn's Newest Development a Sweet Deal for Renters

Brooklyn gained 660 apartments for low and middle-income New Yorkers on Tuesday, when the New York City Council approved the conversion of the former Domino Sugar refinery into a mixed-income community. While units for poor and middle-income renters are desperately needed in neighborhoods such as Williamsburg, located... Continue Reading »

First-Time Homebuyer's Guide

Mike Valdez fits the profile of a savvy first-time homebuyer perfectly. A 34-year-old financial analyst from New Rochelle, N.Y., he and his family had grown sick of living the renter's life. So two years ago he decided to test the market and find a townhouse for his growing family. But despite his financial aptitude, he... Continue Reading »

Backyard Cottages: Affordable Housing Solution?

It's a story that touches upon the nation's economic woes, the challenge of preventing sprawl, and the quirky ingenuity of the Pacific Northwest. But is the trend of renting one's backyard cottage really big enough to have any effect beyond the symbolic? Well, yes and no. The focus of a recent USA Today article is... Continue Reading »

Housing Crisis Breeds a New Generation of Squatters

What should be done with the million or so foreclosed homes in the country? We've seen their empty swimming pools used as skateboarding parks. We've seen programs aiming to transform them into rehabber's dreams. And we've heard plenty about turning that empty housing stock into affordable homes. That last idea appeals to... Continue Reading »

Can You Afford Your Rent?

For years the housing rule of thumb was: It's within your means or affordable if it costs less than 30 percent of your income. However, a recent study suggests that the equation has changed. Commute times as well as your mode of transportation also make a serious financial impact -- so these elements now figure into... Continue Reading »

Chicago Public Housing Wait-List Opens for First Time in a Decade

There's a lottery in Chicago that will draw 40,000 winners. Sound too good to be true? Well, kind of, but not too far off. The Chicago Housing Authority is getting ready to open its "Family Housing Wait List" for the first time in a decade. After the four-week application window closes this summer, an electronically... Continue Reading »

Where Is the Affordable Housing?

The recession may be over according to some economists, but it's still in full swing for low-income renters. A typical family needs to earn $18.44 an hour, or nearly $38,360 a year, in order to afford a modest rental home; that's according to a survey by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, a Washington D.C.-based... Continue Reading »

Affordable Housing Finds a Home in New Hampshire

What's the first phrase that "New Hampshire" brings to mind? Do you think "town hall meeting," "tax-free liquor" or "outer Boston suburb"? You'd get, at most, partial credit for any of those answers. But if you say "first state in the union to get real about housing for working people," you'd be in a smart position to... Continue Reading »

Chicago Housing: Cheaper, Still Unaffordable

What do an elementary school teacher, police officer and paralegal all have in common? None of them can afford an ordinary home in Chicago. This sorry excuse for a joke comes courtesy of the recent findings from a study released by the Center for Housing Policy, which concludes that owning a dream home might be a pipe... Continue Reading »

ACORN Housing Sprouts New Identity

When the community organizing group ACORN fell to a notorious video sting last year by conservative activists posing as a "pimp" and a "ho," some of the biggest losers were thousands of homeowners facing foreclosure. Fortunately for them, ACORN's affiliated housing organization has returned under a new identity, as the... Continue Reading »

NYC Gets Funds to Fix Neglected Public Housing

Good news for public housing in New York City -- after years of crippling budget deficits, the New York City Housing Authority is finally getting some cash to take care of its buildings. No matter how you feel about public housing, there's no denying that New York City's public housing has gotten a raw deal for the last... Continue Reading »

Development Delayed Indefinitely on Brooklyn's Toxic Canal

When Toll Brothers, the developer most famous for its suburban McMansion subdivisions, first eyed New York City in 2004, many here saw it as the beginning of an ironic twist to the story of real estate. Its City Living division raised luxury towers in neighborhoods that had been denizens of drug users or had been homey... Continue Reading »

An Architect's Journey into Haiti

Shortly after the devastating earthquake struck Port-Au-Prince, noted architect pioneer Andres Duany flew to Haiti with plans for building durable, affordable housing in the shattered country. Duany, a celebrated archtitect who has masterplanned whole towns and claims to have written the definitive book on "smart growth"... Continue Reading »

After Stuy-Town: Next NY Foreclosures

The foreclosures of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village earlier this month were just the beginning. Banks are likely to seize many more apartment buildings in New York City this year, according Benjamin Dulchin, executive director of the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development, an organization of local... Continue Reading »

Revenge of the Renters, Washington Edition

Here's a neat trick: In the budget it released yesterday, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is proposing to increase spending in 2011, including a new billion-dollar fund to build affordable housing for rent. At the same time, it's cutting its budget request to Congress by 5 percent. How does HUD make... Continue Reading »

The Treasury Department recently announced it was ending a little known program that has successfully stoked states and cities with $23 billion in credit to boost their housing finance efforts. The program, called the Housing Finance Agency (HFA) initiative, has been a bright spot, accomplishing what it set out to do. So... Continue Reading »

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