Category Archives: housing

Report: “Rapid Re-Housing: What the Research Says”

Report: Mary Cunningham, Rapid Re-Housing: What the Research Says, Urban Inst., June 2015.

News Article: “Housing Bias and the Roots of Segregation”

News Article: Clyde Haberman, “Housing Bias and the Roots of Segregation,” New York Times, Sept. 18, 2016 [includes video documentary].

News Article: “The War on the Poor: Donald Trump’s win opens the door to Paul Ryan’s vision for America”

News Article: Dylan Matthews, “The War on the Poor: Donald Trump’s win opens the door to Paul Ryan’s vision for America,” Vox, Nov. 22, 2016.

Article: “‘Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall…’: Reflections on Fairness and Housing in the Omaha-Council Bluffs Region”

Article: Palma Joy Strand, “‘Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall…’: Reflections on Fairness and Housing in the Omaha-Council Bluffs Region,” Creighton Law Review (forthcoming).

In 2016, eighty years after the federal Home Owners Loan Corporation (HOLC) drew redlining maps that solidified existing local segregation and gave the green light to suburban development, the residential patterns of race and socioeconomics in the Omaha, Nebraska, region embody those New Deal decisions. Inspired by recent regulations from HUD that intensify the agency’s responsibility under the Fair Housing Act to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing, this article looks past current inequities in housing to the institutional structures that facilitated White suburban growth after World War II. Special districts known as Sanitary and Improvement Districts (SIDs) gave – and continue to give today – private developers access to municipal bonds without significant public oversight. Historically, these SIDs provided market-rate housing to exclusively White residents; today they provide market-rate housing to predominantly White residents. Following SID development, the City of Omaha, which has extensive annexation powers under state law, annexes the SIDs, absorbing both their tax base and their remaining debt. This article describes this SID annexation development regime and the ways in which it diffuses responsibility for providing affordable housing and access to neighborhoods of opportunity throughout the metropolitan region. The article proposes an accounting and reconsideration of the existing development regime.

Call for Papers: Centre for Ethics and Poverty Research of the University of Salzburg on “2017 Salzburg Conference in Interdisciplinary Poverty Research, Focus Theme: Religion and Poverty”

Call for Papers: Centre for Ethics and Poverty Research of the University of Salzburg on “2017 Salzburg Conference in Interdisciplinary Poverty Research, Focus Theme: Religion and Poverty,” Sept. 21-22, 2017.

The Centre for Ethics and Poverty Research of the University of Salzburg happily announces the call for papers for its 2017 Salzburg Conference in Interdisciplinary Poverty Research. The focus theme of the conference will be religion and poverty. …

The Organizing Committee invites submissions of proposals for single papers and thematic panels in all areas of poverty research but special attention will be given to those concerned with the 2017 focus theme of religion and poverty.

Possible topics [sic] for the general theme sessions are, among others, current trends in poverty, inequality and social exclusion, poverty trends of different groups (minorities, age, gender, disability, unemployment), analysis of the economic, social and cultural processes underlying poverty, the effects of poverty on health, well-being, education, and inclusion, conceptualizations of poverty, methodologies of poverty research, the effectiveness of poverty alleviation measures and policy responses, and research on safety nets and welfare.

Possible topics for the focus theme sessions are, among others, the relation of religion and poverty and inequality in different states and world regions, religion as a factor in development, faith-based organisations and poverty alleviation, extent and causes of poverty and social exclusion of religious groups and minorities, religious perspectives on poverty, and theological responses to poverty and inequality.

Please submit abstracts for single papers and panels via the submission form on the conference homepage. In case that you encounter difficulties using this form, please contact the organizers via e-mail.

The deadline for submitting abstracts for single papers and panels is 31 March 2017. Decisions will be communicated until 30 April 2017.

Contact Info: 

Gottfried Schweiger, Centre for Ethics and Poverty Research, University of Salzburg

Article: “Let Justice Roll Down: A Case Study of the Infrastructure for Water Equality and Affordability”

Article: Martha F. Davis, “Let Justice Roll Down: A Case Study of the Infrastructure for Water Equality and Affordability,” 23 Geo. J. on Poverty L. & Pol’y 355 (2016).

In the absence of a fundamental right to a basic level of drinking water and sanitation in the United States, this article examines the ways in which federal and local civil rights laws provide an alternative legal infrastructure to ensure baseline water and sanitation equality. The article focuses on a particular jurisdiction, Washington, D.C. However, the framework analyzed has direct relevance to other subnational settings, since many anti-discrimination laws are federal and all share common themes across jurisdictions.

Part I sets out background information on the delivery and affordability of residential water in Washington, D.C., describing a set of laws, regulations, and challenges that are similar to other localities around the country. Part II sets out the relevant civil rights laws – including federal constitutional law, federal statutory, and local legal theories – and how they might apply to a hypothetical instance of water inequality in Washington, D.C. arising from water unaffordability. Special attention is paid to the issue of discriminatory intent, a prerequisite to many civil rights claims. Part III summarizes the potential strengths and shortcomings of current antidiscrimination law as it applies to water and sanitation inequality, and identifies promising avenues for legal action. This section also describes several domestic initiatives to create a broader set of rights to augment and strengthen the existing legal infrastructure protecting water and sanitation access.

Article: “Micro-Housing in Seattle: A Case for Community Participation in Novel Land Use Decisions”

Article: Patrick Carter, “Micro-Housing in Seattle: A Case for Community Participation in Novel Land Use Decisions,” 39 Seattle U. L. Rev. 1031 (2016).

Rather than relying solely on the formal interpretations of government regulators invited by the structure of local zoning ordinances, the City of Seattle should adopt a process that invites community-based mediation and problem-solving when a significant shift in housing density is contemplated in a developer’s proposal. Greater resident participation in development projects allows the City of Seattle to better support those residents in their reliance interests arising from zoning ordinances while simultaneously furthering the policies that underpin urban zoning. This is especially true when such development projects raise the possibility of substantial impacts on the character of a community or its commons. Moreover, such alternative dispute resolution processes may also help to mitigate potential detriments to the community commons or provide a mechanism for an equitable exchange of capital between developers and residents to offset negative impacts to property values. This Note specifically examines the development of urban residential property into micro-housing apartment buildings in the City of Seattle, the possible consequences, and a potential community-based solution for disputes regarding such development. Part I introduces the issue using anecdotal and quantitative information, including snapshots of some of the conflicts between urban homeowners and developers and the sometimes questionable application of local zoning ordinances to favor development in the context of micro-housing in Seattle. Included in this discussion is a summary of the “smart growth” principles that supported the development and the countervailing interests of incumbent residents. Part II examines Washington State’s Growth Management Act and suggests how it may have impacted the quick acceptance of micro-housing development in Seattle. Part III explores incumbent residents’ reliance interests in zoning ordinances for protection against externalities and maintenance of consumer surplus in their homes. Part IV reviews the potential harms suffered by residents adjacent to dramatic residential development and the legal remedies available at law. Finally, I offer a community-based solution to allow for the redress of such harms.

News Article: “Trump’s Rumored Housing Secretary Is Best Known for Keeping His County Segregated”

News Article: Henry Grabar, “Trump’s Rumored Housing Secretary Is Best Known for Keeping His County Segregated,” Slate, Nov. 14, 2016.

Blog Post: “The Mortgage Credit Squeeze on Low/Moderate-Income Families and Consumers of Color”

Blog Post: Chris Odinet, “The Mortgage Credit Squeeze on Low/Moderate-Income Families and Consumers of Color,” PropertyProf Blog, Oct. 2, 2016. [with excerpts from the 2015 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act Report]

Article: “State Obligations Concerning Socio-Economic Rights in Times of the European Financial Crisis”

Article: Jernej Letnar Černič, “State Obligations Concerning Socio-Economic Rights in Times of the European Financial Crisis,” 11 BYU Int’l L. & Mgmt. Rev. 125 (2015).