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The AIA Housing and Community Development Knowledge Community (HCD) is a network of architects and allied stakeholders that promotes equity in housing, excellence in residential design, and sustainable, vibrant communities for all, through education, research, awards, and advocacy.

With so many vacant houses, why is there still a housing crisis?

  • 1.  With so many vacant houses, why is there still a housing crisis?

    Posted 09-17-2018 10:28 AM


    Why abandoned housing isn't affordable housing

    By some estimates Baltimore has 40,000 abandoned vacant residential buildings, most of single family row homes. But like many other US cities, Baltimore also has a housing crisis, more specifically, an affordable housing crisis. There are as many people on a  waiting list for what used to be called "section 8" vouchers. (Now "Housing Choice"). It is no surprise that many people think that there should be simple ways to reconcile those two numbers. Particularly in Baltimore, people remember fondly a 1970s program called the "Dollar House Program" and suggest that such a program could house the poor and get rid of the vacant houses at the same time.
    Vacant houses in Baltimore (Vacants to Values)

    None of this is limited to Baltimore. In fact, although the federal  Department Housing and Urban Development (HUD) still has Dollar House program on the books,  vacant houses are a persistent problem in many American cities and towns. Nationwide there are 12 million according to a report of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, especially in the "legacy cities" where population is stagnant or shrinking. This should serve as proof that solving housing problems isn't quite as simple as matching those who seek affordable housing and with abandoned housing stock.

    An equal number of available "rooftops" and number of people looking for housing doesn't solve a problem even if defenders of a pure market economy would expect a big demand triggering a larger supply and expect some kind of balance to come about by itself. But even the largest demand and the slimmest profit margin doesn't change the basic fact that in market-rate housing....

    Read full article HERE 

    [Klaus] Philipsen FAIA
    Archplan Inc. Philipsen Architects
    Baltimore MD
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