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Re: Affordable Housing

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:09 pm
by mean
They can speak in force to whomever they wish, but if they can't influence voters, I don't see how it matters.

What kind of outcome are you looking for? To have the places specifically built for white people with money to live so they can be as far away from non-white people with no money as possible, to suddenly completely reverse course? That seems completely bananas to me, and suggests that you're in denial of why suburbs exist in the first place, which is so capitalism could resegregate the races/classes after democracy realized it was being a hypocrite.

Re: Affordable Housing

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 8:03 pm
by beautyfromashes
mean wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:09 pm
They can speak in force to whomever they wish, but if they can't influence voters, I don't see how it matters.

What kind of outcome are you looking for? To have the places specifically built for white people with money to live so they can be as far away from non-white people with no money as possible, to suddenly completely reverse course? That seems completely bananas to me, and suggests that you're in denial of why suburbs exist in the first place, which is so capitalism could resegregate the races/classes after democracy realized it was being a hypocrite.
The goal is enlightenment. I grew up in the suburbs. I had no idea growing up the pretend social construct that I was living in. If people hadn’t taken the time and effort to inform me about real life difficulties in the world, I’d have probably stayed in the suburbs and been none the wiser. I strongly believe there are still those living in the suburbs who were like me when I was younger. They shouldn’t be left in ignorance.

Re: Affordable Housing

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:26 pm
by alejandro46
Exhibit A:

https://fox4kc.com/2017/07/18/northland ... e-housing/

"Affordable" housing is a complex, multi-layered, multi-faceted situation. There truly never will be enough.

Important things that KCMO should keep up/start
1. Free, rapid, accessible transit corridors throughout the metro. (Paseo Max, North Oak Max, then streetcar eventually).
2. Abatements plus public financing match for mixed-income dense housing focusing on all spectrum of income. (ex. Paseo Gateway but city match) located along such corridors. Don't spend a lot of money fixing up single family houses in the urban core. Instead focus on getting rid of shady slumlords and promoting home ownership instead of just rental properties. This is probably the hardest thing to do.
3. Parking maximums + height minimums (for TIF/CID projects primarily) .

Re: Affordable Housing

Posted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 2:53 am
by FangKC
I sometimes think it would be better to just transfer the rental subsidy amount directly to the voucher recipient, and let them find their own apartment. They would apply for a lease just like anyone else. There would be no need for the landlord or apartment community to participant in the Section 8 program. The subsidy would be considered as an income stream, just like that from a job. Then NIMBYs wouldn't know that the renter was Section 8, and landlords couldn't turn them away. Pass a law to make it illegal to refuse rental to someone receiving a government housing subsidy. That would solve a lot of problems with congregating low income residents in certain neighborhoods, or bad school districts.

There is some wisdom to helping some Section 8 clients purchase houses. With rents climbing quickly, a mortgage is often cheaper than paying rent. If it's a fixed, 30-year-mortgage, that keeps the residents' monthly payments fairly stable. Of course, taxes and insurance go up. The Housing Authority of Kansas City has a home-ownership program for some eligible clients. However, I don't think it's a big percentage of their subsidy base. It makes sense for the Housing Authority to pay a percentage of a mortgage instead of rent. Rents are always increasing, so the cost of subsidizing a Section 8 tenant in rental housing also constantly goes up. A fixed mortgage stabilizes the housing cost for many years.

This also gets many out of the cycle of bouncing from shady landlord to shady landlord. If we could combine this idea with renovating vacant houses, we could solve two problems. Have some sort of investment trust leveraging opportunity zone tax benefits to provide capital to fund licensed contractors to renovate vacant homes. Then sell them at break-even cost to Section 8 recipients who have passed certain requirements, and can get a mortgage (their subsidy is considered income; in addition to any other income). Renters could be given grants to help with down payments with condition they stay in the home so many years with a portion of the grant forgiven each year.

Some tenants in Section 8 might not want the responsibility of home ownership though. Many don't have the savings or enough income to maintain the house once they purchase. It's not just Section 8 participants; this is also true for Habitat for Humanity homeowners.

There are also participants who don't have good enough credit to get a mortgage approved--even with the Section 8 subsidy. That can be remedied with education though, and time.

http://www.hakc.org/resident_services/s ... ogram.aspx

Re: Affordable Housing

Posted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:04 pm
by TheBigChuckbowski
FangKC wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 2:53 am
There is some wisdom to helping some Section 8 clients purchase houses. With rents climbing quickly, a mortgage is often cheaper than paying rent. If it's a fixed, 30-year-mortgage, that keeps the residents' monthly payments fairly stable.
Homeownership is far less stable than renting. Your rent is the maximum you'll pay in a month, your mortgage (plus T&I) is the minimum you'll pay in a month. And there's really no predicting when something major is going to break or need maintenance so the only way to keep things steady as a homeowner is to have plenty of cash in reserve, something poor homeowners are unlikely to have, or defer maintenance, which decreases the value of the home and quality of life of the owner.

And, for the record, mortgages should ALWAYS be SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper than rent. That's a comparison that should never be made.

/rant about my housing pet peeves

Re: Affordable Housing

Posted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:21 pm
by beautyfromashes
Of course, rents usually go up. Mortgages stay the same as when you bought it. If you bought a house in 1990, you’re still paying the 1990s price in 2019. Can’t realize any appreciation on rent.

Re: Affordable Housing

Posted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:46 pm
by TheBigChuckbowski
Every other housing expense but the mortgage is going up, though. You just don't see it on your monthly bill (aside from taxes and insurance) because maintenance issues and renovations are spread out and sporadic and people don't even account for trips to Home Depot and other minor expenses. Or their time.

Re: Affordable Housing

Posted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:12 pm
by flyingember
From a practical standpoint, people have a tough time separating the taxes and mortgage on a monthly basis. The total amount IS your monthly bill to your bank. Not paying their taxes in full each month isn't an option to keep the home.

Renting isn't necessarily more expensive than buying. An adjustable rate mortgage can make buying more expensive. Imagine an ARM which goes up 5% over the life of the loan vs living in a multi-unit home in the same neighborhood.

Rents go up annually most places. I know of places that require people to either give notice or they're accepting their new rate for the year. They're going to include the costs of the common area repairs in the price too. A renter pays their share of the taxes for roads as well as the cost of private roads and laundry rooms and landscaping and such, even if you don't use all the amenities.

There's a good argument to not include parking in the cost of rent but I get free parking with my mortgage. Even where it comes with rent they might charge beyond so many spots.

So many things come with bonuses. Sure, a washer and dryer costs money but if you have the hookup for a cheap one it's going to cost less than the laundromat at many places to find the money to buy one.

And of course, none of this accounts for utilities. One family member pays a higher electricity bill for 1/3 the space we have. Some places include the cost of water but there's just as many examples of people illegally paying for common area utilities.

What about pets? Apartments come with fees, a home you own there isn't one.


It's why renting vs mortgages is misleading as a standard.

Re: Affordable Housing

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:30 am
by FangKC
When America's Basic Housing Unit Was a Bed, Not a House

The same cities that struggle to provide affordable housing today eliminated their critical-but-maligned flexible housing stock after World War II.

https://www.citylab.com/equity/2018/02/ ... %3A37%3A27

Re: Affordable Housing

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:32 pm
by phuqueue
I think there is something to be said for bringing back some amount of SROs in some of the bigger and more expensive cities, but I reject them as any kind of real answer to the affordable housing crisis. I think cities like New York and San Francisco and DC could definitely use more of them as a form of transitional housing for young people and new arrivals still trying to get themselves established in the city, and maybe for people who have lost their job and need to get back on their feet, but the real root of the crisis, aside from NIMBYism/supply constraints, is income inequality, and I can't get behind stashing the masses in dorm rooms while the Jeff Bezoses of the world are buying up four floors with 12 bedrooms to live in by themselves.

Re: Affordable Housing

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:58 pm
by earthling
During KC's golden years many also lived in KC's hotels. As mentioned in other threads, KC used to have 30K hotel rooms just from downtown to midtown (nearly the same as overall metro today). But in those days many lived in hotel rooms. Others rented just a bed in flophouses.

In SF, renting a bed by the month is back, $1200/month...
https://www.businessinsider.com/san-fra ... ing-2019-7

Re: Affordable Housing

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:01 pm
by FangKC
phuqueue wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:32 pm
I think there is something to be said for bringing back some amount of SROs in some of the bigger and more expensive cities, but I reject them as any kind of real answer to the affordable housing crisis. I think cities like New York and San Francisco and DC could definitely use more of them as a form of transitional housing for young people and new arrivals still trying to get themselves established in the city, and maybe for people who have lost their job and need to get back on their feet, but the real root of the crisis, aside from NIMBYism/supply constraints, is income inequality, and I can't get behind stashing the masses in dorm rooms while the Jeff Bezoses of the world are buying up four floors with 12 bedrooms to live in by themselves.
I get your point, but some of the homeless problem could be solved with SRO units. Many homeless, for example, are not in the position to put down a deposit on an apartment, and that affects their ability to find housing.

When I moved to NYC, I stayed in SRO housing for two weeks until I found a roommate situation in an apartment.

Many homeless have jobs, and college educations.

Large numbers of homeless Chicagoans are working, been to college, new CCH study finds
...
Chicago’s hefty homeless population includes nearly 14,000 people who are working and more than 18,000 who have been to college – countering common misconceptions that anyone who collects a paycheck or pursues an academic degree is immune from one of life’s most desperate economic straits, a new report by the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) finds.
...
https://www.chicagohomeless.org/large-n ... udy-finds/

Re: Affordable Housing

Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:47 am
by brewcrew1000
Cities Start to Question an American Ideal: A House With a Yard on Every Lot

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/201 ... oning.html

Re: Affordable Housing

Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:13 am
by beautyfromashes
brewcrew1000 wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:47 am
Cities Start to Question an American Ideal: A House With a Yard on Every Lot

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/201 ... oning.html
It will be interesting to see if fully autonomous, ride sharing vehicles will cause removal of driveways and garages for free space. A fully integrated system could also see neighborhood streets replaced with grass and used for the socialization of the neighborhood.

Re: Affordable Housing

Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:28 am
by herrfrank
brewcrew1000 wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:47 am
Cities Start to Question an American Ideal: A House With a Yard on Every Lot

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/201 ... oning.html
I read the linked article, and I have to say that the NYT is about 90 years late in discovering this outrage. Single family housing in the leafy neighborhoods has been standard practice since the 1920s housing boom.

IMHO the local government focus should be on better multifamily options in the areas already zoned for that. This also would promote density along corridors, an oft-cited goal for urbanists. Widespread revocation of single-family zoning rules will not make a positive change, it will just allow developers a free hand to build whatever they want wherever they want. Zoning should be a scalpel, not a bludgeon.

Re: Affordable Housing

Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 3:31 pm
by chaglang
Zoning has historically been a bludgeon. People only care now because some changes could affect middle class whites.

Re: Affordable Housing

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:47 am
by earthling
Tiny house "Village for Vets" at 85th/Troost...
https://www.veteranscommunityproject.org/vcpkc

https://www.kcur.org/post/after-visit-k ... s#stream/0

Would be nice to see market rate tiny house villages setup around KC and fairly close to downtown, maybe E of Beacon Hill around 25th/Troost. That is small pad sites for sale, with utilities ready to build your own or buy a kit home like this...
https://www.amazon.com/Timber-House-dua ... way&sr=8-2

This one is under $20K...
https://www.amazon.com/Lillevilla-Allwo ... ay&sr=8-12

Re: Affordable Housing

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:05 am
by earthling
edit: Moved to more appropriate thread...

Re: Affordable Housing

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:29 am
by flyingember
Interesting idea. What about the Chouteau Court site?

It's still close to downtown, has bus service to get around, has good road access without crazy turns. It would be a positive use of a difficult spot without bringing gentrification to the area.

Re: Affordable Housing

Posted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:49 pm
by FangKC
6 Rules for Unlocking the Potential of Mid-Size Cities
...
The way we have built cities in the U.S. has enabled major inequities that are not typically discussed. Many disinvested east side neighborhoods in Kansas City’s urban core are more productive per acre than “wealthy”, large-lot neighborhoods that have higher property values, but are less productive on a per acre basis. In many ways, the poorest neighborhoods subsidize the wealthiest ones.
...
Image

The Foxcroft and Glen Arbor neighborhood is south of St. Joseph's Medical Center (I-435), north of W. 115th Street, east of State Line, and west of Wornall Road. The Oak Park-Northwest/Palestine East neighborhood shown is Indiana to Cleveland, and Linwood to 39th Street. The image is labeled Palestine West, but that is incorrect.

https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/20 ... ize-cities