Sorry it took me so long to get back to this. I didn’t forget. I have just been a tad overwhelmed. These are some examples of how housing policy interferes with creation of affordable housing, like I promised Cardinal (I am not sure if I have this in the right forum, so I certainly will not be offended if a mod moves it, ):
I have read Jay Shafer’s story in a couple of magazines and he now has a website: http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/ The short version is that he decided to build an ecologically sound home, all of 130 square feet in size. He ran up against “minimum-size standards” that made his tiny home illegal. He circumvented these standards by putting wheels on his house and calling it a “travel trailer”.
To quote the last paragraph in the article in Natural Home Magazine (House on Wheels, Nov/Dec 2000 – excerpt http://www.naturalhomemagazine.com/c...%20on%20Wheels):
“The good news is that minimum size standards have recently started to erode, as lawsuits concerning their constitutionality have forced municipalities to drop the limits. The bad news is that the standards are still far from extinct, and every time a community does manage to rid itself of these antiquated laws, it seems a handful of developers steps in to impose even more restrictive size limits in the form of covenants.”
I could not find any article on that architect who did whatever I was thinking of. The article I kept that I thought was about that was really about this: http://www.ruralstudio.com/
http://www.weldcity.com/old/10.htm I cannot find anything that directly says it, but I believe this is the French project I saw on TV where they designed “publicly assisted housing” and people qualifying for public assistance couldn’t afford to live in some of the units because it used an innovative design that made the apartments unusually roomy and rent for assisted housing was calculated based on the square footage. So, this “affordable housing” wasn’t affordable due to the way the housing policy was written, if memory serves.
And, last but not least, back in the 1920’s, after whites burned “Black Wall Street” to the ground, the zoning board enacted an ordinance for “minimum standards” so the “slum” housing could not be rebuilt. I saw this on TV at some point. A black lawyer fought it – from his tent that winter. I don’t remember all the details. But I think this is the perfect example of setting housing standards so high that it forces people to be homeless. This incident was blatant and racist discrimination that I think anyone can see. We generally do it more subtly these days but it has the same basic effect: average new homes are more luxurious than ever, meanwhile, homelessness is on the rise nationwide.
http://www.lunda.com/black%20wall%20st.htm Greenwood District, Tulsa OK
"In the aftermath, white leaders offered a plan to help blacks rebuild. The catch was they had to move about five miles to the north. The surviving black leaders balked and, for months, while camping outdoors, they rebuilt. "
"D. The Aftermath
If the city of Tulsa’s shameful role in allowing and encouraging the destruction of Greenwood were not egregious enough, shortly after the massacre on June 7th, 1921, the city zoning board enacted an ordinance that “made rebuilding residences in the area prohibitively expensive” because the city had plans to “convert Greenwood into an industrial district.” "