Janet Viveiros – Mapping Housing Affordability, A Grim Picture For Renters

nhcopenhouse.org. April 2014. As the housing affordability challenges facing renters in the aftermath of the Great Recession have gained attention recently, I found myself wondering just what the differences in housing affordability for owners and renters actually looks like nationwide.  I decided to map the data from Housing Landscape 2014 to see where low- and moderate-income owners and renters are struggling to afford their housing the most.

The map below shows that large shares of low- and moderate-income working homeowners struggle to afford their homes in high-cost housing markets. New Jersey leads the way with about three in 10 households spending at least half their income on housing, making them severely housing cost-burdened.

Read more: http://www.nhcopenhouse.org/mapping-housing-affordability-grim.html

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Rustum Mahmoud – Slums And The Syrian Revolution

souriahouria.com. April 2014. The Syrian socio-economic history can be divided into three phases. The first phase was that of the bourgeoisie. This stage extends from the beginning of independence from the French colonial rule to the end of the 1950s, at the time of unity with Egypt.

During this phase, the urban wealthy elite controlled Syria, and its power was derived from its wide network of properties in the vast countryside of Syria, which covered more than a quarter of the total population of the country.

The targeted economy was the second stage in the history of modern Syria. It extended throughout the three decades that followed the beginning of the era of unity with Egypt. State institutions expanded during this stage, and through these institutions the bureaucratic elite dominated economic public life. Many Syrians moved to rural towns and villages in this stage. Cities housed nearly a third of the country’s population, as many of the young men with higher levels of education and those in need of a higher degree of services moved to the cities.

Read morehttp://souriahouria.com/slumsthe-syrian-observer/

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African Activist Archive Project

african_activist_archiveThe African Activist Archive is preserving and making available online the records of activism in the United States to support the struggles of African peoples against colonialism, apartheid, and social injustice from the 1950s through the 1990s. The website includes:

– growing online archive of historical materials – pamphlets, newsletters, leaflets, buttons, posters, T-shirts, photographs, and audio and video recordings
– personal remembrances and interviews with activists
– an international directory of collections deposited in libraries and archives

The African Activist Archive Project is collaborating with activists across the U.S. who supported African liberation struggles to create this online archive of more than 5,000 items. The project also assists individuals and groups to deposit their collections in public repositories, including the African Activist Archive collections in the Michigan State University Libraries.

Read more: http://africanactivist.msu.edu

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The Caribbean Commons

Caribbean-FlyerWelcome to the Caribbean Commons blog. Begun as part of the Caribbean Epistemologies Seminar at the CUNY Graduate Center, this blog primarily announces Caribbean Studies CFPs, events, and publications of interest to those in the Northeast US. It also archives information from the CE Seminar. Blog run by Kelly Baker Josephs.

Recent Posts:

Read more: https://caribbean.commons.gc.cuny.edu/

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London School of Economics and Political Science – Five Minutes With Danny Dorling

Photo: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/

Photo: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/

http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/. April 2014.

What is the housing crisis in the UK?
The housing crisis is a crisis of affordability. The biggest part of the cost of living crisis isn’t gas bills or food bills, it’s your rent or your mortgage. Rents have increased, and prices have increased in the South-East. Elsewhere prices have fallen and people are in negative equity. It’s issues with housing that are probably going to keep people awake at night in worry more than anything else. Beyond the cost, it is also the unpredictability, the fear and lack of any certainty about what’s going to happen to you depending on how you’re housed. Many people are not particularly well housed. Many don’t have much of an idea of how they’re going to be housed in three or four or five years time.

What are the roots of the problem?
Housing was the one of the big three issues – the others being education and health – that the UK didn’t sort out in terms of having a decent state support; a control on the quality of what happened and a control on people profiteering. For instance we don’t allow people to make massive profits, or largely we haven’t, out of education. Private schools are non-profit making. Housing, on the other hand, is a massive source of profit-making.
The rise in income and wealth inequality that began from the 1970s onwards has become a housing problem in the end. If you have one part of society becoming wealthier and wealthier, and everybody else sees their average income drop and their wealth levels fall to a lower proportion of national, it gets expressed in housing.

Read more: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/five-minutes-with-danny-dorling

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Ellen Thalman – Slums And Gated Communities

Ills.: ventureburn.com

Ills.: ventureburn.com

www.dandc.eu. April 2014. The flood of rural workers to cities is an unstoppable global phenomenon. Local government institutions are struggling to cope with fast urban growth. Local-level authorities, especially mayors, tend to lack the capacity and funding to organise large-scale infrastructure projects.

Developing countries everywhere are facing a “rapid and messy urbanisation,” says Gil-Hong Kim of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). City governments are grappling with often conflicting goals of eliminating poverty, creating sustainable growth, fighting corruption and caring for the environment.
The ADB expert says that building up a middle class is vital to the economic health of urban areas. But balancing the dynamic economic growth with the need to deal with poverty and protecting the environment is a huge challenge. Millions of people are moving towards urban areas every year. Kim admits that, in Asian agglomerations, more than 80 % of water and soluble waste remain untreated.
It is generally acknowledged that there is a large financing gap for infrastructure projects. Asian countries’ high savings rates have not translated into adequate investment. Kim sees a need to mobilise additional funds and to do more to make public authorities and private-sector companies cooperate on building infrastructure.

Read more: http://www.dandc.eu/challenges-rapid-urban-growth

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