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Top Reads, Week of 11/19

Check out our top three reads of the week. They cover the challenges and opportunities facing American communities right now. This week, we’re delving into the idea of homeownership as an investment, a unique partnership between affordable housing developers and the American Legion, and middle neighborhoods.

Have something to add to our list? Let us know on Twitter at @LISC_HQ

Housing Can’t Be Both Affordable and a Good Investment
By Daniel Hertz, CityLab

“But this sort of wealth building is predicated on a never-ending stream of new people who are willing and able to pay current home owners increasingly absurd amounts of money for their homes. It is, in other words, a massive up-front transfer of wealth from younger people to older people, on the implicit promise that when those young people become old, there will be new young people willing to give them even more money. And of course, as prices rise, the only young people able to buy into this Ponzi scheme are quite well-to-do themselves. And because we’re not talking about stocks, but homes, “buying into this Ponzi scheme” means “able to live in San Francisco.”” Continued [+]...

Where ex-soldiers have socialized, they will soon find affordable housing
By Patricia Sullivan, Washington Post

“But the old soldiers, sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen decided to sell to a local affordable housing agency, drawn to the possibility of a modernized Legion post that will be built as part of the project and of providing much-needed apartments for struggling vets.” Continued [+]...

Setting the Stage to Revive America’s Middle Neighborhoods
By Alan Mallach, Next City

“These middle neighborhoods are at risk — not from a single factor, but a series of separate changes that amount to something close to a perfect storm. Although the in-migration of millennials and immigrants driving urban revival in many legacy cities has helped some middle neighborhoods counter negative pressures, these groups are settling in a relatively small number of neighborhoods. Many more neighborhoods continue to be buffeted by the stress of demographic and economic change, aging housing stock, suburban competition and more, often exacerbated by adverse public policies. And nowhere are these risks greater than among the many middle neighborhoods in our cities that for decades have housed much of the nation’s African-American middle class.” Continued [+]..

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The views and opinions expressed in the articles above are those of the authors and publications we are listing, and do not necessarily reflect LISC’s perspective.