Homeless people not welcome on Nextdoor

The verification requirements on the neighborhood app Nextdoor effectively make the app an unwelcome place for homeless people. Read the rest

Skinny, tall, ultramodern home on 16-foot wide piece of land

Cyril Borovsky purchased a 16-foot wide strip of property in Toronto. Then he built a 3 bedroom, 3 bath, four-story house. Borovsky says his design approach could be used to turn parking spaces into homes. You could also buy Borovsky's house for $3 million.

More here: 154 Hamilton Street

And other impressively slender Toronto homes: "Three buyers who found narrow plots of prime real estate and made it work" (Toronto Life)

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An entire village built on the roof of a huge building

Jakarta's Comsmo Park is an entire village built on top of a ten story building containing a shopping mall and parking garage. Built a decade ago, Cosmo Park only recently garnered attention when @shahrirbahar1 posted the above drone photo of the curious community. From The Guardian:

“It’s a lovely oasis,” says (resident) Fazila Kapasi, as she tails her four-year-old son around on his bike along one of the complex’s neat roads. “I cannot recommend it enough.”

Fazila and her husband moved to Jakarta from Mumbai, and chose Cosmo Park partly because they were concerned about Jakarta’s floods. But after living there for six years Fazila can reel off a string of other advantages, including that it is less isolating than standard apartment living.

In the afternoon Fazila stops to chat to her neighbours, while most days she and her son feed the pigeons that live in a nearby tree. She also has her own garden, where she has a hammock and space to grow aubergines, tomatoes and chillies.

“It is so good. There is so much open space, my son can ride his bike around. It’s so central, it’s really safe, and there is a lovely neighbourhood feel,” she says.

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Arts & Crafts: build your next home out of shipping containers

Finding a place home depends on what you can afford, deciding upon what you can live with and coming to understand what you can't live without. Many of us will never have the opportunity to build our own home, much less be able to scrape together enough currency to buy a parcel of land to plop it down upon. Ben Uyeda no longer has this problem: He bought 10 acres of land in Joshua Tree, California and built a lovely, modern home out of shipping containers.

If you've got the money and you're so inclined, Ben's series of videos on how he built his home, explains the whys and the hows of creating a place to call your own out of shipping containers. While I have no particular urge to settle down, I found myself enthralled by what went on behind the scenes to make this build happen. Read the rest

How to build a house out of shipping containers

Architecture hacker/maker Ben Uyeda of HomeMadeModern designed and built his house out of shipping containers in the high desert of Joshua Tree, California. And he documented the process in fascinating detail.

How to Build A Shipping Container House (YouTube)

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Save the Vulcan! 200 working-class Oakland artists are crowfunding to save their homes and fight the-rent-is-too-damned-high

[Editor's note: Xeno Evil is an Oakland artist fighting to save their home; I'm happy to help them with their campaign -Cory]

The historic Vulcan Lofts in Oakland, CA are up for sale and nearly 200 working-class Bay Area artists are at risk of losing our homes. In order to save the Vulcan, we’ve founded a tenant’s union, hired several attorneys, and petitioned the City of Oakland to put the building under rent control. Our hearing with the rent board is coming up very soon and we need to raise $50k in the next month to cover legal costs. Please support us by donating to our cause and sharing our crowdfunding campaign with your network. We love you. Read the rest

Silicon Valley real estate asking prices fall 12% from peak

There are more houses for sale in San Mateo County, Santa Clara County and San Francisco County than at any time since 2013; inventory in December was up 113% year-on-year, and asking prices have fallen by 12% since their peak. Read the rest

Millennials will be able to buy homes soon, thanks to Boomer senescence and mortality

Fannie Mae predicts a "coming exodus of older homeowners" as Boomers die, downsize or enter retirement homes, which will dump a ton of housing stock on the market and crash prices, finally making homes affordable for millenials. Read the rest

Couple built a two-story house for $12,000

Sam and Simone realized they could build a house for the same amount they would have spent on a year's rent in Australia. So they did, in one of their parents' backyard. It looks great.

From Living Big in a Tiny House:

In this video, we discuss how they were able to construct their tiny house for such an affordable price and tips for building tiny houses for less. Especially in a country like Australia, where the material cost of building can be very high!

As students of wildlife and environmental sciences, the couple now have plans to regenerate the property where the tiny house is parked. They are also using the tiny house as a base to launch a new online business. I hope you enjoy this full video tour of this stunning tiny home.

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Welcome to the grim new car-dependent exurban villages of housing-crisis Britain

The UK's housing crisis is much like the one in certain American cities — nimbyism, runaway housing prices, political paralysis — but with a British flavor of madness that allows for deeply unpleasant solutions. The local delicacy: car-dependent exurban developments made of uncanny cookie-cutter housing clusters in the middle of nowhere, with no shops, pubs, schools, cafés or public transport, surrounded by highways and austerity.

Jenny Raggett, researcher at Transport for New Homes, said: "We were appalled to find so many new housing developments built around the car with residents driving for almost every journey.

“As those cars head for our towns and cities they clog up existing roads. Commuter times get longer and longer. Car-based living of this kind is not good for our health or quality of life.”

Pictured above is a street view of Prior's Hall Park, near Corby, a new subdivision surrounded by three industrial parks and apparently inspired by childrens' drawings of bricked-up Victorian tenements. Welcome to the center of the venn diagram of J.G. Ballard, Minecraft and $6-a-gallon gasoline. Read the rest

HUD accuses Facebook of Fair Housing Act violations

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) filed a complaint [PDF] against Facebook on Friday. HUD accuses the social media company of violating the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination in print and online advertisements on the basis of race, religion, physical ability, gender, and other attributes. Read the rest

Very small Silicon Valley bungalow going for $2.6 million

In Silicon Valley, people with six-figure jobs sometimes live in vans, so how can they scrape together financing for the $2.6 million asking price for this 897-foot bungalow in Palo Alto? Just imagine what it's like for working class people, some of whom have to commute so far from affordable towns that their employers let them sleep in the parking lot. Via San Francisco Chronicle, VTA bus driver Adan Miranda is now getting kicked out of his employer's parking lot to make room for developers: Read the rest

To solve America's housing crisis, build public housing

You know what works better than giving tax-credits to property developers, or mandating a few poor-door accessible affordable housing units in a new luxury high rise? Just building affordable housing on public land that's publicly managed. Read the rest

Toronto's real estate market is imploding

Toronto is one of the many great world cities that has been rendered nearly unlivable by real-estate speculation, both from onshore investors and offshore ones. Read the rest

Yale student who secretly lived in ventilation shaft

In college and grad school, I knew several students who couldn't afford housing and "lived" in the student lounges (showering in the rec center) and one guy who pitched a tent in the hills near campus. But this story of Allan Kornfeld who lived in a Yale ventilation shaft from 1963 to 1964 is the closest I've seen to Lazlo Hollyfeld's secret lair in the classic 1985 film Real Genius.

Kornfeld had hidden the entrance to the ventilation shift by covering the entrance with brick-patterned wallpaper. He left his DIY dorm room after graduation and shared his story with the press.

"It was a little cold," he said.

More at Weird Universe: "Unauthorized dwelling at Yale"

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Artist transforms London garage into quirky firetrap

Not to rain on anyone's parade, but this whimsical artist's home featured on Barcroft TV looks as if it breaks pretty much every building code in the book. Read the rest

Inside Hong Kong's insanely cramped and illegal "coffin homes"

Photographer Benny Lam spent several years documenting grim living conditions in Hong Kong where people live inside tiny "coffin cubicles" within illegally divided apartments. The images are grim glimpses of life in the city with the most expensive housing market in the world. The photo series is titled "Trapped." From National Geographic:

Pushed out by soaring rents, tens of thousands of people have no other option than to inhabit squatter huts, sub-divided units where the kitchen and toilet merge, coffin cubicles, and cage homes, which are rooms measuring as small as 6’ x 2.5’ traditionally made of wire mesh. “From cooking to sleeping, all activities take place in these tiny spaces,” says Lam. To create the coffin cubicles a 400 square flat will be illegally divided by its owner to accommodate 20 double-decker beds, each costing about HK$2000 (over $250 USD) per month in rent. The space is too small to stand up in.

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