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The Violence of Eviction

“Both books struggle with the same overall problems. Political organizing is easy for those with power in these housing relationships, and incredibly difficult for those without. Desmond describes landlords as having a class interest in certain types of exploitation. Dayen focuses less on the creditors—those who owned underwater mortgages—even though their desire to be paid in full on bad collateral plunged communities and the economy into chaos. Efforts to force them to take losses—such as bankruptcy reform or municipal efforts to use eminent domain against their garbage loans—were easily resisted. Meanwhile we haven’t seen mortgage strikes or rent strikes, as we did in earlier eras like the Great Depression. For both the evicted and the foreclosed, a politics of self-loathing and recrimination places a limitation on political power they can express.”


“Counterpoint: Gentrification isn’t the rental problem; poverty is”

“What’s more likely to cause a housing affordability crisis: a 44 percent collapse in black median incomes or a 6 percent increase in average rents?”

“Instead, we should help struggling families access places that are prosperous, and bring prosperity to places that are not.”

“But turning to the actual data produced to back these assertions, one finds almost no support for them. Instead, the numbers show Minneapolis rents as stagnant — increasing only $3 per year since 2000. Home values grew more quickly, but affordability declined in few areas, and improved in almost as many. The numbers suggest Council Member Blong Yang had it right when he described a “slow, natural progression” in neighborhood economic development.”

By Myron Orfield and Will Stancil

How Do Homeowners Accumulate Wealth?

“The differences between buying and renting are massive.  According to the Federal Reserve, a typical homeowner’s net worth was $195,400, while that of renter’s was $5,400…  That is, a typical homeowner will be ahead of a typical renter by a multiple of 45 on a lifetime financial achievement scale.”


It Pays to Own in a A-Plus School District – Here’s How Much

“The economic research team at realtor.com® took up the challenge and dived into the data. The team compared homes in school districts rated 9 or 10, the highest score, by GreatSchools.org with homes in nearby districts rated 6 or less.”

High Rated Public School’s Within LG Minnesota’s “Your Community’s” – All of Minnetonka, All of Wayzata, Some of Eden Prairie, Some of Easter Carver, Some of Bloomington.


Surprise! Paying a Mortgage is Cheaper Than Renting in 42 States

**Keep in mind, the study is based solely on monthly payments, not repairs and update costs to a home. And, assumes 20% down payment.**

Minnesota: Rent – $1,400. Mortgage – $1,085


Cyprus Gives Tax Breaks to Expat Home Buyers

Last year, the Cypriot government enacted a temporary program that cut the cost of title-deed transfers in half, an initiative that is set to be made permanent, a spokesman for the republic’s ministry of finance said. This means a title transfer on a $1 million home sale now costs about $40,065, compared with the $80,132 it would have cost in 2014.

A new law passed this summer will cut property taxes by 75% this year and abolish them altogether in 2017, the spokesman said.

For buyers spending big sums, Cypriot passports—which provide access to the EU—are available. Groups of up to five people investing at least €12.5 million, or $13.72 million, on assets like a house, company or government bonds can get passports for about $3.43 million each. Individual buyers need to invest at least $5.5 million, although the group method is most common, the spokesman said.


Zoning Has Had a Good 100 Years. Enough Already.

“After about 1970, though, zoning’s negative economic effects began to grow. Before then, housing prices were more or less the same across the country. Since then, prices in the metropolitan areas of the Northeast and West Coast have risen much faster than in most of the rest of the nation — in the process increasing inequality, thwarting residential mobility and slowing economic growth.”


Why Land and Homes Actually Tend to Be Disappointing Investments

A more extreme outcome is also quite plausible. In a hundred years, we might even see much of our former farmland converted back to wildlife preserves. In fact, it’s far from inconceivable that the real price of land could be even lower than it is right now.


Met Council pushes to preserve mobile home parks in suburbs

“It’s safe for my daughter, number one. We have the good schools close by. We have the hospital close. Transportation is close,” Alvarez said through an interpreter. She is one of 39,000 people living in 83 mobile home parks in the Twin Cities suburbs.”


Decline of the American Dream

“After analyzing the cost of living and median income levels in 74 U.S. cities, we found significant obstacles to obtaining the American Dream across the country… For some parts of the country, namely the Southwest and Midwest, the risk of never achieving the American dream is slim. There, the American Dream is alive and well.”


Reclaiming “Redneck” Urbanism: What Urban Planners Can Learn From Trailer Parks

“When we stop treating low-income communities as objects of scorn, to be subjected to top-down, paternalistic planning, we might find that we have a lot to learn from them.”


Building cities for people

“Traditional cities will continue to attract many of our brightest and most capable citizens, particularly among the young and childless. But our evidence indicates strongly that, for the most part, families today are heading away from the most elite, celebrated cities, and towards less expensive cities and the suburban periphery.”