Pass the Olives

Jumbled Opinions on Living, Democracy, and Making Things

Category: Zoning & Codes

Missing Middle Pattern Book

The Missing Middle Pattern Book contains free plans for flexible and affordable housing that will be preapproved for building in Norfolk Virginia. This option opening in Virginia is an opportunity that you can use to convince local city councils and zoning boards to approve a wider range of housing types. If you have an example of a plan that is working and can demonstrate that another city is benefiting from […]

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Tiny House State Guides

The Tiny House State Guides by  The Tiny Life contain local information for specific states, counties, and cities that is relevant to small houses. So far they have Tiny House Guides for: Arizona California Colorado Florida North Carolina Oregon South Carolina Texas Washington Each webpage and ebook contains information about the legality of Tiny Houses, the most friendly cities, a list with descriptions of Tiny House builders, the price ranges of […]

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Converting a Bed and Breakfast

Converting a bed and breakfast to cohousing will provide instant living space for early joiners and land to add clusters of tiny houses or a new wing. Wow! How? How do you find a Bed and Breakfast for sale? You can drive around town and see what’s out there or you can call your friends who travel a lot. Or you can go to BedandBreakfastForSale.com and find more information than […]

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Biden’s Funds for Affordable Housing

President Biden’s 213 billion plan is one of the most significant investments in affordable housing in the nation’s history. — Nate Berg in Fast Company It was such a surprise to wake up to this today. The shorthand for Biden’s plan in the news has been infrastructure. That usually means roads, pipes, wiring—stuff that connects things or provides utilities. And that means jobs across the country, not just in cities […]

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Renting and Owning Both

Renting and owning both bring joys and sorrows. Renting allows flexibility and doesn’t require accumulated wealth. When your life changes, you can move closer to a new job or move to a larger or smaller space when the household size changes. But renting also makes someone else rich and leaves renters with no wealth-building power, for this generation or for the next. Owning discourages flexibility. If your job is suddenly […]

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FHA Loan Requirements

A Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan is a mortgage that is insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA)and issued by an FHA-approved lender. FHA loans are designed for low-to-moderate-income borrowers; they require a lower minimum down payment and lower credit scores than many conventional loans. In 2020, you can borrow up to 96.5% of the value of a home with an FHA loan. This means you’ll need to make a […]

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Homeownership and Being Housing-Secure

Moving from place-to-place is personally stressful and results in time lost from jobs, compounding the problem of unemployment and high rents. Students who have moved more than three times over a period of six years can fall a full academic year behind their peers. The principal cause of student transience is housing instability. Families who are poor move 50 to 100 percent more frequently than families who are not poor. Homelessness […]

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Inequality in Housing via Piketty

Even if it is not yet time to come in out of the cold of COVID-19, or go out into the cold, I am feeling a bit more optimistic. The pandemic has made it pretty hard to write encouraging words about getting out there and building contacts to develop low-cost housing and confront inequality in housing. It felt like talking to immigrant children in cages about team sports and thrifty […]

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Why Not Rent?

Among the households earning less than $15,000 a year in 2018, nearly three-quarters were spending more than half of their incomes on rent. Even a household with above-average income is considered overextended if its housing costs are above 30% of income. But everywhere, not just in big cities, increasing numbers of rentals require spending at least 60% of income. Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies publication on rental housing in 2020 reports: Despite […]

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Restrictive Zoning: The Elephant in the Room

I was tempted to number this post because there will be many posts on Zoning. Zoning is the #1 reason why we don’t have low-cost housing. Those who are in control of city and county planning are dependent on property taxes to pay their salaries. Low-cost housing is perceived as producing less income for the maintenance of the larger community and uses more of its services. The fire and police […]

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