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What's he talking about? (media)

Current as of 7/1/2012

Recent Print/Online Media (2012 only): 


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Efficiency and Affordability: Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

I haven't been posting often lately, as things have been pretty hectic.   I did receive a question the other day about  topic that I haven't spoken about here:  Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), and it inspired me to write a quick post.  These are sometimes known as "accessory apartments," "mother-in-law suites" or "granny flats" - they are ways to provide more housing options in existing neighborhoods by allowing homeowners to build additional units on their lots.  ADU is a catch-all term for all of these situations - either units attached to existing homes or placed somewhere else on the property, say over a garage or a stand-alone in the backyard. 

They are part of the range of housing options that help to ensure that people of all ages, including older adults, can meet their needs.  AARP's model ordinance on ADUs was written by staff at the American Planning Association and was an attempt to find a set of regulations that would meet livabili…

The "Boom" in Golden Girls-Style Shared Housing: Where’s the Beef?

NBC, Touchstone Television and their partners should be proud– it has been 22 years since the final episode aired, yet the influence of The Golden Girlsmeans that every year reporters ask about the boom in “Golden Girls Housing.”  This form of shared housing receives a great amount of attention, but we'll miss the big picture if we look for big numbers.
For the last few years, I have looked at data from the Current Population Survey (analyzed by the AARP Public Policy Institute) to count households that are all female (or all male) with at least one non-related housemate or roommate, no spouses, and no one under 50 in the home. This is the classic “Golden Girls” formula.  
The result has become familiar: a very small portion of the population lives in a “golden” situation, around one percent.  The small numbers of people in those situations means that it’s hard to figure out whether it has become more popular.  Though the percentage appears to be holding steady, the number of golden…

Tales from a Condominium Association: Caps on renters and the dynamics of decision-making

As some of you know, aside from my day job developing policy and research, I am also a president of a homeowners association - specifically a multi-building condominium association.  I've been on the board for years, and I enjoy the fact that it keeps me honest - although I am looking at the wide national policy lens in the daytime, I have to face the day-to-day realities of the smallest local government in the evenings.  While I am the lead author of AARP's policy on housing issues and I am responsible for the policy direction of the American Planning Association's Planning and the Black Community Division, I am also heading up a homeowners association in an area that's been hit hard by the Great Recession.  That means that I need to think at the 30,000 foot level, but I have to keep a foot on the ground at the same time.

The latest example of this was Monday night (thanks to my TiVo, I didn't have to miss the call heard 'round the world by the replacement ref…