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Category Archives: Housing

Books on wheels – When the library comes to the homeless shelter

Christian Science Monitor – “The bookmobile has a history of bringing the written word to people who can’t get to a library building. Queens has taken that ethos further, parking its mobile library at homeless shelters in the borough…Over the past decade, scholars and social workers have noted how public libraries around the country are particularly well-positioned to provide those without stable housing with the kinds of resources many take for granted, including computers and internet access, a dedicated place to think and work, and opportunities to learn. “Libraries are always reinventing themselves, and what I love most about my job is connecting families to the library and to literacy,” says Kim McNeil-Capers, director of community engagement for the Queens Public Library system. “This is a way for us to bring the library right into the community – we can embed ourselves right here, right in the middle of a community, and talk to people directly.”

There were over half a million people without a stable home last year, according to federal estimates, and library systems in many U.S. cities have become more and more focused on serving their homeless patrons, sometimes partnering with social service organizations or even adding social workers to their staffs…”

Lumber Salvaged from Baltimore’s Row Houses and City Trees Creates Jobs and Cuts Wood Waste

TheCityFix: “Baltimore, like many post-industrial cities, confronts novel challenges. Once the sixth largest city in the U.S., Baltimore’s population has contracted by more than a third, resulting from a complex suite of factors including job loss, economic decline, and discriminatory policies or housing and lending practices. It’s estimated that at least 16,000 buildings in Baltimore are boarded up; most are slated for demolition. But… Continue Reading

Sea-level rise could flood hundreds of millions more than expected

MIT Technology Review – Princeton researchers found that far more people are living closer to the ocean than previously believed. “By the end of this century, rising oceans will almost certainly flood the lands where tens of millions of people live as accelerating climate change warms the waters and melts ice sheets. But precise estimates… Continue Reading

United States Congress Creates AI Task Force

“Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, announced the creation of a Task Force on Artificial Intelligence chaired by Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL).  “I am excited to Chair the Financial Services Committee’s Task Force on Artificial Intelligence and I thank Chairwoman Waters for her foresight in creating this important… Continue Reading

Visualizing Income Inequality in Boston

“The Atlas of Inequality is a project from the Human Dynamics group at the MIT Media Lab and the Department of Mathematics at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. It is part of a broader initiative to understand human behavior in our cities and how large-scale problems like transportation, housing, segregation or inequality depend in part… Continue Reading

OECD survey of 21 counties – many people unhappy with public services and benefits

“Many people in OECD countries believe public services and social benefits are inadequate and hard to reach. More than half say they do not receive their fair share of benefits given the taxes they pay, and two-thirds believe others get more than they deserve. Nearly three out of four people say they want their government… Continue Reading

The economic costs and benefits of Airbnb

Economic Policy Institute – No reason for local policymakers to let Airbnb bypass tax or regulatory obligations. “…In our cost-benefit analysis, we find: The economic costs Airbnb imposes likely outweigh the benefits. While the introduction and expansion of Airbnb into U.S. cities and cities around the world carries large potential economic benefits and costs, the… Continue Reading

20 percent of Americans have no emergency savings

Axios: “Nearly 20% of Americans surveyed say they have zero savings in case of emergency, a recent survey by bankrate.com reports. Why it matters: With the jobs outnumbering the jobless, a lowering unemployment rate and wages trickling upward, Americans theoretically should have more money to put away for a rainy day fund. If an economic… Continue Reading