Housing & Development

illustration by Paul Hoffman

Articles and postings on a wide range of housing and development issues — from affordability to the relationship of housing to transportation.

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Homeowners association illustration by Paul Hoffman for PlannersWeb

Homeowners Associations

There has been an explosion in the number of homeowners associations in the past decade. A look at some of the benefits and disadvantages of homeowners associations, and how their rules are shaping the lives of a growing number of people.

Illustration of senior couple jogging.

The New “Active Adult” Housing

Marketed as “a common sense alternative for single-family home ownership for those over 55 years of age” providing “maintenance free living” “close to family and friends” with activities “all right at your doorstep.” That’s part of the pitch for “active adult” communities, a rapidly growing segment of the housing market.

simple drawing of a fence

Why Not in Our Back Yard?

Almost all of us have faced locally unwanted land uses. However, these “LULUs” are usually designed to provide vital community services. How your community can harmonize its housing and social service needs with the objections of neighborhood opponents.

photo of electricians examining wiring

Building Codes Get Smarter

Building codes often make it financially infeasible to rehabilitate older — often historic — buildings by requiring rehab work to meet the same standards as new construction. This approach is changing as states and localities are adopting more flexible building codes.

New Development, Traditional Patterns

New Development, Traditional Patterns

A dramatic shift in the design and layout of new developments has begun to take hold in cities across North America. Called new urbanism, this movement draws on older patterns of development. Planning reporter Philip Langdon provides an introduction to new urbanism.