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An Affront to the National Affordable Housing Crisis?

Positive Future #215 (Feature photo – Beverly Hills – GNU Free License) A small parcel of land – 157 acres – is gaining national attention. The plot is certainly desirable as it overlooks Beverly Hills in one of the most exclusive and expensive housing areas in the world. The attention grabber is the price that is being touted for the 157-acre parcel – $1 billion. That price equates to $146 a square foot. For a standard lot size of around 15,000 square feet, that lot (without improvements) would cost about $2.2 million. Fortunately, the $1 billion price tag is more of a gimmick to draw attention. Yet, a fascination for…

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Could this Law Start a Big Ball Rolling?

Positive Future #113 (Feature photo – Peter Tabuns– CCA SA 2.0 Generic) The Province of Ontario, Canada has 14.3 million people – roughly 40 percent Canada’s population. The Province is home to the city of Toronto, one of the largest metropolitan areas in North America. Recently, the Energy Collective published a story on Peter Tabuns of the Ontario Provincial Parliament. Tabuns is introducing legislation called “Liability for Climate-Related Harms Act” in the Ontario, Canada Parliament. The law would allow individuals and government to sue fossil fuel companies for climate-related damages like flooding or wildfires and force those companies to pay for not only damages, but infrastructure needed to protect against…

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A Touchy Subject – But Worthy of Contemplation

Positive Future #107 (Feature photo – Crowds – CCA SA 3.0 Generic) The number of children that women are having in the U.S. is on a small downward curve – down 1 percent in 2016 from 2015 – more recent numbers are not available according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Despite this lead by American women, the U.S. population continues to grow by about 2.3 million people above and beyond deaths. As American women are embracing smaller families, their children may thank them. Recent statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau reveals that housing in the U.S. is getting much tighter. In 2010, rental vacancy rates were at 10.6 percent. As…

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How Is Your Child-Rearing Budget?

Touch the Soil News #592 What will it cost to raise a child – born in 2015 – through the age of 17? The USDA reports that the cost is an average of $233,610. That cost applies to married couple with two children that has before tax income between $59,200 and $107,400. For wealthier families with incomes over $107,400 expenditures can reach almost $400,000 to raise a child through age 17. For less affluent couples with incomes of $59,200 or less, the cost for raising a child through age 17 is $158,600. Not included in these costs is the cost of college. The USDA estimates that the annual cost of…

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Allotment Food Gardens – Under Pressure to Also Serve As Residence

Touch the Soil News #443 As the world continues to grow mega cities, it’s not particularly what people want. The need for open space and gardening cannot be erased with pavement. In economics, when millions of people compete for a limited space, the free market can push housing prices out of reach – pushing people away from the city. In Europe, gardening has had several centuries of evolution. The allotment garden – a legal obligation of government to provide gardening space to citizens – was historically a place to practice horticulture. In some European nations, like Denmark, there is an evolutionary trend to “colony gardens.” A colony garden is when…

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Big City Housing – Leaves Less for Food – Threatens Society

Touch the Soil News #358 The Idaho Falls, Idaho metropolitan area has a population of around 136,000. It is far away from all of the warmer climates in the USA that are so desirable. It is off the radar for folks who have become accustomed – addicted – to mega-city living. One thing Idaho Falls does have is a housing market that is more in line with affordability. On average, a home in the Bay Area of California is roughly 10 to 12 times the cost of a home in Idaho Falls. A $140,000 home in Idaho Falls can cost $1,750,000 in Sunnyvale, California (close to Apple headquarters). For further…

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