Saturday, July 12, 2014

Saturday Night Videos


Ballet Meets Robotics from Francesca Da Rimini Film on Vimeo.
Woodkid - 'THE GOLDEN AGE' feat. Max Richter 'EMBERS' (Official HD Video) from WOODKID on Vimeo.

The Creative Class ep. #5 - Stefan Sagmeister from The Creative Class on Vimeo.

Dream Life of Paper from 1984 London on Vimeo.

All The Way - a Charles Bukowski poem from Willem Martinot on Vimeo.

Timber Timbre - Beat the Drum Slowly from Full Time Hobby on Vimeo.

GIRONA from Pau Garcia Laita on Vimeo.

What Kind of Man from Kamau Bilal on Vimeo.

"Cookie-tin Banjo" by Benjamin Scheuer & Escapist Papers from Radish Pictures on Vimeo.

Verschleif from Laurin Döpfner on Vimeo.

Flowers opening timelapse from David de los Santos Gil on Vimeo.

Waves of Grain from Keith Skretch on Vimeo.

New Law mandates "Transit Oriented Development" and taxes YOU to pay for it! (and you can't stop it)


READ CAREFULLY-THIS BILL COULD HAVE A HUGE IMPACT ON OUR PLANNING EFFORTS-  Serious government overreach!

Assemblyman Marc Levine voted for this Bill!
What is Marc Levine thinking!?

 

SACRAMENTO WATCH, CONTINUING---Keep Your Eyes On SB628!!!

Here's a rewrite of last year's stalled Senate Bill 1 that's just as scary---unless you don't mind unelected bureaucrats of the Joint Powers Authorities (JPAs) being given increased power to refashion local communities in the transit oriented development (TOD) mode AS WELL AS TAXING LOCAL PROPERTY OWNERS TO PAY FOR IT.


This bill would create a new and potentially revolutionary financing mechanism to fund TOD projects without voter approval. As currently written, this is an act to add Section 53395.7.5 to the Government Code, relating to local planning.  It passed both the Assembly and the Senate in 2013 and has now been amended by the Assembly and passed again on July 3, 2014.  It has just been sent back to the Senate, where it is expected to pass again with the Assembly amendments shown below.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 628, as amended, Beall. Infrastructure financing: transit priority projects.


Existing law establishes the Transit Priority Project Program, and authorizes a city or county to participate in the program by adopting an ordinance indicating its intent to participate in the program and by forming an infrastructure financing district. Existing law requires a city or county that elects to participate in the program to amend, if necessary, its general plan, and any related specific plan, to authorize participating developers to build at an increased height of a minimum of 3 stories within the newly created infrastructure financing district. Existing law exempts from these provisions a city or county that has adopted specified language in its charter, or by ordinance or resolution. Under existing law, a transit priority project that meets specified criteria is designated as a sustainable communities project, and is thus exempt from certain environmental review requirements.

This bill would eliminate the requirement of voter approval for the creation of an infrastructure financing district, the issuance of bonds, and the establishment or change of the appropriations limit with respect to a transit priority project. The bill would require a city or county that uses infrastructure financing district bonds to finance its transit priority project to use at least 25% of the associated property tax increment revenues for the purposes of increasing, improving, and preserving the supply of lower and moderate-income housing available in the district and occupied by persons and families of moderate-, low-, very low, and extremely low income. The bill would require the district to implement these affordable housing provisions in accordance with specified provisions of the Community Redevelopment Law, to the extent not inconsistent with the provisions governing infrastructure financing districts. The bill would require the adoption of an ordinance that would require the replacement of designated low-income dwelling units, upon their removal from the district, within 2 years of their displacement. The bill would set forth the findings and declarations of the Legislature, and the intent of the Legislature that the development of transit priority projects be environmentally conscious and sustainable, and that related construction meet or exceed the requirements of the California Green Building Standards Code.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.


 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(1) The transportation sector contributes over 40 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions in the State of California.

(2) Greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles and light trucks can be substantially reduced by new vehicle technology and by the increased use of low-carbon fuel. However, even taking these measures into account, it will be necessary to achieve significant additional greenhouse gas reductions from changed land use patterns and improved transportation.

(3) California local governments need sustainable funding sources to accommodate transportation and land use planning and to develop projects that are consistent with the state’s climate, air quality, and energy conservation goals.

(4) Existing law authorizes cities and counties to create infrastructure financing districts (IFDs) and utilize related tax-increment financing for infrastructure improvements in local jurisdictions.

(5) Tax-increment financing of transit priority projects, through the use of IFDs, will provide a new tool for green development to help achieve the sustainable communities strategy and regional transportation plan goals of Senate Bill 375 of the 2007–08 Regular Session of the Legislature (Chapter 728 of the Statutes of 2008), as well as the greenhouse gas reduction goals of Assembly Bill 32 of the 2005–06 Regular Session of the Legislature (Chapter 488 of the Statutes of 2006).

(6) Recent studies of transit ridership in California indicate that people who live within a one-half mile radius of transit stations utilize the transit system in far greater numbers than does the general public living elsewhere.

(7) Greater use of public transportation, facilitated by the development of transit priority projects, will increase the development of walkable, mixed-use communities; increase the use of public transit, intercity rail, and future high-speed rail services; improve local street, road, and highway congestion; provide viable alternatives to automobile use; and decrease transportation-related emissions.

(8) Investment in local transit priority project development can improve local and regional economies by providing appropriate commercial and residential development opportunities, including job creation through the construction of related facilities, and job creation through employment opportunities associated with related entertainment, retail, residential, and other mixed-use development.

(9) Expediting the process for local governments to create IFDs to implement transit priority projects will provide significant environmental and economic benefits to local jurisdictions and help meet the state’s climate, air quality, and energy conservation goals.

(b) It is the intent of the Legislature that the development of transit priority projects throughout the state be environmentally conscious and sustainable, and that related construction meet or exceed the requirements of the California Green Building Standards Code (Part 11 (commencing with Section 101.1) of Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations, or its successor code).

SEC. 2.


 Section 53395.7.5 is added to the Government Code, to read:

(a) The district may finance any project that implements a transit priority project pursuant to Section 21155 of the Public Resources Code.

(b) With respect to an infrastructure financing district proposed to implement a transit priority project pursuant to Section 21155 of the Public Resources Code, an election is not required to form an infrastructure financing district, issue bonds, or establish or change the appropriations limit pursuant to this chapter.

(c) (1) At least 25 percent of all revenues derived from the property tax increment under this section shall be used for the purposes of increasing, improving, and preserving the supply of lower and moderate-income housing available in the district at an affordable housing cost, as defined in Section 50052.5 of the Health and Safety Code, and occupied Code. Units funded pursuant to this subdivision shall be restricted to occupancy by persons and families of low or moderate income, as defined in Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code, lower income households, as defined in Section 50079.5 of the Health and Safety Code, very low income households, as defined in Section 50105 of the Health and Safety Code, and extremely low income households, as defined in Section 50106 of the Health and Safety Code.

(2) Notwithstanding any other law, the district shall implement this subdivision in accordance with Section 33334.2 and all other applicable affordable housing provisions of the Community Redevelopment Law (Part 1 (commencing with Section 33000) of Division 24 of the Health and Safety Code), to the extent not inconsistent with this chapter.

(d) The district may provide for the receipt of tax increment funds pursuant to this chapter, for purposes of a project subject to this section, provided that the local government with land use jurisdiction has adopted an ordinance that requires does both of the following:

(1) Prohibits the number of housing units occupied by extremely low, very low, and low-income households, including the number of bedrooms in those units, within the territory of the district at the time the district is established from being reduced during the effective period of the infrastructure plan.

 

The immoral use of Force


Keep Portland out of Marin!

 

Lucas Valley in the 1930s


Editor's note:  Portland is seen as the model of urban planner's by the Smart Growth "smart set".  The reality of Portland's smart growth experiment is rarely examined. For example, did you know that it's billion dollar light rail system was uncovered as a massive scheme to enrich political insider's and developers.  As ABAG breathes down our necks in Marin and threatens to destroy Marinwood/Lucas Valley with high density low income developments, please be mindful of the money trail.....

 

Insufferable Portland

Oregon’s capital of cool and the downside of hipness.

Mar 5, 2012, Vol. 17, No. 24 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
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I keep expecting America’s trendsetters to get over Portland, Oregon, but the odes to the City of Roses just keep on coming. The Portland tourism board could compile an impressive anthology of the New York Times’s recent coverage of the city, most of which couldn’t be more fawning if it were bylined by Bambi.
In fairness to the Times’s travel writers, once you get past the fact it rains nearly six months out of the year, it’s hard to blame them for wanting to write about the city. At the base of soaring Mt. Hood and the gateway to the Columbia River Gorge, Portland might have the most beautiful natural setting of any major city in America. Its isolation has incubated a distinctive culture, and by any measure its art and culinary scenes are far more exciting than any city this size (nearly 600,000 people) should rightfully produce.
Still, that doesn’t adequately explain why Portland looms so large in the imagination of the Paper of Record. Things reached the point in 2009 that a columnist for the Oregonian actually wrote a Dear John letter to the Gray Lady, announcing, “Sorry, NYT, we’re just not that into you”:
Look, we know you have strong feelings for us. We can tell​—​like the rest of the English-speaking world​—​by your incessant need to write about us.
Two weeks ago, you made “Frugal Portland” the Sunday Travel centerpiece. In early April, you devoted another travel cover to touring our fair city by bike. You’ve also written recently about our conflicted attitudes toward gentrification, our quest for big-league soccer and our openly gay mayor, not to mention our great food, rainy weather and communal caffeine addiction.
It’s getting embarrassing.
 
Speaking of embarrassing, during a recent visit to the city I got a firsthand lesson on what a fishbowl Portland has become. I was having a meal at a small-but-shockingly-good French bistro a block from my hotel downtown and struck up a conversation with the man next to me at the bar. He was an engineer at a local foundry, and about as close to a regular guy as you’re likely to find in a city noted for its bohemianism, so I was interested in his thoughts. I mentioned that I was a journalist from the East Coast, and he immediately announced he could not be quoted by name and turned the tables on me, demanding I explain “why the [expletive] New York Times likes us so much.”
Alas, the Times’s pining for Portland may be unrequited, but the paper keeps penning more mash notes. I would later find out that the Little Bird Bistro, scene of this aborted conversation, had been prominently featured in a New York Times travel column last summer and got a full-blown review in January. The Oregonian’s website even had a blog post grumbling about how the Times was constantly letting the cat out of the bag regarding the locals’ favorite establishments. Thanks to the publicity, it now would be harder to get a table at Little Bird. Oh, and in case you’re looking for that first Times write-up of the restaurant, I should note it was in the “36 Hours in Portland, Ore.” feature in August 2011​—​not to be confused with the “36 Hours in Portland, Ore.” piece the paper ran in 2007. Last year’s travelogue pronounced Portland “the capital of West Coast urban cool,” while the 2007 piece said it “overflows with urban pleasures like chic restaurants, funky nightclubs and spritely neighborhoods crackling with youthful energy, but nobody’s boasting”—except, that is, the New York Times.
So it was with some relief that audiences welcomed the sketch comedy show Portlandia on television last year, with its implicit promise that the city and the hype surrounding it were finally in for some richly deserved skewering. Starring Saturday Night Live journeyman Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein​—​a former member of feminist “riot grrrl” band Sleater-Kinney and a Portland celebrity​—​the show has mostly made good on that promise, wringing humor out of the city’s intersection of hipster culture and progressive politics.
Portlandia instantly struck a chord as a Garrison Keillor-type takeoff on the edgy urban set. Instead of idyllic Lake Wobegon, where “all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average,” Portlandia is where “the tattoo ink never runs dry” and “all the hot women wear glasses.” The show is now in its second season and has even spawned a live comedy tour that’s bringing Portland to a venue near you.


Friday, July 11, 2014

Friday Night Music: It's a Beautiful Day Mix


Nanny of the Month: Banning Sunscreen

China Labels iPhone a Security Threat

China Labels iPhone a Security Threat

 
Broadcast by State-Run CCTV Cites Researchers Who Say Tracking App Could Expose 'State Secrets'           
State-run China Central Television has labeled Apple's iPhone location-tracking feature a "national security concern," in the latest backlash against U.S. technology companies. The WSJ's Yun-Hee Kim speaks to reporter Eva Dou in Beijing. 
                             
BEIJING—China's influential state broadcaster on Friday called a location-tracking function offered by Apple Inc. 's iPhone a "national security concern," in the latest sign of a backlash in the country against U.S. technology firms.
 
In its national noon broadcast, state-run China Central Television criticized the "frequent locations" function in Apple's iOS 7 mobile operating system, which records time and location for the owner's movements. The report quoted researchers who said that those with access to that data could gain knowledge of China's economic situation or "even state secrets."
 
Apple didn't respond to requests for comment. The company describes the tracking function as an aid to iPhone users, for example by providing efficient travel routes.
 
The Chinese broadcast represents a potential challenge for Apple in an increasingly competitive market. The Cupertino, Calif., company holds only a 6% share of China's smartphone market, according to research firm Analysys, while models made by Samsung Electronics Co. and others running Google Inc.'s Android mobile operating system command a greater share.
Still, Apple dominates the higher end of the market. About 80% of smartphones priced at more than $500 in China are iPhones, research firm Umeng said. IPhone users include Chinese government officials and executives. Last year China's first lady, Peng Liyuan, was photographed using an iPhone, though she has since been seen sporting a smartphone made by China's ZTE Corp. 
                     
While CCTV's broadcasts don't necessarily reflect the views of China's top leaders, they are influential in China. Some companies have shifted policies or recalled products after critical CCTV reports.
 
It isn't clear whether the CCTV report will be followed by new rules or limits on Apple. But the broadcaster's reports have had an impact on the company in the past. Last year Chief Executive Tim Cook publicly apologized after CCTV accused Apple of discriminating against Chinese consumers in its warranty policies.
 
U.S. technology companies have felt a chill in China since last year, when former U.S. contractor Edward Snowden alleged the National Security Agency was spying on Chinese leaders and that U.S. tech firms were providing data to the government. Apple has said it doesn't provide government agencies with direct access to its servers.
A man leaves an Apple store carrying an iPhone and an iPad in Beijing, China, in April 2013. Associated Press 
           
The broadcast on Friday cited the Snowden disclosures and called U.S. technology firms' databases a "gold mine." It also quoted officials who said that China needs stronger data-protection laws and that Apple would assume "legal responsibilities" if any data leaks were to cause harm.
 
The cybersecurity debate between Beijing and Washington has heated up since May, after the U.S. charged five Chinese military officers with spying by hacking into U.S. computer systems.
 
Chinese state television raised security questions about Microsoft Corp.'s  Windows 8 operating system last month, after the government procurement center said in May that it wouldn't allow the purchase of new government computers if they ran Windows 8.
 
China, long Apple's manufacturing base, is an increasingly important consumer market. In the most recent quarter, 25% of Apple's global revenue came from greater China, which includes Hong Kong and Taiwan, and sales have grown 13% in the region during the past year.
China has long been uneasy about its heavy dependence on U.S. technology in crucial sectors and has poured billions of dollars into the development of its own technologies. Last year, the state-run China Economic Weekly magazine, with the English headline "He's Watching You," named eight U.S. companies—including Apple—that it said pose a danger to China's computing networks.
 
China's government has mentioned software, servers and high-end chips as areas where it is trying to develop home-grown alternatives. The China Academy of Sciences unveiled its own mobile operating system, the China Operating System, in January, but analysts say it stands little chance of becoming widely used in the competitive mobile market.
 
Meanwhile, Chinese tech firms themselves have bumped up against national-security concerns in foreign markets. In 2012, a U.S. congressional report recommended that U.S. telecom carriers avoid using equipment from Chinese suppliers Huawei Technologies Co. and ZTE, saying their gear could be used by Beijing to spy on Americans. Huawei fired back, saying that the report was a political exercise aimed at attacking China.
 
Also International Business Machines Corp.'s proposed $2.3 billion sale of its computer-servers business to Lenovo Group remains in limbo as the U.S. government investigates security issues surrounding the transfer of such technology, according to people familiar with the matter.
Write to Eva Dou at eva.dou@wsj.com
 

Surveillance: Big Brother in Seattle coming to a city near you.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Churchill on Living

Winston Churchill from Simon Appel on Vimeo.

Bullies and Government Policy

Westchester USA-A case of racial engineering that Obama wants to take nationwide (from WSJ.com)

Westchester USA  from WSJ.com

A case of racial engineering that Obama wants to take nationwide.     






Updated July 7, 2014 7:27 p.m. ET
Residents of the northern New York City suburbs were recently treated to a TV ad invoking images of the Jim Crow South and claiming that Westchester County executive Rob Astorino has "repeatedly violated anti-discrimination laws for years." None of the ad is true, but it does reveal some important political news with national implications.
 
To wit, Mr. Astorino is resisting the Obama Administration's attempt to rewrite local zoning laws by federal fiat, and as the Republican candidate for Governor of New York he has a better chance to beat incumbent Andrew Cuomo than the conventional wisdom believes.
 
On the credibility of the discrimination charge, consider that Al Sharpton, the racial provocateur, recently made a trip to Westchester to deplore making race a political issue. He was sent by Mr. Cuomo specifically to make race a political issue.
                
cat
New York state gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino Associated Press 
           
The facts are that Mr. Astorino took office in 2010 in the heavily Democratic county and inherited a 2009 housing settlement with the federal government signed by his Democratic predecessor. The deputy county executive at the time the original lawsuit was filed was none other than Larry Schwartz, who is now Mr. Cuomo's chief of staff. In 2007 the county executive's chief adviser, Susan Tolchin, called the lawsuit "garbage."
 
The suit was always dubious given the lack of evidence of discriminatory practices. Between 2000 and 2010, the numbers of blacks and Hispanics living in Westchester's mostly white neighborhoods increased by 56%. The county is the fourth-most diverse in the state and rivals Manhattan in the number of black and Hispanic residents.
 
Mr. Astorino has nonetheless complied with the settlement, which requires Westchester to build 750 affordable-housing units in mostly majority-white neighborhoods over seven years. Westchester has secured financing for 417 units and nearly a quarter of the units are already occupied, putting the county ahead of schedule.
 
Democrats still aren't satisfied because Mr. Astorino refuses to let federal housing officials expand the deal extrajudicially. The Department of Housing and Urban Development is pressuring Westchester to declare that its zoning practices are discriminatory merely because many of its neighborhoods aren't as racially integrated as HUD deems necessary. Westchester would then have to build thousands more public housing units, submit to HUD investigations and let the feds seize control of local zoning to determine where to build homes and schools.
Westchester conducted eight studies of zoning between 2011 and 2013 and found no evidence of racially exclusionary policies or practices. Mr. Astorino also hired an independent analyst from Pace University to look at the data, and he concurred with the county's conclusions.
 
HUD didn't like these results, so the agency's federal monitor brought in the left-leaning Pratt Institute to produce "report cards" on the 31 communities involved in the settlement. Pratt also found no racially exclusionary policies or practices. It did find economic reasons that some neighborhoods aren't diverse, but this is the result of individual home purchases. Pratt gave Mr. Cuomo's own community of New Castle and other wealthy neighborhoods like Rye and Scarsdale passing grades.
 
When Mr. Astorino still resisted, HUD withheld $7.4 million in community development block grants last year and is threatening to withhold $5.2 million this year. This deprives Westchester's poorer neighborhoods of the very funds that are supposed to build affordable housing.
 
All of this has national significance because HUD is using Westchester to test drive its racial engineering project to redefine discrimination by demography. Former HUD deputy secretary Ron Sims referred to Westchester as its "grand experiment" in 2009. HUD hit the Long Island city of Oyster Bay with a similar lawsuit in April, and other cities are wondering if federal funds are worth the threat.
 
Citizens in the town of Goffstown, New Hampshire, rejected a HUD-backed housing proposal in September after viewing a video that explained what had happened to Westchester. Mr. Astorino has also proposed to refuse federal funds and to use a bond issue to start Westchester's own block-grant program "for the communities being held hostage by HUD."
 
Which brings us to this year's race for Governor. The media are portraying it as a lay-up for Mr. Cuomo, but don't be so sure. Mr. Astorino should do well upstate, where the economy is lousy and Mr. Cuomo has banned fracking for natural gas.
 
The Republican has a history of doing well with suburban Democrats, who also resent Washington's attempts to rezone their neighborhoods. In 2010 Mr. Astorino won 25% of the black vote and 30% of Democrats. Mr. Cuomo is worried enough that he recently cut a deal with the public-union Working Families Party, which suggests he will move left on taxes and the economy if he wins re-election. Mr. Cuomo is also trying to shut down Wall Street donations to Mr. Astorino, who needs money to get out his message of economic revival.
 
This is the context for the HUD-Cuomo-Sharpton racial squeeze play: Try to stigmatize Mr. Astorino just as he is trying to introduce himself to a broader electorate. Such race-baiting politics is what should be stigmatized, just as the country should reject HUD's attempts to dictate the racial composition of America's neighborhoods.

Editor's Note:  The Marin County Board of Supervisor signed a "Voluntary Compliance Agreement" with HUD that forces the same type "racial engineering" project, here. We love diversity through open access and free markets. It makes us richer as a culture.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Permanent Homeless Shelter Zoning has been established at Marinwood Village and Big Rock Deli

Permanent Homeless Shelter Zoning has been established at Marinwood Village and Big Rock Deli
 
From LeeLee Thomas, Principal Planner Marin County Development Department  to me on 12/18/2013

" Effective January 1, 2008, SB 2 (Chapter 633, Statutes of 2007) required every California city and county to engage in a detailed analysis of emergency shelters and transitional and supportive housing in their next Housing Element revision, regulates zoning for these facilities, and broadens the scope of the Housing Accountability Act to include emergency shelters as well as supportive and transitional housing. As part of this bill we are required to establish a zone or zoning districts were a homeless shelter is a principally permitted use. Planned Commercial (CP) and Retail Business  (C1) were selected during the Planning Commissions hearings and were adopted by the Board in January 2012 as part of a package of development code changes. "


Note that Marinwood Village and Big Rock Deli are two locations that are now zoned for Homeless Shelters.

Given that San Rafael Mayor has stated that he wants the homeless out of downtown and housed in the county areas,  we should be very concerned that we may find ourselves with several large homeless facilities in our neighborhood.

We Don't Need Subsidized Housing (from City Journal 1997)

See article in City Journal Winter 1997

We Don’t Need Subsidized HousingHoward Husock





It’s a scene that has been repeated time and again over the past four years, but it still seems almost too perfectly symbolic to be true. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros turns up to preside over the demolition of yet another “severely distressed” public housing project. But his speech directs attention away from what is actually happening. Just before the scarred blocks of apartments tumble down in a puff of smoke—such unequivocal failures that they aren’t worth preserving—the secretary confidently paints a vision of improved design and management that will make a new generation of government-supported housing work out. Sure, we’ve flopped so far, the message goes—but give us one more chance and we’ll finally get it right.

But maybe the whole idea is wrong. Maybe our housing programs haven’t failed because of some minor management problem but because they are flawed at the core. The truth is, devoting government resources to subsidized housing for the poor—whether in the form of public housing or even housing vouchers—is not just unnecessary but also counterproductive. It not only derails what the private market can do on its own, but more significantly, it has profoundly destructive unintended consequences. For housing subsidies undermine the efforts of those poor families who work and sacrifice to advance their lot in life—and who have the right and the need to distinguish themselves, both physically and psychologically, from those who do not share their solid virtues.

Rather than confront these harsh truths, we have over the past century gone through at least five major varieties of subsidized housing, always looking for the philosophers’ stone that will turn a bad idea into one that will work. We began with philanthropic housing built by “limited dividend” corporations, whose investors were to accept a below-market return in order to serve the poor. The disappointing results of such efforts—the projects served few people and tended to decline quickly—led housing advocates to call for public, not just private, spending for housing. Government first responded to their pleas with housing projects owned and operated by public authorities. These speedily declined. “Housers” then sought other solutions, such as using cheap, federally underwritten mortgages and rents paid by Washington to subsidize private landlords.

The expense of this last approach, which had its heyday in the sixties, and the resultant wave of decline and foreclosure led to the twin approaches of our current era. In the first of these, tenants use portable, government-provided vouchers to pay any private landlord who will accept them. In the second, federal tax credits encourage deep-pocketed corporate investors looking for tax shelters to finance new or renovated rental housing owned and managed by nonprofit community groups. Both approaches have had serious problems, but this hasn’t deterred housing advocates from asserting that the way to fix the housing market is through even more such subsidies than the $12 billion that HUD already provides (out of its $25 billion annual budget) and the billions more in subsidies that state and local governments expend.

This mountain of government housing subsidies rests on three remarkably tenacious myths.

Myth No. 1: The market will not provide. The core belief of housing advocates is that the private market cannot and will not provide adequate housing within the means of the poor. The photos of immigrants squeezed into postage-stamp-sized rooms in a recent New York Times series on housing for the poor strain to make this point. But housers have been making such assertions for more than 60 years, and reality keeps contradicting them. In 1935, for example, Catherine Bauer—perhaps America’s most influential public housing crusader—claimed that the private housing market could not serve fully two-thirds of Americans and they would need public housing. The post–World War II era’s explosion of home ownership quickly gave the lie to such claims, certainly with respect to those in the lower middle class and up.

As for the poor, a look at pre-Depression history shows that housing advocates get it wrong again. From the end of the Civil War up until the New Deal and the National Housing Act of 1937—which gave public housing its first push—the private housing market generated a cornucopia of housing forms to accommodate those of modest means as they gradually improved their condition. In those years Chicago saw the construction of 211,000 low-cost two-family homes—or 21 percent of its residences. In Brooklyn 120,000 two-family structures with ground-floor stores sprang up. In Boston some 40 percent of the population of 770,000 lived in the 65,376 units of the city’s three-decker frame houses, vilified by housing reformers.

These areas of low-cost, unsubsidized housing were home to the striving poor. In Boston, as pioneer sociologists Robert Woods and Albert Kennedy describe it in their brilliant 1914 work, The Zone of Emergence, these neighborhoods teemed with clerks and skilled and