First-Timer Primer: A Rundown of DC’s First-Time Homebuyer Program [Urban Turf DC] Though the title makes it sound like a sex advice column for virgins, this excellent article details the District’s pret-ty stellar homebuyer assistance program. When I was thinking of buying, I looked into it and was shocked at how much money DC will throw at you if you decide to buy a house. It’s so much money, you could probably get it in stacks of ones, and use the stacks as bricks to build your dream house.
Photographs of Europe’s Abandoned Border Crossings [Citylab] I’m such a sucker for anything involving abandoned buildings. And some of this Soviet-era architecture looks really cool and retro now; I would pay big money to live in that first (possibly Polish) sort-of-mushroom-y building.
How Double Bucks for Food Stamps Conquered Capitol Hill [NPR] A cool story about a little program that started at a farmer’s market in Takoma Park and ended up funded for $100 million in the last Congressional farm bill. My takeaway was, “I wish I was on food stamps.”
How Do Micro-Units Impact Affordable Housing? [Washington Post] While this story is mostly about Chicago, and how developers there are emptying out SROs, remodeling them IKEA-style, and renting them out for way more money to millennials/hipsters/gentrifiers/whatever pejorative you prefer – whereas in DC most of the micro-units are being built from scratch or in unused properties – it does raise the interesting image of the middle/upper-middle class literally moving directly into spaces that were previously thought suitable only for the borderline homeless, and being happy to do so. Draw what conclusions you like.
Thirteen Houses With Secret Passageways [Mental Floss] 100% of these houses have creepy back stories. I thought this article was going to be a delightful, fizzy read, and now I’m turning on all the lights and blasting music to drown out the sound of my pulse jackhammering in my ears.