Author Archive

Molly Bolan

Molly Bolan
Molly Bolan is a former assistant editor at Route Fifty.
Management

How matchmaking can address two housing needs

As America’s population rapidly ages and housing costs soar, some states are playing matchmaker and matching young people in need of affordable housing with older adults with room to spare.

Management

Want to reform housing? Take a look at parking.

When a single parking space adds tens of thousands of dollars to a residential development, those costs get passed on to residents.

Management

What makes a top performing city?

The tech and hospitality industries drive sustainable economic performance, but broadband access, affordability and resilience also play key roles, according to the Milken Institute.

Management

Housing crisis comes to Capitol Hill

While lawmakers acknowledge the national shortage of affordable housing, experts testifying before a Senate panel disagree over how to solve it.

Management

Why it’s tough to stamp out housing voucher discrimination

In many places, it's illegal for landlords to discriminate against tenants using Section 8 vouchers. Enforcing those rules is difficult, but governments are forging ahead.

Management

Rent growth cools, but affordability is still out of reach

Even though rents aren’t rising as quickly as they were last year, they’re still too damn high for an increasing number of households.

Management

How tech can democratize community engagement

In contentious city planning meetings, the louder voices in the room often control the narrative, but technology can reframe the conversation and streamline the engagement process.

Management

Can cities clear homeless camps without offering an alternative?

The Supreme Court will hear a case on how far local governments can go to enforce bans on sleeping and camping in public spaces.

Management

It’s easy to lose sight of the root cause of the housing crisis

It’s not big investors, luxury developers or federal mortgage programs that are most responsible for driving up housing costs.

Management

States increasingly join the land use reform rodeo

For a long time housing-related land use issues have been primarily dealt with at the local level, but that’s changing as a case in Montana shows.

Management

Do land-use reforms spur housing development? You betcha.

After years of adjusting land-use regulations, Minneapolis boosted its housing stock by 12%, while rents grew at just 1%. Meanwhile, the rest of Minnesota increased its stock by 4% as rents rose 14%.

Workforce

Teachers can’t afford housing, so school districts are building homes

When potential teachers are considering a position, they often want to know what’s available for affordable housing. “If I don’t have an answer for that, I lose that applicant,” one school district superintendent says.

Management

These pandemic-era relief programs expired in 2023

As the federal government rolled up its pandemic-era social safety net, state and local governments stepped in to fill the gaps in housing, child care and food assistance.

Management

What HUD’s annual homelessness count misses

Rather than relying on a single metric, communities need to develop a data infrastructure they can use to track, reduce and end homelessness.

Management

Homelessness is increasing nationwide, but some cities see significant declines

Many believe they are seeing more people experiencing homelessness than ever before. But in three major cities, the data contradicts that perception.

Workforce

2023 Rising Star: Chris Polack

Strategic initiatives program manager, New York City Emergency Management

Workforce

For homeless services staff, fulfillment doesn’t pay the bills

A survey of more than 5,000 U.S. homeless services workers found that 12% qualify for food stamps and 9% for housing vouchers.

Management

No wrong doors: Making benefits easier to access

When applying for benefits is too hard, families don’t get the support they need. Learning how users actually work through submitting an online application underscores how important user-centered design is to a program’s success.

Management

Housing and care costs leave aging Americans with limited options

With adults over 65 already 17% of the U.S. population, communities need to prepare for the growing number of older adults who need both affordable housing and care, experts say.

Management

The housing policies residents want to see

It may seem like housing policies that allow granny flats or multifamily homes on single-family lots are pretty contentious, but a new survey shows that most people support state and local policies that boost housing stock.