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News Digest 31, October 22nd, 2020

November 17, 2020
News Digest

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Norwegian startup Othalo eyes plastic waste recycling to solve the housing crisis

In response to an urgent need for low-cost, dignified, and quick-to-construct housing in sub-Saharan Africa brought on by accelerating rates of urbanization, the Bergen, Norway-based building tech startup Othalo is simultaneously seeking to tackle another pressing issue by incorporating the global surfeit of plastic waste into affordable new dwellings.

The Architect's Newspaper • October 19, 2020

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Eviction's long reach

Across the United States, millions of people receive notices of eviction every year, more than one every nine seconds — and that was before the COVID-19 pandemic, and all its economic upheaval.

Evictions are life-altering catastrophes with impacts that extend far beyond the immediate loss of a home. They are often the catalyst for a chain reaction of calamities, pushing tenants into poverty and homelessness, disrupting education and employment, and spurring a host of health problems.

The Week • October 18, 2020

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Fighting climate change, one building at a time

When Donnel Baird was in his twenties, he had twin passions, and he didn't want to choose between them. "I vowed that I was going to try to combine my passion for Black civil rights with trying to do something about climate change," he says.

He's doing it now, with a company that he founded called BlocPower. He's attacking one of the seemingly intractable sources of America's greenhouse emissions: old residential buildings. And he's focusing on neighborhoods that don't have a lot of money to invest.

NPR • October 18, 2020

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US low-income lending rules should promote affordable housing, Fed official says

"An overhaul of US lending rules must boost incentives to promote affordable housing for low-and-moderate income families," a US Federal Reserve governor said on Tuesday touching on two issues which will take center stage if Democrats win on November 3.

Lael Brainard said the pandemic-induced economic slump had underscored major racial disparities in access to affordable housing which should be addressed when the central bank overhauls the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) in coming months.

Reuters • October 20, 2020

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Not even a pandemic can break rich cities’ grip on the US economy

The allure of expensive ‘superstar cities’ such as New York, San Francisco and DC will remain strong, even as technology opens pathways to work pretty much anywhere.

The Washington Post • October 15, 2020

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