An apartment building in New Mexico is pictured.
Russell Contreras/AP

A morning roundup of the day’s news.

Plummeting supply: A Freddie Mac report finds that the number of affordable apartments fell by more than 60 percent over the past six years for households making less than 50 percent of the area median income. The Washington Post reports:

“We have a rapidly diminishing supply of affordable housing, with rent growth outstripping income growth in most major metro areas,” said David Brickman, executive vice president and head of Freddie Mac Multifamily. “This doesn’t just reflect a change in the housing stock.”

Rather, he said, affordable housing without a government subsidy is becoming extinct. More renters flooded the market after people lost their homes in the housing crisis. The apartment vacancy rate was 8 percent in 2009, compared to 4 percent in 2017. That trend, coupled with a stagnant supply of apartments, resulted in increased rents.

Fare trade: It’s nearing the end of an era for New York City’s MetroCard, which will be phased out by 2023 as subway commuters modernize to smartphone and credit card payments at turnstiles. (New York Times)

AV head check: More than 35 cities around the world are piloting autonomous vehicles and another 18 are getting ready for it, according to a Bloomberg Philanthropies atlas that finds cities most interested in using the tech for “last mile” solutions, followed by taxi-like services. (Quartz)

Warehouse boom: As sellers like Amazon, Zulily, and Walmart compete to deliver goods as quickly as possible, a new network of warehouses has created hundreds of thousands of new jobs for workers without college degrees in economically struggling U.S. communities. (New York Times)

Transit ambitions: The $5.2 billion “Let’s Move Nashville” plan calls for 26 miles of rapid transit, including five light rail corridors and four rapid bus routes, while a underground downtown tunnel would avoid car traffic. Mayor Megan Barry has proposed a graduated sales tax starting next year to fund the ambitious plan. (Streetsblog)

The urban lens:

Share your city on Instagram using #citylabontheground.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Life

    From the Ruins of a Retail Meltdown, Post-Industrial Playgrounds Emerge

    While its shuttered department stores cause headaches around the U.S., Sears’s massive 1920s warehouses represent a triumph of post-industrial urbanism.

  2. A Soviet map of London, labeled in Russian.
    Maps

    The Soviet Military Secretly Mapped the Entire World

    These intricate, curious maps were supposed to be destroyed. The ones that remain reveal a fascinating portrait of how the U.S.S.R. monitored the world.

  3. A toxic site in Niagara Falls, New York, seen from above.
    Environment

    The Toxic 'Blank Spots' of Niagara Falls

    The region’s “chemical genies” of the early 20th century were heralded as reaching into the future to create a more abundant life for all. Instead, they deprived future generations of their health and well-being.

  4. Escalators are pictured.
    Design

    The Mall Isn't Dead, It's Just Changing

    Hong Kong figured out how to make shopping malls a sensible part of the urban fabric. Can this model go global?

  5. Maps

    Mapping Where Europe's Population Is Moving, Aging, and Finding Work

    Younger people are fleeing rural areas, migrating northward, and having fewer children. Here’s how that’s changing the region.