Also: Watch Amsterdam remove thousands of parking spaces, and too many people want to travel.

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What We’re Following

Housework: The first Democratic presidential debates are still three weeks away, but candidates are already sharing their to-do lists on a major 2020 campaign issue: housing. The latest plan, released today by Senator Cory Booker, comes with a central promise of a monthly tax refund to help anyone paying more than 30 percent of their income on rent. His campaign estimates that such a tax credit could help about 57 million rent-burdened Americans.

Beyond that, Booker’s plan is a grab bag of affordable housing policies, including anti-discrimination laws, a right-to-counsel fund for evictions, and even “baby bonds” to provide future housing down payments. It all goes to show how far-reaching the effects of the affordable housing crisis are in Americans’ daily lives. And as fellow contenders like senators Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren pitch similar proposals, it’s becoming clear that Democratic candidates think that talking about affordable housing might make them stand out to voters in a crowded field. CityLab’s Kriston Capps has the story: The 2020 Candidates Keep Talking About Affordable Housing

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

Watch Amsterdam Remove Thousands of Parking Spaces

A new short film celebrates the bike-friendly Dutch city’s no-drama strategy for eliminating car parking: “It’s not a big deal here.”

Laura Bliss

What Will the 2019 World Cup Mean for the French Cities That Host It?

The World Cup is kicking off in France, yet cities are unlikely to see an economic bump. But if the French women win, their compatriots get a happiness boost.

Pat Garofalo

Too Many People Want to Travel

Massive crowds are causing environmental degradation, dangerous conditions, and the immiseration and pricing-out of locals.

Annie Lowrey

Ireland Wants to Become a Leader in Battery-Powered Trains

The country was an early pioneer of battery-electric trains. Now it wants a nationwide fleet of them.

Feargus O'Sullivan

Writers Are More Prolific When They Cluster

A new study finds that British and Irish writers clustered in 18th- and 19th-century London and were more productive as a result.

Richard Florida


Built by Association

Homeowners love to complain about homeowners associations, the private organizations that limit what people can do with their own property and charge for the pleasure. But people keep living in them, and they’re actually getting more popular. In 1990, around 40 percent of all new homes were in homeowners associations. Today that’s doubled to 80 percent, as shown above.

A new study suggests that despite the dues and rules, HOAs deliver real value to homeowners by helping homes sell for more money. That benefit is bigger in places with less local government, suggesting they provide regulation that almost functions as a kind of “private zoning.” Critics say that phenomenon, along with demographic differences, makes HOAs a “tool of exclusion” that encourages segregation. CityLab data reporter David Montgomery digs into the numbers. Read his story: HOAs Are Popular Where Prejudice Is Strong and Government Is Weak


What We’re Reading

How payday lenders spent $1 million at a Trump resort—and cashed in (ProPublica)

Food stamps helped lift the U.S. economy out of the Great Recession, especially in rural areas (Vox)

Homelessness increased 12 percent in Los Angeles County, stunning officials (Los Angeles Times)

Do mapping apps need a “night-safe mode” for women? (The Guardian)

What we can learn from “Latino urbanism” (Streetsblog)


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