Also: Security theater at the National Zoo, and a “carnival of resistance” awaits Trump in Britain.
What We’re Following
Millennium outcomes: It’s easy to speculate about why Millennials aren’t buying homes. In 2015, about 37 percent of Millennials owned a house—that’s about eight percentage points lower than Gen X-ers and Baby Boomers when they were the same age. While there’s no shortage of theories about why this is happening, it’s more difficult to quantify potential causes. But a new report by the Urban Institute actually puts some numbers behind the factors that make homeownership less likely for this generation.
People born between 1981 and 1997 are notably putting off some big life moves that affect when they buy a home. For example, if marriage rates were the same as in 1990, homeownership would be 5 percentage points higher, the study suggests. Student debt weighs heavily, too, with highly educated Millennials falling 5 points lower than the two previous generations on homeownership. Combine that with higher rents and lingering racial disparities and you get a fuller picture of what’s going on.
But it says just as much about the economy as it does the age cohort, because location plays a root cause. The study shows that as high-skilled jobs have drawn people to high-cost cities like New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., homeownership has grown further out of reach, making it more difficult to build wealth and reduce inequality in the future. And moving to cheaper cities doesn't have the bang for its buck that it once did, leading to what CityLab’s Richard Florida refers to as the Great Divergence.
More on CityLab
Yesterday, we asked for your thoughts on this great idea for a city makeover show à la Queer Eye, and readers delivered. From Brunswick, Georgia, Anna Ferguson Hall writes that her port city of about 16,000 people could use a “shiny new glow” to draw in tourists beyond the city’s old-timey Fourth of July celebrations and an Elvis tribute festival:
Historic Downtown Brunswick, to outsiders, is often seen as, for lack of better words, run-down, impoverished, crime-ridden and dated. This is far from the truth. Hence, how the empowered women makeover show is a huge draw for me…
Essentially, this fabulous downtown could use more glitter, more glow, more yaasss and less no. … #BabesBuildingUpBrunswick has a nice ring to it, no?
And reader Stephen Power suggests a city-block explainer show called Block by Block: “The host should hate Starbucks, gentrification, and Robert Moses equally.”
Thanks to Anna and Stephen for writing in! Don’t be shy and send us your thoughts any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What We’re Reading
How higher wages for Uber and Lyft drivers could cut traffic (Streetsblog New York)
The history of a city, told through its trash (Fast Company)
Border Protection says NYC mayor crossed border illegally (AP)
The future could be dockless: Can a city really run on “floating transport?” (The Guardian)
How this Philadelphia neighborhood is gentrifying without displacement (Next City)