Rebekah Azen

Kidnapped by the House – Affordable Housing, Land, and the Green Imperative – Part 6, A Summary

Photo: Rebekah Azen

by Rebekah Zablud Azen

Luckily for me, I was rudely and unceremoniously thrown out of my long-term rental of twelve years for a minor infraction for which my dear puppy-dog was responsible. He had the good sense to bark at the new neighbor, a policeman, who, having the authority of law and finding no obstruction to bullying, threatened to shoot my dog. The landlord, being a true capitalist, scrambled to placate the policeman, and wasted no time in securing his rental property and possessions. I was told to “get rid of the dog” or vacate within a month. Having More >

“Kidnapped by the House” – Affordable Housing, Land, and the Green Imperative – Part 5

Rebekah Zablud Azen

The factor of land in home affordability has been discussed in preceding articles with emphasis upon the Community Land Trust as the most efficacious means of securing permanently affordable homeownership for this and future generations. We now turn to housing and the factors that make it affordable.

There are three fundamental and integrative concepts involved. The first is the house itself or the building, the second is labor, and the third is intelligent design for resources and energy, including infrastructure. When these three factors are properly analyzed and stitched together, a house will not only be uncommonly affordable, but More >

“Kidnapped by the House” – Affordable Housing, Land, and the Green Imperative – Part 4

by Rebekah Zablud Azen

We are arriving at a juncture in history where old land-tenure arrangements are no longer working and must be replaced by new arrangements. Though there is probably nothing more sacred in the Western psyche than private property, it is truly a Pandora’s box of unforeseen consequences. This reality has not yet dawned upon the general consciousness but the warning signs are abundantly clear, and the cost of housing is just one flashing red light. In 1955, Peter van Dresser bought a home on Canyon Rd. for $850. Today, my monthly rent exceeds that amount. If nothing else, More >

“Kidnapped by the House” – Affordable Housing, Land, and the Green Imperative – Part 3

Rebekah Zablud Azen

The Indispensable Community Land Trust

“Whereof what’s past is prologue, what to come in yours and my discharge,” the celebrated words of William Shakespeare summarize all too precisely our present predicament. We are circumstantial inheritors of land tenure patterns spanning centuries that typify gross disparities in land distribution and the accompanying maldistribution of social and economic benefits, along with a limitless expansion of destructive “externalities” (a term used by economists to describe the largely unaccounted-for fallout of economic progress) such as ecological collapse, resource depletion, and massive social dysfunction. That the majority of people lack access to affordable housing More >

“Kidnapped by the House” – Affordable Housing, Land, and the Green Imperative – Part 2

Rebekah Zablud Azen

Private Property – The American Dream Coming to a new land where the institution of private property had never touched these shores, settlers and their descendants had an unprecedented, golden opportunity to not only question, but throw off the worst of feudalistic land tenure arrangements. However the opportunity for change was entirely lost.

The colonists were more than observers; they studied Native land tenure arrangements in an effort to find parallels (there weren’t any) with English property, organized as it was for exploitation and expropriation, in an effort to secure “legal title” to Native lands. It was apparent that More >

“Kidnapped by the House” – Affordable Housing, Land, and the Green Imperative – Part 1

Rebekah Zablud Azen

The ostensible purpose of this series of articles is to provide a clear road map through which a person of whatever means can obtain sufficient and adequate housing that is:

  • truly affordable for this generation and all future generations, freeing us from a lifetime of servitude
  • self-sufficient in supplying all of our essential needs, disconnected from typical “life support systems”
  • environmentally sound, neither extracting precious resources nor polluting the earth.

There are many other important benefits to this approach that can positively impact the individual and the society, but more importantly, there are profound implications for our future that will be discussed More >