All posts tagged: low-cost

Stay-at-Home Parents Need Support, Too

Stay-at-Home Parents Need Support, Too

In two-thirds of American families with children, all parents work outside the home. But American society is still largely built around the assumption that one parent does not. The lack of affordable child care and the laughable mismatch between school hours and work hours (including summer vacation, when parents are left to figure out who will care for their kids for three months), have beneath them the idea that a stay-at-home parent (read: mother) should be around to take care of things. Yet paradoxically—and much less remarked upon—American society also gives stay-at-home parents a raw deal, ignoring them in policy and providing little material or cultural support while using them as a political cudgel. Stay-at-home parents as we think of them today—that is, one parent in a single-family household who is unattached to the formal labor force—are unusual by historical standards. As the population historian Steven Ruggles has written, throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, a majority of American households were “corporate families” wherein all members, including the children, supported the family business, most …

The State That Could Fix the Housing Crisis

The State That Could Fix the Housing Crisis

In 2015, a physical therapist named Nathan Dugan moved to Whitefish, Montana, and fell in love with the place. How could you not? The glaciers, the pine air, the small-town feel. Whitefish was always expensive: When he first got there, Dugan camped on and off for a month before he found an affordable home. But it got far more expensive during the pandemic, when wealthy retirees and digital nomads flooded the tiny town’s tiny housing market. Out-of-staters were making cash offers on homes, sight unseen. Airbnbs started going for Bay Area prices. Rentals dried up. This has become a familiar story across America, where the housing crisis has gotten so severe that even rural communities in northern Montana are feeling the pinch. Here’s another familiar story: Seeking to capitalize on the real-estate gold rush, a developer proposed building a handsome 318-unit community just north of downtown, on Whitefish Lake. The property would include a series of low-slung apartment buildings and townhomes, including units reserved for low-income families. Whitefish’s residents freaked. Hundreds submitted letters to the …