Curbed - All Love where you live 2020-03-20T17:45:00-04:00 2020-03-20T17:45:00-04:00 2020-03-20T17:45:00-04:00 Transit is in trouble due to coronavirus. This Green New Deal plan could help. <img alt="An electronic ad in the from the Centers for Disease Control advises commuters and tourists in the Metro Center subway station in Washington to keep calm and wash your hands." src="" /> <small>Ridership is down 30 to 80 percent on most major transit systems. | Photo By Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images</small> <p>Zero-emission transportation policy recommendations would provide a climate-friendly economic stimulus</p> <p id="UfaBJ0">It’s a surreal scene for city dwellers. Empty sidewalks, sparsely populated buses, and transit agencies pleading with passengers on social media not to ride them unless absolutely necessary. And by all accounts, would-be riders across the country are obeying orders to <a href="">stay home</a> and <a >slow the spread</a> of the novel coronavirus.</p> <p id="KSQIo5">The <a >numbers are grim</a>. Major transit agencies have reported <a >ridership dropping by more than half</a> over the last two weeks. But an even larger catastrophe is looming. With fewer riders paying fares, and operational costs rising due to increased sanitizing of vehicles and facilities, transit systems in cities like <a >Boston</a>, <a >San Francisco</a>, <a >Austin</a>, and <a >Los Angeles</a> have announced service cuts, including, in some cases, eliminating all overnight service at a time when there are no other options for transit-dependent riders to get around safely.</p> <p id="byN4Qf">“We are seeing steep declines of 30 to 80 percent,” says Steven Higashide, director of research at TransitCenter. “At the same time, the crisis underscores how essential public transit is for people who have essential jobs or need transit to go to the grocery store or get to a doctor’s office.”</p> <p id="TbZu12">Long before a pandemic was circulating the planet, the policy team behind the <a href="">Green New Deal</a> was plotting out a path to eliminate the use of fossil fuels in the U.S. transportation sector by 2050. The recommendations in their report, “<a >A Green New Deal for City and Suburban Transportation</a>,” out this week, are even more urgent for a country facing not just a climate crisis, but public health and economic crises as well.</p> <p id="KjyIad">In the pre-COVID-19 world, transportation made up one-third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions—with a majority of those emissions coming from cars and trucks. “It’s not enough to look at solutions like flying less or building high-speed rail,” says Higashide, one of the report’s co-authors. “We have to look at surface transportation.”</p> <div class="c-float-right c-float-hang"><aside id="T1OOq8"><div data-anthem-component="readmore" data-anthem-component-data='{"stories":[{"title":"The Green New Deal is really about designing an entirely new world","url":""},{"title":"These maps show how the Green New Deal will look different across America","url":""},{"title":"A green new home","url":""}]}'></div></aside></div> <p id="AcQ1gQ">The <a >report</a>, by Data for Progress and the Ian L. McHarg Center for Urbanism and Ecology, along with national transportation advocacy groups TransitCenter and Transportation for America, says the country can achieve a safer, more equitable, zero-emission transportation system with a change in funding priorities, a push to build multimodal streets, and a goal to put the majority of Americans within walking distance of frequent public transit by 2030. </p> <p id="j7bxF7">After the 2008 financial crisis, transit ridership<strong>—</strong>particularly bus ridership—saw a similar cratering, which most systems <a >never really recovered from</a>. But where the recovery efforts a decade ago almost exclusively focused on infrastructural improvements, the Green New Deal’s proposal centers around bolstering ridership and service. A large part of what the policy recommendations are arguing for is operating assistance, which would allow agencies to provide more robust service while paying workers higher wages.</p> <p id="8Rbn0D">Accessibility—both physically and logistically—is another key component of the Green New Deal’s proposal. In addition to funding the country’s <a href="">multibillion-dollar sidewalk repair backlog</a> to improve last-mile connections, streets would be designed to be used by <a href="">all ages, incomes, modes, and abilities</a>. Increasing transit accessibility also means increasing options for suburban communities, with a push for land-use policies that incentivize denser residential development around <a href="">regional rail</a> and bus-rapid transit hubs.</p> <p id="VRbaSr">Aligning federal dollars behind cleaner, more efficient modes like walking, biking, and transit—and away from <a href="">projects like highway expansions</a>, which are <a href="">known to increase traffic and pollution</a>—goes counter to the way virtually all transportation is currently funded. But the Green New Deal’s policymakers have a voice through the <a href="">new Congressional Future of Transportation caucus formed in October</a>, which is working to prioritize investments that lower emissions while advancing socioeconomic equity.</p> <p id="voWEOm">The Green New Deal’s proposal also creates an opportunity to correct previous policies that attempted to reduce emissions but failed. The deal put in place by the U.S. automaker bailout after the 2008 financial crisis, for example, was meant to require companies to <a href="">produce more fuel-efficient cars</a>, but automakers soon found a way around the policies by pivoting to <a href="">SUVs</a>. The report notes that the key to reducing emissions is not adding more electric cars, but <a href="">fewer cars overall</a>.</p> <p id="ecaIuI">“The path to net-zero is easier with every car we take off the road,” says Billy Fleming, report co-author and director of the Ian L. McHarg Center for Urbanism and Ecology. Fleming envisions not simply swapping out all 272 million U.S. vehicles with electric versions, but offering incentives to trade in an internal combustion vehicle for electric bikes, transit passes, or cash. “Any climate proposal that does include EV incentives will be most generous for low-income people or those in rural areas not well-served by transit.”</p> <p id="ab8OZn">The transportation strategies outlined in the Green New Deal proposal will not only guarantee the dramatic reduction of greenhouse gases, they’re also broadly popular, according to <a >polls by Data for Progress</a> that accompany the report. Two-thirds of U.S. voters—across all political party affiliations—believe their communities would benefit from expanding public transit. Even more voters—77 percent—believe expanding transit would benefit the U.S. overall.</p> <p id="1PhbHB">Such bipartisan support might help feed the Green New Deal’s ideas into recovery bills in Congress, where a $1 trillion economic stimulus plan has been proposed this week with zero allocations for transit. On Friday, 52 members of Congress <a >signed a letter</a> requesting $16 billion for transit agencies be added to the stimulus, a number determined by the American Public Transportation Association. (Boeing, for comparison, is asking for $60 billion.)</p> <p id="YhUC6W">As stay-at-home orders have recently been extended to last weeks—if not months—the financial free-fall of transportation agencies has prompted <a >calls for a mass transit bailout</a>. But funneling money to transit agencies wouldn't technically be a bailout, notes Fleming, because transit agencies are already public—and funding them should be as essential as keeping school districts and housing authorities running. “For them, this isn’t a bailout, this is about sustaining them through a global pandemic.”</p> <p id="jJuHCt">Where the <a >airline industry</a>, the <a >cruise industry</a>, and even the <a >airport ground transportation industry</a> immediately issued high-profile pleas for financial protection as passenger numbers plummeted, there was no unified call from the transit industry—until this week. </p> <div class="c-float-right c-float-hang"><div id="STsC7D"> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">"Bailout" is the wrong word for what transit needs. <br><br>Bailouts are for nonessential business, not public health resources to combat the pandemic. They're for airlines, not hospitals.<br><br>Transit is part of the pandemic response. It needs emergency resources to protect public health.</p>— TransitCenter (@TransitCenter) <a >March 18, 2020</a> </blockquote> <script async="" src="" charset="utf-8"></script> </div></div> <p id="Lzcama">Over a 24-hour period, representatives from over 200 U.S. transit agencies <a >signed on to a letter</a> from Transportation for America and the Union of Concerned Scientists urging Congress to approve $13 billion in direct financial assistance, targeted to the agencies impacted the most, to keep buses and trains running.</p> <p id="S2x9Mq">Part of the challenge is that representatives don’t see public transit as an essential service for the country in the way the government views airlines and automakers, says Beth Osborne, director of Transportation for America. But without emergency operating funds, Osborne says drops in ridership could lead to even more service cuts, which would make it even harder for riders to follow social distancing guidance and potentially introduce additional health threats. </p> <p id="VJfEZ2">“If they cut service, it means more crowded buses for the most transit-dependent that would be the least capable of working from home,” she says. “Congress needs to step in and make sure these essential systems are running to make sure these health care workers can get to where we need them to care for us and our loved ones.”</p> <p id="DPQJy2">A handful of transit agencies, like <a >Detroit</a>, are making transit free to better serve health care workers and keep drivers protected. Houston is putting more buses into operation to <a >create temporary shuttles</a> between medical centers. But some transportation experts are recommending going one step further. With streets so empty, cities could experiment with <a href="">dedicating lanes to transit</a> and emergency vehicles, which would not only keep buses and other essential services moving more efficiently, it would also start to prime U.S. cities for recovery. </p> <p id="ATzCaV">The upending of the American economy will make affordable, ubiquitous transit even more important. With unemployment estimated to be as high as 20 to 25 percent, household income will be lower, and many families may not be able to keep their cars. </p> <p id="kZRKd1">“Bus-only lanes will allow transit to be as operationally efficient as possible with limited operators and will help transit move people in a recession at a lower cost to users,” says Juan Matute, deputy director of UCLA’s Institute of Transportation Studies. “The travel-time savings will gradually build over time as the economy and travel activity recovers. And then we’ll need bus-only lanes.”</p> <aside id="NrF0u3"><div data-anthem-component="newsletter" data-anthem-component-data='{"slug":"curbed_national"}'></div></aside><p id="xFlpik"></p> <p id="Jgq44v"></p> Alissa Walker 2020-03-20T17:29:22-04:00 2020-03-20T17:29:22-04:00 If the coronavirus has you worried about your mortgage, do these three things <img alt="An aerial view of a suburban subdivision filled with two-storey single-family houses." src="" /> <small>Getty Images</small> <p>These steps can help if you’re at risk of missing a payment because of COVID-19</p> <p id="DBOMnZ">The health and economic impact of the spread of COVID-19 is both already devastating and only just beginning.</p> <p id="laCxey">Food-service and gig workers are already seeing their incomes dry up. Nest eggs are vanishing as the stock market collapses. It seems as if it’s only a matter of time before the impacts are felt in other sectors of the American economy.</p> <p id="p7MgYb">If you have a mortgage and your source of income is threatened by the fallout from the novel coronavirus, you are probably—and understandably—very worried. Take heart that on Wednesday, <a href="">President Donald Trump announced that evictions and foreclosures</a> on houses backed by government-sponsored mortgage facilitators Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, or by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), will be suspended at least through the end of April. Freddie, Fannie, and the FHA back the vast majority of single-family houses. So if you’re in financial trouble, you will be protected, at least through April.</p> <p id="NYT81j"><a >Federal regulators went a step further on Friday</a> by announcing that homeowners impacted by the novel coronavirus fallout could qualify for mortgage payment reduction or deferral if they have mortgages backed by Freddie or Fannie.</p> <p id="zajeR2">The private sector is also taking action. <a >Bank of America announced Thursday</a> that it is offering relief to consumers and small business owners experiencing hardship because of the coronavirus, which will include mortgage payment deferrals. These will be offered on a case-by-case basis and will run month-to-month. <a >NPR reported that JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo</a> are also working with borrowers who’ve been impacted.</p> <p id="GLYkP1">But given the situation is incredibly fluid and the terms for who qualifies for relief haven’t been released, there are steps you should be taking to protect yourself in the event that you lose some or all of your income, or if the federal government changes its policy.</p> <h4 id="gwcjvl"><strong>Contact your mortgage servicer immediately</strong></h4> <p id="qHcJoh">Mortgage servicers are the companies that manage your loan. They send you statements, collect your payment, field inquiries from borrowers, and initiate foreclosure. Contact your mortgage servicer if you’re at risk of missing a payment.</p> <p id="lKe7mI">Note that sometimes your mortgage lender is also your mortgage servicer, but more often than not, your mortgage lender sold mortgage servicing to another company. You can find the name of your servicer on your mortgage statement.</p> <p id="0oLsF0">When you call them, tell them your situation and ask what options are available. Mention that Fannie and Freddie say you might qualify for mortgage payment reduction or deferral. But be aware that they almost certainly won’t make any special exceptions for your case for a number of different reasons. </p> <p id="XKbZLP">One is that there are about to be countless homeowners in your exact situation, so any exception made for you is likely to extend to others as well. Second, servicers follow strict guidelines set by Freddie and Fannie when servicing your mortgage. The good news is those two enterprises just announced they will not evict or foreclose through April, and that mortgage payment relief is on the way.</p> <h4 id="Fwgo4x"><strong>Diligently document your financial hardship</strong></h4> <p id="t3mBHb">As things progress, the federal government might change its policy or offer some form of relief for those who qualify. Freddie and Fannie and thus your servicer could make changes as well. It’s a very fluid situation.</p> <p id="QLRKkd">When this happens, you’re going to want to have all the documentation showing that you are in need. If you’re taking a pay cut, start collecting pay stubs or communication from your employer that shows this. If your stock portfolio tanked, get statements that show it. If you’re laid off, save those related documents.</p> <p id="xICtBw">“It’s really important to provide evidence of whatever hardship is leading to or causing you to fall behind [on mortgage payments],” says Patrick Boyaggi, CEO of mortgage marketplace <a >Own Up</a>. “Presumably if you could qualify for financing and you get a mortgage, you’re in a position to do that. Something has transpired in your life that puts you in a position where you can’t do that.”</p> <h4 id="DLywyq"><strong>Document everything that transpires between you and the servicer</strong></h4> <p id="Bjqzsb">Mortgage servicers are about to be swamped with calls from people dealing with the coronavirus fallout. While servicers are likely recording your call with them, it’s important to document all your communication with them for your own records, too.</p> <p id="PY4izM">If you can record your calls with them using a voice recorder or smartphone, do it. If they send you emails related to your mortgage, put them in a specific folder in your email account. If they send you paperwork in the mail, put it in a file folder and have it handy.</p> <p id="YnxaFL">This way, if the servicer loses documentation of what it promised you in the deluge that is about to unfold, you’ll be able to play the call back to them or send them documentation of any kind.</p> <p id="DbzOGa">These three steps won’t solve all your problems, but they will help you navigate them as the situation continues to evolve.</p> <aside id="IB9tyv"><div data-anthem-component="newsletter" data-anthem-component-data='{"slug":"curbed_national"}'></div></aside> Jeff Andrews 2020-03-20T17:25:10-04:00 2020-03-20T17:25:10-04:00 Federal government to allow mortgage payment deferral for up to a year <img alt="HUD headquarters, a gray brutalist building." src="" /> <small>Getty Images</small> <p>While the terms won’t apply to everyone, it’s a good start</p> <p id="I1g3yf">President Donald Trump announced Wednesday a sweeping moratorium on foreclosures for <a >homeowners with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac</a> or Federal Housing Administration mortgages on single-family homes. On Friday, federal regulators went a step further by allowing payment deduction or deferral on mortgages backed by Freddie or Fannie for as long as year for those who have lost income or employment because of the novel coronavirus fallout.</p> <p id="rRG2we">What specific relief a homeowner will get depends on their situation, but terms have not been made public. <a >According to NPR, </a>federal regulators believe the entire mortgage industry will follow suit with providing relief, so if you’re in trouble, contact your mortgage servicer immediately. (You can find your servicer’s contact information on your mortgage statement.)</p> <p id="WTxJAr">FHA loans and public housing residents account for more than 9 million households, while Freddie- or Fannie-backed mortgages account for the majority of single-family homes. The Freddie and Fannie moratorium will last at least 60 days. </p> <p id="yiAFau">The moves come in response to the economic fallout caused by the spread of COVID-19, commonly referred to as novel coronavirus, which could lead to <a >unemployment rising as high as 20 percent,</a> according to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.</p> <p id="v34HbL">Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are guarantors on the majority of mortgages, which they buy and bundle into bonds called mortgage-backed securities. Most mortgages fall into this category, as <a >97.7 percent of mortgage securities were issued by the agencies</a> so far in 2020, according to the Urban Institute.</p> <p id="nEp2ik">This means if you have a mortgage, it was mostly likely sold to Freddie or Fannie and thus the foreclosure moratorium and payment relief likely applies to you. Homeowners who don’t have mortgages backed by Freddie or Fannie are likely to be subprime borrowers, condo owners, or owners of particularly expensive housing <a >(the loan limit amount varies</a> from county to county). </p> <p id="q6eOKd">These measures may end up temporarily staving off disaster for <a href="">the housing market.</a> Otherwise, if unemployment spikes and homeowners default en masse, it would lead to a massive increase in available housing, reminiscent of <a href="">the financial crisis of 2008.</a></p> <p id="4ZwY5n">In addition to mortgage relief, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced Wednesday it will encourage local public housing authorities (PHAs) to suspend evictions on public housing residents.</p> <p id="MaoElM">The moratorium on evictions of public housing residents, the majority of whom are elderly and/or disabled, would apply to more than a million households if every PHA suspended evictions. HUD does not have the legal authority to force PHAs to suspend evictions, but many of the largest PHAs have already done so, including <a >New York,</a> Boston, and <a >Los Angeles.</a> It is likely many others will follow. </p> <p id="MxxS74">The moratorium does not apply to housing voucher holders. <a >HUD Secretary Ben Carson told the <em>Los Angeles Times</em></a> that a moratorium on FHA-backed multifamily housing could be coming, but housing voucher recipients may need Congressional action.</p> <p id="U67z6X">While these two measures protect millions of Americans, renters in private-market housing remain vulnerable to eviction should they suffer financial hardship because of the novel coronavirus.</p> <p id="7BtdMe">But <a href="">cities across the country</a>—particularly those with expensive housing—have independently announced moratoriums on evictions that range from two weeks to indefinitely. New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Miami are among the cities that have issued eviction moratoriums.</p> <p id="sTCUe5">The private sector is responding to the crisis as well. <a >Bank of America announced Thursday</a> that it is offering relief to consumers and small business owners experiencing hardship because of the coronavirus, which will include mortgage payment deferrals. It will be done on a case-by-case basis and will run month-to-month.</p> <p id="nn8Z87"><a >JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo say they are also working with borrowers</a> who have been impacted by the economic fallout of the novel coronavirus to provide relief, according to NPR. The situation is incredibly fluid, so if you are struggling, it’s important to contact your mortgage servicer as soon as possible.</p> <p id="iiMeV4"></p> <p id="y37cwI"></p> Jeff Andrews 2020-03-20T12:57:36-04:00 2020-03-20T12:57:36-04:00 Cities suspend evictions as coronavirus spreads <img alt="Fire escapes and windows of a multi-storey building in Manhattan, New York City." src="" /> <small>Getty Images</small> <p>New York, Los Angeles, and San Jose are in various stages of a temporary eviction ban</p> <p id="LBOINx">The rapid spread of COVID-19 has investors reeling, as the stock market has dropped almost 30 percent since Feb. 24.</p> <p id="QssHoP">But the long tail of the economic fallout of the coronavirus could hit low-income workers the hardest. Cancelled games, concerts, and conferences mean people who work the events may not get paid. Taxi and ride share drivers have fewer fares as people avoid travel. Restaurant workers have fewer patrons as customers stay indoors.</p> <p id="s45MBk">Low-income workers are more likely to live paycheck to paycheck and less likely to have savings, so any disruption to their income could put them at risk of not being able to pay rent, and thus make them subject to eviction. All of which makes the isolation and quarantine phase of the pandemic potentially devastating for poor Americans. </p> <p id="nvWdS0">In hopes of avoiding mass evictions in the coming weeks and months, numerous cities, states, and counties across the country have implemented temporary moratoriums on evictions in hopes of limiting the economic damage that evictions on a large scale could cause. </p> <p id="Wdrzcu">Furthermore, <a href="">the federal government has announced a moratorium on foreclosures</a> on any mortgage backed by Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, or the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) that will last at least through April. This is an important measure that will keep the bottom from falling out of <a href="">the housing market</a> because of rapidly rising foreclosures, like <a href="">it did in 2008.</a></p> <p id="gUL3BN"><a >Los Angeles’s ban</a> was an order from Mayor Eric Garcetti, but Angelenos are still waiting on the specifics of how it will work. Garcetti is also exploring options for preventing commercial evictions for small businesses and restaurants, which can only serve take-out, delivery, and drive-through customers. Nearby <a >Santa Monica has also instituted an evictions ban.</a></p> <p id="V547O5">“The impacts of COVID-19 threaten to be severe, causing sudden and sharp drops in income for many tenants, workers and small businesses, and pushing many people into homelessness,” says <a >Los Angeles city council member Mike Bonin in a Facebook post</a> Thursday. “We cannot allow that.”</p> <p id="otmu7T">After tenant activist groups pressured the state to act, <a >the state of New York suspended both residential and commercial evictions</a> indefinitely beginning at 5 p.m. Monday. New York City bars and restaurants will only serve take-out and delivery customers beginning Tuesday, which would have put local businesses at risk prior to the eviction ban.</p> <p id="vNtIKL">Evictions in the wake of the coronavirus could put more people on the street at a time when homelessness is already at heightened levels, especially in California. <a href="">The homeless are particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus</a> because they can’t take many of the preventative measures, such as washing hands, as often as they need to.</p> <p id="Qpy0B6"><a >San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced Friday</a> that the city was putting an immediate moratorium on housing evictions. <a >Monday he went a step further and announced</a> that several Bay Area counties, including San Francisco, are now under a shelter-in-place order that begins at midnight on Tuesday. Residents will only be able to leave to meet basic needs like groceries and medicine.</p> <p id="7NXxUd"><a >San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo proposed a moratorium on evictions</a> last week; Santa Clara County, where the city is located, has 48 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Friday. The measure, which would halt evictions for 30 days, <a >is expected to move forward in the next week or two,</a> according to The San Jose Mercury News. <a >California assembly member Phil Ting</a> has proposed a similar statewide moratorium.</p> <p id="clXn5e"><a >Housing courts in Massachusetts have suspended proceedings</a> until at least April 22, and <a >a group of Boston-area landlords</a> have agreed to pause evictions of their tenants for up to 90 days. While both moves are promising, they are currently just short-term delays.</p> <p id="ecYvyD">Other major cities have announced eviction moratoriums. <a >Miami-Dade police announced Thursday</a> that it would not assist in any eviction orders until further notice, and <a >Washington D.C., city council chairman Phil Mendelson</a> has proposed a moratorium on evictions in the nation’s capitol. <a >Philadelphia’s municipal courts will not process evictions</a> for the next two weeks, and <a >Austin has temporarily halted evictions.</a></p> <p id="lGFDao"><a >Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders</a> has also called for a temporary federal ban on evictions in a coronavirus response plan released last week.</p> <p id="jjwYnz">With the situation being extremely fluid, it’s likely other cities will impose similar measures in hopes of limiting the economic fallout of the virus’s spread.</p> Jeff Andrews 2020-03-20T12:30:00-04:00 2020-03-20T12:30:00-04:00 I used this easy-to-install shelving to create a walk-in closet in my apartment <img alt="Closet lined with a wall of clothes. " src="" /> <small>My walk-in closet. | Anthony Rotunno</small> <p>It provides space enough for all of the&nbsp;clothes&nbsp;we wear day in and day out,&nbsp;plus coats and seasonal items</p> <p id="j5O6gV">About four years ago, after a long search that required <a >couch</a> surfing at two different friends’ places (with our hairless <a >cat</a>), my husband and I moved into what I would genuinely call our dream apartment. The one-bedroom loft had lots of things to like: 12-foot ceilings, a proper <a >bathroom</a> (an amenity anyone who has loft hunted knows is not a given), and even a pedigree of sorts—it’s inside a Bushwick building that dates to at least the early 20th century, and locals have told us its past lives include a garter factory and a <a >department store</a>.</p> <p id="ZmRDe6">Blinded by all of these pluses, we did not really see a big minus until after the ink had dried on our lease: The apartment has no <a >closets</a> to speak of. This was admittedly a first for both of us; the six New York City apartments we previously lived in (separately and together) all had a closet of some sort somewhere inside them, whether in an entryway for stashing coats, a bedroom, or both. Our new place did come with two left-behind armoires in the <a >bedroom</a>, but the hulking masses of particleboard seemed straight out of a <a >college dorm</a> and totally weighed down the otherwise open-feeling space. Buying a dresser or new piece of furniture that we actually liked would also weigh it down, we reasoned, and if we went the rolling-rack route, we worried the space would look too much like a department store again.</p> <p id="0ePSFa">I am about as handy as anyone else who knows how to pick up a <a >hammer</a> or plug in a <a >power drill</a> (meaning my expertise doesn’t extend far beyond understanding a <a >tool’s</a> basic purpose and functionality), but for whatever reason, we decided that open shelving in the bedroom would be the solution to our closet conundrum. But buying some gussied-up planks of wood and brackets from Ikea seemed too simple—we needed something <a >to hang things from</a>, in addition to fold and stack them on—and looking into more custom options seemed too overwhelming, time-consuming, and pricey. I don’t remember exactly how we landed on the Rubbermaid closet organizers, but they seemed like just the sort of versatile, reasonably priced system we needed, and it didn’t hurt that their no-frills metal construction sort of went with the whole loft-living feel.</p> <div class="c-float-left"> <figure class="e-image"> <img alt="Metal frames on a wall. " data-mask-text="false" src=""> </figure> </div> <aside id="g1GmR1"><div data-anthem-component="actionbox" data-anthem-component-data='{"title":"Rubbermaid Configurations Deluxe Custom Closet Organizer System Kit, 4-to-8-Foot","description":"Also available in 3-to-6-foot and 6-to-10-foot.","label":"$117 at Amazon","url":""}'></div></aside><p id="mTPabp">We ultimately ordered two of the 4-to-8-foot “deluxe” organizers, which, according to the brand, are made for walls between four and eight feet wide, and each comes with seven 26-inch shelves, two 48-inch shelves, and two hanging rods (in addition to all of the hardware and screws you need to mount them). Over the course of two nights, my husband and I worked to install them, using the aforementioned power drill and hammer, as well as a <a rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank">stud finder</a> (Rubbermaid says to install the units into studs for added support), a <a rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank">level</a>, and a tape measure. The system came with instructions that we could actually follow, and although it is by no means custom, the fact that it can adapt to fit between four to eight feet of wall space did allow for us to tweak our setup to suit our needs.</p> <p id="AFrMar">What we ended up with can best be described as a walk-in closet — and yes, while it is a walk-in closet we also sleep in, the room in no way feels like those common New York City real-estate tropes of <a >a closet-sized bedroom</a> or a bedroom that’s actually a closet. Hung from the wall, the <a >shelves</a> protrude far enough to be easily accessed while still allowing for room to move between “closet” and bed or other areas of the room. There is enough space, in fact, that we were able to further customize our setup with a <a >wooden ladder</a> we found on the street (years ago), which now leans against one of the shelves. More importantly, the closet organizers provide space enough for all of the <a >clothes</a> we wear day in and day out, <em>all</em> of our <a >coats</a> (including many heavier winter ones), and for seasonal things like sweaters and shorts. (We still have a few rarely worn things stored <a >under the bed</a>, but who doesn’t?) Even with the shelves and racks fully filled with our belongings, the room still somehow feels lighter, airier than it would with a dresser or armoire. Four years (and a lot of new clothes and coats) later, not a single screw has come loose. Truly, there is only one downfall we’ve found with this open-storage system: Seeing all of our options doesn’t really make choosing what to wear every day any easier.</p> Anthony Rotunno 2020-03-20T12:00:00-04:00 2020-03-20T12:00:00-04:00 Treehouse-like contemporary asks $5.2M <img alt="An outside view of a glass and timber contemporary house. " src="" /> <small>Photos by Andrew O’Neill, Clarity Northwest</small> <p>The home is designed around seven old-growth Douglas fir trees</p> <p id="DUjA5c">There’s something truly peaceful about a home tucked into the trees, and <a >this five-bedroom, five-bath beauty</a> in Beaux Arts, Washington, proves the point. The 5,565-square-foot house in the suburbs of Seattle was designed and built in 2014 by Jim Cutler of <a >Cutler Anderson Architects</a>.</p> <div class="c-float-right"><div id="xbjclD"><div data-anthem-component="aside:2265443"></div></div></div> <p id="qR9Qjx">The design sought to avoid cutting down the site’s seven old-growth Douglas fir trees, so the treehouse-like home was constructed around them. The open-concept floorplan is anchored by a central courtyard with a wide-open gathering space that offers views of the largest tree. Two different wings stem from the heart of the home: a gathering space with tall ceilings, exposed beams, and an inside/outside wall of vertical-lift glass doors that open onto the south-facing courtyard. </p> <p id="ZvUaPx">Nature is the theme in the bedrooms, too, where large panels of glass look out onto carefully landscaped gardens and—of course—more trees. Other perks include a media room, office, and an outdoor fire pit. Love what you see? <a >2737 107th Avenue Southeast is on the market now for $5,180,000</a>. </p> <figure class="e-image"> <img alt="A large tree sits next to a contemporary house made of glass and timber. " data-mask-text="false" src=""> <figcaption>One of seven old-growth Douglas fir trees preserved during construction. </figcaption> </figure> <figure class="e-image"> <img alt="A living room with white couches, tall ceilings, and views of the courtyard. " data-mask-text="false" src=""> <figcaption>The open-concept living room has tall ceilings and exposed beams.</figcaption> </figure> <figure class="e-image"> <img alt="A kitchen area with wood cabinets, dark counters, and views to living room. " data-mask-text="false" src=""> <figcaption>The kitchen blends seamlessly into the main living areas. </figcaption> </figure> <figure class="e-image"> <img alt="A family room has timber ceilings, glass walls, and white couches. " data-mask-text="false" src=""> <figcaption>A family room is surrounded by glass walls. </figcaption> </figure> <figure class="e-image"> <img alt="A bedroom has a wall of glass, beamed ceilings, and neutral bedding. " data-mask-text="false" src=""> <figcaption>One of five bedrooms in the home also looks out onto old growth trees. </figcaption> </figure> <figure class="e-image"> <img alt="An office with wooden desks, long shelves, and views to the garden. " data-mask-text="false" src=""> <figcaption>The office has built-in desks and extensive shelving. </figcaption> </figure> Megan Barber 2020-03-20T11:00:00-04:00 2020-03-20T11:00:00-04:00 This pink concrete home is an affordable housing prototype <img alt="Man standing atop pink concrete house" src="" /> <small>Rafael Gamo</small> <p>The design is part of a larger exploration of attractive homes for middle- and low-income families </p> <p id="CMjAMw">On a nine-acre plot of land in Apan, Mexico, about two hours east of Mexico City, architects have been busy exploring the future of affordable housing. Run by Mexico’s Institute of the National Housing Fund for Workers, also known as <a >Infonavit</a>, the Housing Laboratory is an incubator for new ideas around how to build housing that’s not just affordable for middle- and low-income families, but also attractive too.</p> <p id="rovdCA">The site is home to some 32 prototypes, and the most recent among them is a clean-lined concrete house coated in blush pink. Mexico City studio <a >PPAA</a> designed the prototype with Zaragoza, a city located near the Mexico-U.S. border, in mind. </p> <figure class="e-image"> <img alt="Human walking up a set of plywood stairs" data-mask-text="false" src=""> <cite>Rafael Gamo</cite> </figure> <p id="oaS40n">“The inhabitants of this locality present a strong aspiration to the American way of life that is reflected in the buildings of the localities,” the studio <a >said</a>.</p> <p id="50vaDm">The house is built from square modules that can be expanded and rearranged depending on the desired layout. In the prototype model, the 624-square-foot home is arranged into a T-shape with the public areas and one bedroom on the ground floor. The other bedroom and a rooftop terrace are reached by a plywood staircase that also happens to provide a pop of warmth in the white-walled, concrete-floored interior. </p> <figure class="e-image"> <img alt="A bright living area with a dining table, blue sofa, and large windows. " data-mask-text="false" src=""> <cite>Rafael Gamo</cite> </figure> <figure class="e-image"> <img alt="Two dusty pink blocky volumes forming a house. " data-mask-text="false" src=""> <cite>Rafael Gamo</cite> </figure> <aside id="4tUQCW"><div data-anthem-component="newsletter" data-anthem-component-data='{"slug":"curbed_national"}'></div></aside> Liz Stinson 2020-03-20T09:40:12-04:00 2020-03-20T09:40:12-04:00 Moody Japanese house keeps things simple <img alt="Living room with slanted and exposed timber ceiling beams." src="" /> <small>Apollo Architects and Associates</small> <p>Bunker-like on the outside, airy on the inside</p> <p id="HYKESf">Japanese firm <a >Apollo Architects and Associates</a> has a style. Its homes tend to be <a href="">compact and bunker-like</a> from the outside, but <a href="">spacious and light</a> on the inside. The studio’s latest design is no exception. </p> <p id="iDqVo0">The Leaf House sits on a quiet street in Tokyo, where its facade is clad in steel and semi-opaque mirrored glass. Inside those moody walls is a quiet courtyard punctuated by another of the firm’s trademark moves: a single blooming tree.</p> <div><div class="c-image-grid"> <div class="c-image-grid__item"> <figure class="e-image"> <img alt="Single tree in courtyard" data-mask-text="false" src=""> <cite>Apollo Architects and Associates</cite> </figure> </div> <div class="c-image-grid__item"> <figure class="e-image"> <img alt="Courtyard with exposed wooden rafters" data-mask-text="false" src=""> <cite>Apollo Architects and Associates</cite> </figure> </div> </div></div> <p id="lZM7UR">The house centers around this courtyard, which is covered by exposed wooden rafters intended to evoke the veins of a leaf. All of the rooms face toward the courtyard with expansive walls of glass, making the single planted tree the center of attention.</p> <p id="VWFhX4">The bedrooms occupy the bottom floor, where their sliding doors open to the courtyard. The top level is home to the kitchen, dining room, and living room. The design plays with light and dark, inside and outside—dark wood floors and gray walls are soaked in sunlight from the windows, while the same light-colored wooden rafters from the courtyard line the ceilings.</p> <figure class="e-image"> <img alt="Bedroom door facing courtyard with tree." data-mask-text="false" src=""> <cite>Apollo Architects and Associates</cite> </figure> <figure class="e-image"> <img alt="Front of house with no windows." data-mask-text="false" src=""> <cite>Apollo Architects and Associates</cite> </figure> <aside id="LpGpFN"><div data-anthem-component="newsletter" data-anthem-component-data='{"slug":"curbed_national"}'></div></aside><p id="cwePOw"></p> <p id="wbPB5n"></p> Liz Stinson 2020-03-19T21:45:00-04:00 2020-03-19T21:45:00-04:00 Why I didn’t wait for my city to order me to stay home <img alt="A street of ornate apartments with the tracks of iconic cable cars down the center is seen mostly empty in San Francisco, California on March 17." src="" /> <small>All 40 million residents of California have been ordered to stay home by Gov. Gavin Newsom. | Photo by JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images</small> <p>The choices we make to stop the spread of coronavirus today will help those closest to us tomorrow</p> <p id="Sb8Vef">This week, for the first time, Los Angeles County’s health department started releasing the number of COVID-19 cases <a >by location</a>. The places were familiar. Where I lived. Where I worked. Where my children went to school. Threaded by the public transit I rode. Seeing the numbers alongside the neighborhood names, it was suddenly clear that the novel coronavirus sweeping the globe has likely been just down the block for some time.</p> <div class="c-float-right"><div id="ZbFnd9"><div data-anthem-component="aside:9173490"></div></div></div> <p id="K54bGX">The federal government has issued a <a >15-day plan</a> for the country to stop the spread of COVID-19, based on the newest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s <a >social distancing guidelines</a>: don’t go to work or school if possible, limit gatherings to 10 people, and avoid bars, restaurants, and shopping centers. In other words: stick close to home.</p> <p id="WKmf74">This <a >incredible visualization</a> by Harry Stevens at the <em>Washington Post </em>helps to explain why the next two weeks are so critical. Just watching the <a >simulations</a>—each dot is a person, and the interactions are randomized every time it plays—it’s clear that social distancing only really works when enough people eliminate all contact with every other person around them.</p> <p id="fQxK4e">In South Korea, consider that one infected person—a single person!—<a >may have infected a cluster of 1,000 people</a> by participating in seemingly innocent activities like going out to lunch and attending a church service.</p> <p id="GgMa9I">With so many asymptomatic carriers and so little testing, at this point, we all have to assume that we are that one infected person in South Korea, and behave accordingly.</p> <p id="4trnQe">Yet those calls to <a >#FlattenTheCurve</a> don’t seem to be resonating with some people who have chosen to treat this national emergency like an <a >extended spring break</a> or a <a >late-season snow day</a>.</p> <div class="c-float-right c-float-hang"><aside id="AlOBEB"><div data-anthem-component="readmore" data-anthem-component-data='{"stories":[{"title":"In a disaster that calls for isolation, your community will help you survive","url":""},{"title":"Coronavirus could be deadly for the U.S. homeless population. Are cities doing enough?","url":""},{"title":"Design in the age of pandemics","url":""},{"title":"Cities suspend evictions as coronavirus spreads ","url":""},{"title":"What the 1918 pandemic can teach cities about public spaces today","url":""}]}'></div></aside></div> <p id="a9n4De">Because there isn’t a whole lot of specific information provided about what you can and should actually do, the lack of urgency is understandable. Even <a >six experts interviewed about the ethics of social distancing</a> could not agree if certain activities should be avoided for those of us trying to stop the spread of COVID-19.</p> <p id="BWFtvJ">That’s why our family went one step further. Earlier this week, we started following the <a >shelter-in-place order</a> that the city of San Francisco <a >put out</a>, along with five other Bay Area counties. The mandatory order <a >very clearly spells out</a> what is allowed and what is not, listing specific instances in which you might leave your home. (Going for walks or bike rides is okay, as long as it’s with the people you’re isolating with and you stay six feet away from others.)</p> <p id="iptBzr">My own gut-check has become this: If it feels “normal” to you, it’s probably risky to others.</p> <p id="bRVZST">This was an excruciatingly difficult decision for me to arrive at, but I couldn’t figure out why until I read Tom Kludt’s story about “<a >9/11 brain</a>.” In the face of a national emergency, many Americans, including myself, get this idea that we can spend our way out of a crisis. As the economy reeled in the days after the September 11, 2001, leaders insisted the country was open for business and only we, the consumers, could save it.</p> <p id="F8PPlp">I’ll be honest here. Even though I had spent weeks <a href="">thinking about how to prepare my family and community for coronavirus</a>, spreading my money around to local businesses was my first instinct, too. And the only real way I knew to do that was by eating and drinking at places. How else to support our neighborhood?</p> <p id="Wz5Dju">There are a few things you can do, of course, if you want to lend immediate financial support to your neighbors. The first is look at your calendar. Were you planning to go to shows or events that have been canceled? You can make donations to artists or nonprofits. Do you normally stop by the same coffee shop or cafe? You can buy gift cards that you can redeem later. But stay home.</p> <p id="o0UBnE">You might also spend your time taking action that will help people who do not have the privilege to stay home. Cities are taking bold action to stop the spread of COVID-19 by limiting social interaction, but that must be backed by equally bold actions to pass <a href="">eviction moratoriums</a>, offer <a >paid sick and family leave</a>, <a >support small businesses</a>, establish relief centers to <a >dispatch meals and services</a>, build a <a >safety net</a> for the <a >restaurant industry</a>, and house a <a href="">half-million unsheltered Americans</a>. Hold your elected officials accountable—but stay home.</p> <div class="c-float-right"><aside id="JWCVY3"><q>It’s not just staying home—it’s about making choices that enable other people around you to stay home.</q></aside></div> <p id="YSUiX6">In the epic scope of this particular disaster, as Jon Mooallem writes in an <a >exquisitely beautiful piece in the <em>New York Times</em></a>, staying home might feel crushingly inadequate, but it is literally the most heroic thing we can do. “We can’t afford to feel that canceling a school band concert, or suspending a basketball season, is a withering retreat; we must see them as parts of an empowered, collaborative undertaking,” he writes. “We are coming together to keep our distance.”</p> <p id="If4s22">It’s not just staying home—it’s about making choices that enable other people around you to stay home. The best way you can help retail employees is to stay home. The best way you can help health care professionals is to stay home. The best way you can help unhoused residents is to stay home. The best way you can help elderly neighbors is to stay home. The best way you can help essential city workers is to stay home. Until the end of March, and likely most of April, we need to worry less about each other’s economic livelihood and more about each other’s lives.</p> <p id="BuwQbI">That means thinking really hard about decisions like getting items delivered to your house, for example, because it means someone else has to leave their house to get to yours. Amazon has made this a little easier for everyone by <a >limiting what it will deliver</a> until April. When I make a choice about what I want to buy online or for local delivery, I think about those tiny gray dots bouncing around like ping pong balls in the <a ><em>Washington Post</em> simulation</a>. The fewer ping pong balls put in motion by my actions, the better for everyone. </p> <p id="ESXAvq">As someone who writes about trying to stop climate change, I’ve had it drilled into my head that <a >my individual actions will not matter</a>. How we will actually have to <a >elect better leaders</a>, or <a >litigate polluting corporations out of existence</a>, in order to eliminate the use of fossil fuels at the scale needed to create change.</p> <p id="hGMlfn">But that’s not how it works when halting the spread of an infectious disease. With coronavirus, it’s <a >all on the individual</a>. And we will start to see results immediately. </p> <div id="hQhMMM"> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">How you can help break the chain of transmission: “Every time each of us stops, or even just delays, an infection is a small victory.” <a ></a> <a ></a></p>— The New York Times (@nytimes) <a >March 19, 2020</a> </blockquote> <script async="" src="" charset="utf-8"></script> </div> <p id="JugnCw">“This is an absolutely critical moment in our city’s history,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who, by Thursday night, had <a >issued a similar shelter-in-place order</a>, along with the <a >entire state of California</a>. “We are all first responders. This isn’t just someone else’s responsibility, but it is the responsibility of each one of us. Your actions matter, and they can and will save lives.”</p> <p id="DlX5Fo">That’s the truly phenomenal reward of staying home. Not only do your personal actions matter, but they will matter the most in your neighborhood. They will make a difference for all those places that you used to go every day that you are no longer going. They will not only protect lives, but they’ll protect the lives of the people who are nearest to you—your friends, your coworkers, your bus driver, your barista. Your parents. Your grandparents.</p> <p id="rXVR2d">Despite the declaration of a global pandemic, the response to the novel coronavirus is local. There are places like <a >Singapore</a>—which has seen no deaths—where we can see <a >just how well social distancing works</a>. There are even <a >specific cities within Italy</a> which have managed to flatten their curves, despite the odds. By the end of March—and possibly sooner—we will be able to tell if our efforts are paying off.</p> <p id="tdrla3">Among the many online pleas to stay home, some of them providing <a >much-needed levity</a> in this life and death situation, I found myself drawn to the argument made by the authors of the #<a >StopTheSpread</a> pledge. “Current data suggests that COVID-19 is spread to at least two additional people by each impacted individual,” it reads. “We need our bold collective action to spread faster than this virus. Share this with at least three people in your community.”</p> <p id="nL0gko">The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, which I can almost see as a giant numeral <a >hovering over our neighborhood now</a>, is almost certainly much higher than has been documented. Tomorrow, it will grow. I will get more worried, and I will want to do more to help. But for my family of four, staying home is providing the most exponential benefits to our community today.</p> <aside id="t3uGr9"><div data-anthem-component="newsletter" data-anthem-component-data='{"slug":"curbed_national"}'></div></aside><p id="c55mB4"></p> Alissa Walker 2020-03-19T13:39:25-04:00 2020-03-19T13:39:25-04:00 As coronavirus slows real estate market, agents seek support from Congress <img alt="A for sale sign stands in the yard of a large suburban home. " src="" /> <small>Compass founder and CEO Robert Reffkin sent a letter to Congressional leadership asking for specific consideration for real estate agents in any bailout package related to the coronavirus crisis. | Shutterstock</small> <p>Social distancing means “when they can’t show a property, they can’t earn a living”</p> <p id="XfKzlb">Leaders of the real estate industry are asking the federal government to help them weather the market slowdown caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic. </p> <p id="tHjii2">On March 18, Compass founder and CEO Robert Reffkin sent a letter to Congressional leadership asking for specific consideration for real estate agents and other independent contractors in any coronavirus relief package. Reffkin, head of the Softbank-backed real estate firm, wrote that the roughly 2 million real estate agents in the United States, according to National Association of Realtors figures, make a gross median income of approximately $41,800 a year before taxes, and have seen business severely contract amid shelter-in-place policies and social distancing. </p> <p id="ooSMsx">“When they can’t show a property, they can’t earn a living,” he says.</p> <p id="I0iT1j">The letter claims that this industry is uniquely damaged by the economic fallout from this pandemic, and highlights how both the pandemic itself and a general slowdown in activity will likely impact homesellers and homebuyers for the foreseeable future. The industry is older, with 63 percent of agents over 50 years of age. The incentive structure of real estate sales also presents a challenge; agents will only earn commission after a sale. That means that even after the economy begins to resume normal operations once social distancing measures are deemed no longer necessary, agents will have to wait to make a sale before earning anything, extending their period of operating without an income. </p> <p id="74JaDJ">Waiting until the market stabilizes, and for regular sales activity to return, could take extensive time, he adds. </p> <p id="gBmXyx">Other Realtors and members of the real estate industry echo Reffkin’s concerns. On Wednesday, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) noted that they had reached out to lawmakers about stimulus options. </p> <p id="zbl2WT">“A stimulus measure is also in the works that could bring targeted relief to the economy, to certain industries, and to the American people,” wrote Shannon McGahn, senior vice president of government affairs at NAR, in a letter to members. “We are in constant contact with Congressional leaders in support of our 1.4 million members.”</p> <p id="cAxzZE">Today, the association released a survey that found <a >48 percent of agents agreeing that homebuying interest had declined</a> due to the new coronavirus.</p> <p id="TkQWCf">In Sacramento, Ryan Lundquist, a sole-proprietor and certified residential appraiser, says his income is taking a hit. He’s canceled all of his appraisal inspections this week, and feels uncertain about the weeks and months ahead. He says he’ll have to adapt. </p> <p id="Cfvm7a">“For now I’m not willing to physically meet people in their homes, though, as I’m taking social distancing very seriously,” he says. “If my community goes on lockdown, like some surrounding areas, than I’ll have no choice in the matter too. For now it’s been my choice to have my business do social distancing as it seems wise and best for the sake of the public. There is absolutely a cost here for my income, but hopefully it’s a very temporary thing.”</p> <p id="RfcUql">In New York City, Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of real estate consulting and appraisal firm Miller Samuel, has also slowly restricted the actions of his employees as the novel coronavirus threat has escalated and community guidelines have changed. Last week, appraisers were calling ahead to make sure nobody in the house was infected or showing symptoms before coming. As of this past Monday, his agents aren’t doing inspections. </p> <p id="QMbapI">He says that even with the rate cuts, the industry is grinding to a halt. Without the in-person appraisals and inspections many banks still require for financing, it’s difficult to sell. Homeowners are questioning whether they want a few dozen strangers walking through their home during an open house. Some real estate groups, such as the New York Residential Agent Continuum (NYRAC), have even asked the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to suspend the days-on-market data on listings to reflect what’s happening due to the new coronavirus. The rate cut by the Fed has “fallen on deaf ears,” he says, because no parts of the real estate industry can handle the extra capacity.</p> <p id="jNvm27">Miller strongly agrees that independent contractors, and specifically Realtors, need more assistance. </p> <p id="MKnkwS">“In many ways, Realtors are part of the original gig economy. They’re independent contractors used to feast and famine,” he says. “My assumption is that Washington is looking at giving everybody $1,000 twice. That’ll help, but for Realtors, the lost commissions are 100 percent of their income. They have the potential to make zero dollars for months.”</p> <aside id="JU22zL"><div data-anthem-component="newsletter" data-anthem-component-data='{"slug":"curbed_national"}'></div></aside><p id="QpEj6q"> </p> <p id="wiJr3l"></p> <p id="QTPGJa"></p> <p id="To2yLv"> </p> <p id="AO1yFy"> </p> Patrick Sisson 三级女友-美女被操免费视频