Six Steps for Housing 2025


The evolution of Federal Housing Policy: The 5 legged stool: Public Housing, Private subsidized housing. Housing Vouchers. Homeowner assistance. Housing production.

"Why Fewer American Children are living in poverty." This NYT podcast outlines a myriad of ways in which enlightened and accidental anti-poverty programs have made a dramatic difference in the lives of poor families. The one missing piece? Universal Housing Vouchers. Rental housing is the last "free market" commodity. The FIRED industry needs regulation, not just more money, if housing is to become affordable.

Housing Oligarchs need tax dollars! 11/05/2022. Politico. The Fed crashed the housing market. Builders and banks want help. The housing slump is the economy’s biggest casualty so far from a series of Federal Reserve rate hikes designed to tame inflation. Lobbyists are scrambling to get help from Washington to goose the housing market as demand tanks in response to rising interest rates and high prices. Groups representing builders, realtors and lenders are urging Congress and the White House to intervene to spur more home construction and boost affordability. It’s an increasingly urgent plea, with mortgage demand down more than 40 percent from a year ago and rates topping 7 percent for the first time in two decades. This story proves that the dead horse is out of the barn (mixed metaphor intended)! RHINO wonders if subsidizing developers to build more housing makes sense at this point. Without rental subsidies, tenants will still be stuck in unaffordable leases and developers will sell to middle class and investor homebuyers who will benefit from declining mortgage rates. The housing finance system. The Fed's monetary policy is a dull blade that undercuts everyone. FHFA has sharper blades to prevent rent and price inflation. For a more balanced perspective check out Addressing the Affordable Housing Crisis Requires Expanding Rental Assistance and Adding Housing Units

March 15, 2021. Shelterforce. Did the Comprehensive Community Initiatives of the 1990s, early 2000s Bring About Change? "Once a must-have for foundations, Comprehensive Community Initiatives found mixed success.

Six transformative housing policies for 2025

After high hopes for a progressive Congress were washed up on the beach of Lake SineManchin, housing advocates shifted to tinkering with the current housing issues. For those who have lived thru periods of policy stagnation under Presidents Clinton ("school uniforms") and Obama ("the beer summit"), the prospect of another round of "small ball policies seems unproductive. In the arena of "affordable housing," Biden's latest policy statement hands the keys to the same crowd that masterminded the last two housing crises in 2008 and 2020: the Federal Reserve, Fannie and Freddie, and the homebuilders.

Having missed the opportunity presented by the Pandemic Recession, housing advocates' next bite at the housing policy apple won't come until 2025, the year after the next presidential election. To make progress in 2025, advocates need to begin now to lay the foundations for transformative changes in Federal housing policy.

  1. Universal Housing Vouchers-simple to explain, easy to implement, some changes needed but, UHV can transform the chaos of the current Federal housing policies and they can be a lynch pin for other housing policy innovations.

  2. Green New Deal for Public Housing-count me among the skeptics, but times change. Historically public (social) housing became a haven for African American households and quickly became stigmatized, paternalistic, and suffered from disinvestment. GNDPH can shake off that stigma by being the basis for 21st century energy programs.

  3. New Homeownership Models

  • End of the American Dream?

  • Tenant Opportunity to Purchase

  • Just cause (no cut) lease provisions

  1. Local Funding Sources based on bond financing, not tax abatements. Easing Zoning restrictions. What Federal policies can support local initiatives

  1. Local energy regulations

  1. New Federal Housing Finance System

Then, we'll look at ways that advocates, activists and organizers can mobilize today's anger/frustration/guilt into a 2025 strategy that starts now where people live (morally and geographically).

The FIRED industry has control of the media and a 100 year headstart, so change agents need to begin now, before the next opportunity for transformative change slips past us.

We're changing! Demographically, geographically, emotionally. What tactics are necessary to meet the populous in 2025?

  • Stop fighting last year's wars; stop patching broken systems

  • Will we need a crisis to "unfreeze" change space?

  • The power of movements to make change. Movements aren't coalitions, think networks.

  • Roles of advocates, activists, and organizers

  • Give away short term victories to build more equity

  • Who is that mysterious madman?

You can help by sharing your comments, questions and suggestions.