Next Housing: Think Strategic 2025

Approaching 2025 with a Plan

Six Steps was created three years ago as a sounding board for emerging national housing policies that can address (maybe even prevent) the next housing crisis. Recalling the 2008 and 2020 housing-based recessions, Six Steps seeks to avoid the "more of the same" responses to the next crisis. Because RHINO's subscribers are mostly local (metro, rural, statewide) advocates, Six Steps focuses on national policies that can be managed locally or local policies that can be models for national adoption. Apologies for cross posting. 

Independence Day thoughts

What if Trump wins and transformational housing policy change is off the table for 4 more years. In that case build the transformative policy platform on a strong tenant base.

It may be that Trump wins and there's another housing-driven recession. Have some emergency programs queued up to propose and promote. For example: in the 2020 recession, advocates could have proposed a Universal Voucher Program instead of mucking around with moratoriums and landlord rental assistance.

If Trump wins, don't move to New Zealand. 

If Trump wins, use crisis as a springboard for transformational change. 

If Trump wins, avoid small ball. Fighting over crumbs is a silly waste of time unless the crumbs are existential. 

When Change is in the air, open all the windows

April 11, 2024. NYT. 2024, Meet 1892, Your Doppelgänger. "But as we are seeing again, it is possible for an election to make the public simultaneously fighting mad and bored to tears. The repeated, deadening matchups of Cleveland and Harrison in 1888 and 1892 did just that. They may be the best parallel for what is coming with a second Biden-Trump race. There are other rematches in American presidential history, but 1892 was the only time a sitting president who had lost re-election ran four years later against his vanquisher and won. That weird race has a message for all those planning to hit snooze on the coming campaign: Great political change can unfold when the system seems woefully stalled."  footnote: by the  time you get the Kaisch memo, influencing the change is harder.

Roman Krznaric writes: "Here it is useful to make a distinction between optimism and hope. We can think of optimism as a glass-half-full attitude that everything will be fine despite the evidence. I’m far from optimistic. [   ] On the other hand, I am a believer in radical hope, by which I mean recognising that the chances of success may be slim but still being driven to act by the values and vision you are rooted in. Time and again, humankind has risen up collectively, often against the odds, to tackle shared problems and overcome crises. The challenge we face as a civilisation is to draw on history for tomorrow, and turn radical hope into action."

Background. Policy areas

After high hopes for a progressive Congress were washed up on the beach of Lake SineManchin, all kinds of housing "planners" have shifted their attention to tinkering with the current housing programs. For housing advocates who 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." 

Except for "emergency interventions, the Administration Congress missed the opportunity presented by the Pandemic Recession. Biden's latest policy statement hands the keys housing policy reform to the same crowd that "masterminded" the last two housing recoveries from the 2008 and 2020: the Federal Reserve, Fannie and Freddie, and the homebuilders. RHINO calls them the FIRED lobby: Finance, Investor, Real Estate and Developers.

Housing advocates' next bite at the housing policy apple won't come before 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.

What are the 6 policies that can transform housing?

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.

Green New Deal for Assisted Housing-- Count RHINO among the skeptics, but times change. After WW2, public (social) housing became a haven for African American households and then quickly became stigmatized, paternalistic, and neglected. However GNDPH can shake off that stigma from public (social) housing and become a test bed for 21st century housing innovations.

New Homeownership Models: End of the American Dream? Tenant Opportunity to Purchase. Just cause (no cut) lease provisions. Shared Equity. Coops. Land Trusts.

Local initiatives. Zoning, density, occupancy codes alt-homes, This is a two-step step

Local energy conservation: Ending the fossil fuel housing economy--electricity is the fuel of the future for housing and Building on opportunities created by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

New Federal Housing Finance System. The Feds management of consumer inflation has proved disastrous for the housing market. Now that Fannie and Freddie are wards of the State...they can become tools for managing the housing market.

Is New Housing Technology a 7th Step?