Six Steps for Housing 2025

Approaching 2025 with a Plan

Six Steps was created three years ago as a sounding board for national housing policies to address (maybe even prevent) the next housing crisis crisis. Recalling the 2008 and 2020 housing-based recessions, 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. 

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.

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...more

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.

Moving towards Action

After creating a catalogue of transformative policies, RHINO will 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.

The FIRED industry has control of the media and a 100 year PR head start, 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 build the base 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.