Housing Policy

Photo credit:  Unknown, Creative Commons Zero. 


housing policy

These resources explore moral and ethical problems in economics, especially American housing policies, held up against God’s creation order and God’s vision for relationships between human beings, and also between human beings and the created world. Housing policies in the U.S. were and are designed to promote racial separateness, and to develop intergenerational wealth for at least some white Americans; see the Race and Housing page under the section on Racism for more.

Messages and Essays on Housing Policy

Sangwon Yang and Mako Nagasawa, The Myth of Meritocracy in Housing, Part 1 (blog, Nov 3, 2018)

Sangwon Yang and Mako Nagasawa, The Myth of Meritocracy in Housing, Part 2 (blog, Nov 5, 2018) and subsequent posts which highlight the impact of racially segregated housing patterns on public schooling and policing

Books and Articles on Housing Policy

Wikipedia, Housing First (Wikipedia article)

Christopher Silver, The Racial Origins of Zoning in American Cities (pdf file, 1997) from the early 1900's

Janine DeFao, Oakland Tenants Get Big Settlement / Decrepit Apartments to Be Fixed Up (San Francisco Gate, Oct 17, 2000) and Judith Scherr, Tenants Win Big Fraud Case Against Landlord (East Bay Express, Mar 2, 2011)

Dorothy Brown, How Home Ownership Keeps Blacks Poorer Than Whites (Forbes, Dec 10, 2012)

Deborah Siegel, Reducing Homelessness With the Housing First Model — Does It Work? (Social Work Today, Vol 17, No 5, p.18)

Eamonn Fingleton, In World's Best-Run Economy, House Prices Keep Falling -- Because That's What House Prices Are Supposed To Do (Forbes, Feb 2, 2014) Germany a helpful counterexample; although more recently, Patrick Collinson, Berlin Tops the World as City with the Fastest Rising Property Prices (The Guardian, Apr 10, 2018)

Kenneth Rapoza, These Are The Foreigners Buying Up American Real Estate (Forbes, Jul 10, 2014) “Foreign purchases jumped to 35% last year, and Chinese customers led the way with $22 billion out of the $92.2 billion total spent by foreign buyers”

Fredrick Kunkle, “Housing First” Approach Works for Homeless, Study Says (Washington Post, Mar 4, 2015)

Kelly McEvers, Utah Reduced Chronic Homelessness By 91 Percent; Here's How (NPR, Dec 10, 2015) "Housing First"

Pam Fessler, Which U.S. Cities Face Challenges In Reducing Homeless Population (NPR, Dec 11, 2015) cities addressing homelessness, some cities continue criminalizing it

Daniel Poremski,, Effects of Housing First on Employment and Income of Homeless Individuals: Results of a Randomized Trial (Journal of Psychiatric Services, 2016)

Diana Olick, Foreigners Snap Up Record Number of US Homes (CNBC, Jul 18, 2017) In 2017, even despite a strong dollar, foreigners bought real estate in the U.S. at record levels:  $153 billion of real estate, an increase of 49% over the previous year.

Noah Smith, Ben Carson and HUD Get Ready to Take On the Nimbys (Bloomberg, Sep 12, 2018) proposal to roll back "not in my backyard" zoning rules to allow more housing development

Editor, How New Orleans Reduced Its Homeless Population By 90 Percent (NPR, Feb 19, 2019)

John Iadarola, Which Democrat Has The Best Housing Policy? (The Damage Report, Feb 26, 2019) re: Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker

Matt Levin, Data Dig: Are Foreign Investors Driving Up Real Estate in Your California Neighborhood? (CALMatters, Mar 7, 2018) “Back in 2006, about 10 percent of California single-family homes were purchased in all-cash transactions, according to the real estate data firm ATTOM Data Solutions. A decade later, it’s nearly 25 percent.” An indication of foreign buyers. 

John Horvat, Real Families Don’t Need Government Programs (The Imaginative Conservative, Mar 24, 2019) ironic for all the overlooking of real history of government supporting white families

Farhad Manjoo, America’s Cities Are Unlivable. Blame Wealthy Liberals (NY Times, May 22, 2019) re: California politics, single occupancy zoning laws, and resistance to change

Michael Hobbes, Why America Can’t Solve Homelessness (Huffington Post, May 19, 2019)

David Brooks, The Welfare State Is Broken. Here’s How to Fix It. (NY Times, May 27, 2019) “A social entrepreneur in Britain shows the way.” The most telling issue was housing: “Ella and the team worked together to stabilize her most immediate issue — negotiating away eviction notices.” This demonstrates that the Housing First approach - a different housing policy where we view housing as part of a human rights fabric - is required to “fix” the welfare system without throwing people into homelessness.  But do Brooks and other conservatives have the heart, mind, and stomach to undo the racial and class prejudice built into the U.S. housing market?

Ana Kasparian, Wealthy Investors Playing the Victim in the Housing Crisis (The Young Turks, Jun 3, 2019) examines Los Angeles and points out how the manipulation of zoning laws favors high end housing development, which is in decline, while low income and homeless people struggle

Laurel Wamsley, Oregon Legislature Votes To Essentially Ban Single-Family Zoning (NPR, Jul 1, 2019) and Michael Andersen, Maps: Portland’s 1924 Rezone Legacy is ‘A Century of Exclusion’ (Sightline Institute, May 25, 2018) for background

David Doel, American Housing Turns Dystopian (The Rational National, Jul 8, 2019) compares CA bunk beds in SF for $1200 to social housing in Austria and other parts of Europe; see Adam Forrest, Vienna’s Affordable Housing Paradise (Huffington Post, Jul 19, 2018)

Erick Trickey, How Minneapolis Freed Itself From the Stranglehold of Single-Family Homes (Politico, Jul 11, 2019) “Desperate to build more housing, the city just rewrote its decades-old zoning rules.”

Dylan Matthews, America Has a Housing Segregation Problem. Seattle May Just Have the Solution. (Vox, Aug 4, 2019) providing information about schools, assistance to fill out applications, and information about additional financial assistance

Ed O’Loughlin, Housing Crisis Grips Ireland a Decade After Property Bubble Burst (NY Times, Aug 8, 2019) “Dublin has become one of the world’s most expensive places to rent, ahead of Tokyo, Sydney and Singapore” largely due to foreign capital investors and land hoarding by investors

Timothy Egan, The Great Western Public Land Robbery (NY Times, Aug 16, 2019) “Trump’s pick to be the steward of America’s public lands doesn’t believe in public lands”

Brian Goldstone, The New American Homeless (The New Republic, Aug 21, 2019) “Housing insecurity in the nation’s richest cities is far worse than government statistics claim.” Discusses the wide range of housing discrimination faced by minorities.

Christian restorative justice, business, and economics: Topics

Christian restorative justice critique of the right: domestic policy topics

Christian restorative justice critique of the right: philosophical influences