New Approach Needed for Building Affordable Housing

The rising interest in urban living has meant a growing shortage of affordable housing in cities across the country. Roger Lewis proposes a new approach to help solve the crisis: building workforce housing funded by the public sector.

When the federal government stopped building "public housing" in the 1970s, it tried a different approach aimed at subsidizing the construction of units at below-market rents by the private sector. "[O]ver the past four decades," says Lewis, "these strategies have failed to meet rapidly growing housing needs."

"Let’s rethink how to create new affordable housing, for which demand is growing while supply is shrinking," he argues. "It’s time once again to consider building workforce housing sponsored and funded directly by the public sector."

"We should take a cue from Europe, where countries such as Denmark and Austria build 'social housing.' Social housing is public housing, but only in the sense that it is government-financed. European social housing is subsidized yet serves middle-class as well as low-income households, thereby avoiding many of the socioeconomic issues associated with America’s public housing."

Full Story: Let’s go from ‘public housing’ to ‘social housing’

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!
T-shirt with map of Chicago

Show your city pride

Men's Ultrasoft CityFabric© tees. Six cities available.
$23.00
Book cover of Where Things Are from Near to Far

Where Things Are From Near to Far

This engaging children's book about planning illustrates that "every building has its place."
$19.95