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On the Do's and Don'ts of Housing Policy

Brookings has put together nine rules for more cohesive and effective housing policy, despite federalism's tendency to create near-infinite local variety.
May 11, 2018, 8am PDT | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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Jeramey Lende

In spite of the hoopla around Ben Carson's proposed changes to HUD's mission statement, Jenny Schuetz of Brookings writes, the housing market takes its cues from a highly decentralized array of policy actors. "Only 4 percent of U.S. households (about 5 million low-income families) receive housing subsidies from the federal government. But the availability, quality, cost, and location of housing matters to all Americans."

Schuetz outlines six "do's" and three "don'ts" for housing policy across all levels. They include:

  • Require clearer information about housing transactions
  • Reduce barriers to housing supply at the local level
  • Address discriminatory barriers preventing entry to high-opportunity areas, including carryovers from historical discrimination
  • Don't favor systemic subsidies to some locations more than others
  • Reduce subsidies to homeowners
  • Encourage other wealth-building mechanisms besides real estate ownership
See the article for links to research on all nine recommendations.
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Published on Wednesday, May 2, 2018 in Brookings
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