Seven Ideas for Tackling the Housing Crisis

One expert's take on the housing crisis and which policy solutions might best counter it.

June 2, 2019, 7:00 AM PDT

By Philip Rojc @PhilipRojc

Apartment Construction

Chad Zuber / Shutterstock

Matthew Iglesias interviews Brookings fellow Jenny Schuetz, exploring her recent research into housing stress across the country. Iglesias outlines seven key takeaways. In a nutshell, they are the following:

  • There are two housing crises, not one: a nationwide crisis for low-income households and "another that affects a larger share of households in a minority of markets." That is, expensive urban markets.
  • Housing assistance for low-income families should be an entitlement.
  • Housing assistance shouldn't be wedded to local costs.
  • Expensive urban markets have a supply problem that housing assistance cannot solve.
  • Despite some downtown "construction booms," most urban land is consigned to low-density uses with little to no ongoing construction.
  • The most expensive markets would be the best places for new construction, but that would require intervention from state governments.
  • Federal policymakers need to look beyond HUD funds and use transportation money as a lever instead.

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