Oregon Congressman Takes on Federal Housing Policy

U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) offers perspective on the U.S. housing crisis, the scale and complexity of which he argues demands affirmative federal action.

1 minute read

November 19, 2019, 11:00 AM PST

By Clare Letmon

Rep. Earl Blumanauer

U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr

In a recent report, "Locked Out: Reversing Federal Housing Failures & Unlocking Opportunity," Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) documented both the federal government's historic role in providing housing for some, most often at the expense of communities of color, as well as the current grab bag of "upside-down" incentives that make up today’s federal housing policy. 

In this exclusive interview with The Planning Report, Rep. Blumenauer—who was a leader in effectuating Oregon’s groundbreaking land use laws and who has been deemed by his colleagues, "Congress’ chief spokesperson for Livable Communities"—offers his Congressional perspective on the nation’s housing crisis, the scale and complexity of which he argues demands affirmative federal action:

"The federal government does invest lots of money on housing, but it flows primarily to people who need it the least. They’re involved with things like healthcare, but these are after the fact. If we have a comprehensive approach—for a federal partnership with the state, local, and private sectors—we’ll get more value and do it faster."

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