Focusing Housing Policy on Outcomes to Ensure Economic Recovery

Housing policy can ensure a sustainable economic recovery by focusing on five outcomes.

2 minute read

January 20, 2021, 6:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Erin Alexis Randolph / Shutterstock

Planners looking for ways to "build back better," in the words of president-elect Joe Bide, have a suite of housing policy options to choose from.

Elizabeth Champion and Megan Gallagher present a detailed list of five policy outcomes that can contribute to economic stability and mobility in the recovery from the ravages of the pandemic.

"The current housing policy response focuses on two outcomes: supporting housing affordability and stability," according to the article. "Both have crucial implications for all the components of upward mobility but are likely to fall short of fully supporting equitable housing recovery that strengthens future resiliency." To make up for that shortcoming, Champion and Gallagher propose three additional outcomes as a goal for planners and policymakers. Here is how the article lists the five outcomes in total, with much more detail included in the source article:

  1. Housing affordability can promote multiple dimensions of mobility.
  2. Housing stability encourages civic engagement and promotes economic success, power, and belonging.
  3. Housing quality can have long-term effects on a household’s autonomy and economic success.
  4. Housing that builds wealth can offer homeowners a resource for investments in education, health, and other opportunities.
  5. Neighborhood context can influence upward mobility, with some “high-opportunity” neighborhoods offering more advantages.

The long-term recovery will require even more proactive work toward established outcomes, write the duo, "[acknowledging] the full influence of housing on a household’s power and autonomy and sense of being valued in their community as drivers of the household’s upward mobility."

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