Seeking repeal of the Faircloth Amendment could be a needless distraction in the new administration's efforts to create more affordable housing, according to an article by Jenny Schuetz for the Brookings Intitution.
In a piece published by the Brookings Institute, Jenny Schuetz argues that recent efforts by housing activists to repeal the Faircloth Amendment—a rule that limits the construction of public housing—are a distraction from the "more tangible obstacles to low-cost housing." Schuetz lists four reasons why public housing isn't the cure-all answer to the current housing crisis and suggests some effective ways to promote affordable housing.
- Local zoning that prohibits multi-family housing won't be affected by a repeal of the Faircloth Amendment. Without addressing zoning issues, public housing will remain segregated in areas with less political power and fewer resources.
- Many public agencies don't have the expertise or resources to manage large construction projects. "Today, nearly all new subsidized housing is built and managed by specialized nonprofit or for-profit developers. So, despite those calls for 'the government' to build more housing, most housing authorities don’t have the capacity or the desire to undertake new construction projects."
- Housing stock needs a long-term commitment to care and maintenance. Absent a long-range plan for funding maintenance and upgrades, public housing will fall into disrepair and place additional burdens on the low-income families who inhabit it.
- Other housing subsidies work better than building new public housing. Because subsidized housing tends to cost more to build than market-rate housing due to the complexity of the process, "increasing funds for housing vouchers or for the acquisition and rehabilitation of existing apartments" and "shoring up the long-term physical and financial viability of existing subsidized properties" would be more cost effective.
Schuetz acknowledges that making housing more affordable should be a priority of the Biden administration, but asserts that advocates should focus on more effective avenues for change than public housing.
Planning for Congestion Relief
The third and final installment of Planetizen's examination of the role of the planning profession in both perpetuating and solving traffic congestion.
Minneapolis Housing Plan a Success—Not for the Reason You Think
Housing advocates praise the city’s move to eliminate single-family zoning by legalizing triplexes on single-family lots, but that isn’t why housing construction is growing.
New White House Housing Initiative Includes Zoning Reform Incentives
The Biden administration this morning released a new program of actions intended to spur housing construction around the United States.
Study: Most of Vancouver Is a ‘15-Minute City’
A large majority of Vancouver residents can access a grocery store in 15 minutes or less by bicycle or on foot.
Urban Design, Transport, and Health
The Lancet medical journal published a series of articles that explore how to evaluate and guide urban planning decisions to create healthy and sustainable cities. Live long and prosper!
Detroit Bike Share Celebrates Five Years
In its five years of operation, Detroit’s MoGo bikeshare has added electric and adaptive bikes to its fleet of more than 600 bikes.
City of Redwood City
City of Rohnert Park
City of Hot Springs
This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.