NYT: Only Washington Can Solve the Nation's Housing Crisis
The federal government once promised to provide homes for every American. What happened?
By Lizabeth Cohen
Dr. Cohen is the author of the forthcoming “Saving America's Cities: Ed Logue and the Struggle to Renew Urban America in the Suburban Age.”
July 10, 2019
In recent months America's affordable housing crisis, a long-simmering issue for people of low and moderate incomes, has burst onto the front page. Rents are rising much faster than income, while the median home price in some 200 cities is $1 million. After a decade of decline, the number of homeless Americans is ticking back up.
The private market is clearly failing. Although many city and state governments are motivated to take action, they have limited tools at their disposal, and few of them equal to the task. The Department of Housing and Urban Development, at least under its current leadership, is hardly stepping up.
Indeed the very idea of a federal commitment to affordable housing seems unrealistic today. And yet not long ago, America made just such a promise: the Housing Act of 1949, which, in the optimism of the immediate postwar moment, vowed to provide “a decent home and a suitable living condition for every American family.” We need that same bold national vision today.
Courtesy of The New York Times