The Housing Policy Revolution: Networks and Neighborhoods illuminates how our networked approach to housing policy developed and fundamentally transformed governmental response to public welfare. Through historical political analysis and detailed case studies, the book imparts policy lessons on delivering funding for urban change.
The 1960s model of Washington-based bureaucracies implementing social policy lost support as Ronald Reagan advocated for government retreat and market-led efforts. The housing sector’s unforeseen response was an explosion of growth among nonprofits and activists, local government, and local private-sector initiatives to build affordable housing without federal help. By the late 1980s a new synthesis was emerging, marrying inchoate local efforts with federal tax incentives and block grants that created quasi markets to build low-income housing. From 1987 to 2005 the decentralized housing delivery network nearly doubled the number of federally subsidized homes.
David J. Erickson traces the history of our current policy era, where decentralized federal subsidies (block grants and tax credits) fund a network of for-profit and nonprofit affordable home builders. In addition to government reports and legislative history, he draws upon interviews, industry journals, policy conference proceedings, and mainstream media coverage to incorporate viewpoints from both practitioners and policymakers.