This guide profiles a series of policy and programmatic interventions that advance housing justice, as defined in Building a Housing Justice Framework: “Ensuring everyone has affordable housing that promotes health, well-being, and upward mobility by confronting historical and ongoing harms and disparities caused by structural racism and other systems of oppression.”
In this guide, you’ll find actionable examples of housing justice interventions across the following policy domains (listed in the navigation panel to the left):
- Increasing housing supply
- Ending and preventing homelessness
- Household and community protections
- Community power-building
- Opportunity and wealth
In addition to describing the interventions and providing examples, we highlight each policy domain’s alignment with the eight housing justice principles outlined in our framework:
More than a commodity, housing is a basic need that should be guaranteed for individuals and families, especially those who have experienced discrimination in the housing market for far too long because of racist, classist, and sexist systems of oppression.
People closest to the problem of housing insecurity have expertise central to identifying and implementing solutions.
We must create reparative policies that account for the ongoing harm caused by past racist policies, including those related to land use, housing, and the criminal legal system.
No one should be poor due to their housing status, and housing stability should create economic opportunity.
Housing must be integrated into the community and be accessible for all people, especially people with visible or invisible disabilities.
Housing can be a platform for generational stability, opportunity, and upward mobility that should be available to everyone. Reparative measures must be taken to address harm stemming from racialized housing inequities that prevent self-determination.
Residents should be empowered to choose where and how they live and exercise power and autonomy.
A stable, quality home is vital for health and well-being, provides a sense of belonging, and helps connect people to opportunities to learn and earn.
The interventions highlighted in this guide exemplify housing justice in action and can serve as models for local policymakers and advocates interested in advancing housing justice in their communities. It is important to note that these approaches exist along a continuum of housing justice. In some cases, interventions have the potential to contribute to housing justice but instead are implemented in ways that contribute to or reinforce disparities. Applying these interventions in ways that are consistent with housing justice principles could bring these examples closer to housing justice. In other cases, the interventions represent newer approaches or policies that, if implemented broadly, could be transformative in repairing past harms and achieving housing justice. For additional resources on the meaning and applications of housing justice, see Urban’s Housing Justice Library.
First policy domain: Increasing housing supply