In this series of four papers, we define the housing system broadly, as the set of public and private investments, regulations, and legal and policy frameworks that shape safety, stability, and affordability in housing and diversity, engagement, and cohesion in neighborhoods, towns, cities, and regions. We view systems change as a fundamental shift in how federal, state, and local actors prioritize and pursue the development of affordable housing and inclusive neighborhoods.
Housing as a Safety Net explores housing instability and the shortage of housing affordable for extremely low-income people, and the implications for their long-term economic security. It offers three sets of entry points for reform: strengthening the legal and consumer protection framework for all renters; increasing housing assistance for low-income renters; and transforming the way housing assistance is provided.
Housing as a Platform describes the relationships between housing and neighborhood quality and a range of individual and family outcomes, and the ways the system currently fails to ensure low-income households’ long-term wellbeing.
Housing as a Building Block for Inclusion appraises the significant costs wrought by postwar suburbanization and a singular focus on the owner-occupied detached single-family home. It lays out strategies to create greater diversity and access to opportunity in neighborhoods, cities, and regions, leveraging growing demand for compact, walkable, sustainable cities through broader participation and deeper consensus-building.
Housing as an Asset Class examines the incentives built into rules, regulations, and programs. It outlines a series of potential reforms that would motivate market action among developers and investors, spurring the production and preservation of affordable housing for low- and middle-income households.