PROJECTHousing Justice Hub

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  • Across the US, Black, Indigenous, and Latinx people continue to experience high rates of housing insecurity, a reality fueled by a history of discriminatory practices and racist housing policies such as redlining. To remedy these and other inequities, a growing number of advocates, organizers, policymakers, and researchers are calling for a structural overhaul of the country’s housing system. They aim to dismantle the factors that contribute to housing instability, so that everyone—regardless of their race, income, gender identity, disability, and/or sexuality—can live in a safe, affordable home.

    What they seek is housing justice, a relatively new concept rooted in rectifying historical and systemic drivers of housing insecurity, achieving racial equity in housing, and creating upward mobility for all people.

    The Urban Institute Housing Justice Hub endeavors to better understand this growing field by drawing on Urban’s deep expertise in housing research and policy, racial equity analytics, and strategic advising on cross-sector housing solutions. As we learn more, our team is creating and sharing data tools and analyses to inspire research, policy solutions, and advocacy. Equipped with these evidence-informed insights, policymakers and community partners can strengthen how they design, implement, and monitor policies and programs to achieve housing justice for all.

    Our working definition of housing justice:
    Increasing access to safe, affordable housing and promoting wealth building by confronting historical and ongoing harms and disparities caused by structural racism.

    The following principles define our comprehensive framework for housing justice:

    • Treat housing as a human right.
    • Seek and prioritize solutions shaped by people with lived experience.
    • Create policies that repair harm caused by past racist policies, including those related to land use, housing, and justice.
    • Ensure housing creates economic opportunity, not economic hardship.
    • Make housing available to all people, especially those most affected by housing discrimination, including single mothers, formerly incarcerated people, and people with physical and unseen disabilities.
    • Build opportunities for people to create wealth through housing.
    • Guarantee residents are empowered to choose where and how they live.
    • Foster, through stable housing, environments that allow people to feel a sense of belonging and to connect with opportunities to learn, earn, and be healthy.

    We will continue to refine and update this page and our housing justice framework as we learn more.

    Research Areas Housing Race and equity Neighborhoods, cities, and metros Economic mobility and inequality Wealth and financial well-being
    Tags Community engagement Economic well-being Homelessness Fair housing and housing discrimination Housing stability Inequality and mobility Race, gender, class, and ethnicity Racial and ethnic disparities Racial barriers to housing Racial homeownership gap Racial inequities in economic mobility Racial inequities in neighborhoods and community development Racial segregation Residential mobility Wealth inequality
    Policy Centers Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center