CNU Report: Housing Affordability 2008
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The housing bubble and the ensuing foreclosure crisis have hit poor and moderate-income people particularly hard and reinforced how housing affordability is an ongoing national problem. Adequate housing in a good neighborhood remains out of reach for far too many Americans. And regrettably, after a period of innovative leadership in the 1990s, the Federal government shows only limited interest in advancing housing policy. Members of the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) played key advisory and design roles in one of the rare large-scale housing success stories of recent decades: the Federal Hope VI program’s transformation of distressed public housing projects into livable mixed-income neighborhoods fully integrated into the fabric of cities. To help break an emerging impasse between the political right and left over housing policy – one that derailed programs like Hope VI -- CNU assembled leading housing specialists and urbanists from across the political spectrum for a forum in Racine, WI. From codes enabling traditionally urban forms of affordability such as housing above stores to newer ideas such as community land trusts. Or very radical ideas like replacing all Federal Housing programs and using the savings to add to the Federal earned income tax credit. This publication explores highlights from the forum and tracks how the discussion has advanced since then.