4th Edition

Housing Policy in the United States

By Alex F. Schwartz Copyright 2021
    428 Pages 37 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    428 Pages 37 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The fourth edition of Housing Policy in the United States refreshes its classic, foundational coverage of the field with new data, analysis, and comparative focus.

    This landmark volume offers a broad overview that synthesizes a wide range of material to highlight the significant problems, concepts, programs and debates that all defi ne the aims, challenges, and milestones within and involving housing policy. Expanded discussion in this edition centers on state and local activity to produce and preserve affordable housing, the impact and the implications of reduced fi nancial incentives for homeowners.

    Other features of this new edition include:

    • Analysis of the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 on housing- related tax


    • Review of the state of fair housing programs in the wake of the Trump Administration’s rollback

    of several key programs and policies;

    • Cross- examination of U.S. housing policy and conditions in an international context.

    Featuring the latest available data on housing patterns and conditions, this is an excellent companion

    for graduate and advanced undergraduate courses in urban studies, urban planning, sociology

    and social policy, and housing policy.

    1. Introduction  2. Trends, Patterns, Problems  3. Housing Finance  4. Taxes and Housing  5. The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit  6. Public Housing  7. Privately Owned Rental Housing Built with Federal Subsidy  8. Vouchers  9. State and Local Housing Policy and the Nonprofit Secto  10. Housing for People with Special Needs  11. Fair Housing and Community Reinvestment  12. Homeownership and Income Integration  13. An International Perspective on US Housing Policy: Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom  14. Conclusions  Index


    Alex F. Schwartz is Professor of Public and Urban Policy at the New School.  His research centerson housing and community development, including public housing and other affordable housing programs, mixed- income housing, fair housing, and community development corporations. He is co-author with Rachel Meltzer of Policy Analysis as Problem Solving: A Flexible and Evidence-Based Framework (Routledge 2018).

    My copy of an earlier edition of Alex Schwartz’s Housing Policy in the United States is dog-eared, creased, and underlined, proof that I’ve returned to that text again and again over the years. Now updated and expanded—including with international comparisons—this is the go-to book for anyone who wants to understand the nature and consequences of housing policy in the United States. 

    Matthew Desmond, Maurice P. During Professor of Sociology, Princeton University, Author of Evicted

    Alex Schwartz’s book is, hands-down, the best single resource on U.S. housing policy.  It’s a perfect introduction for those just coming to the field as well as a terrific reference for those who need to brush up on details or statistics about particular programs and policies.  Clearly written and comprehensive, it is the rare book that is useful for both scholars and practitioners. 

    Ingrid Gould Ellen, Paulette Goddard Professor of Urban Policy and Planning and Faculty Director, NYU Furman Center, New York University

    Alex Schwartz has done it again with the fourth edition of what has come to be the go-to housing policy text in the U.S. It’s amazing that he is able to update loads of existing material and then continue to add newly relevant sections. I’m thrilled with the new chapter on comparative international housing policy. I can’t wait to add it to my own housing policy course.

    Dan Immergluck, Professor, Urban Studies Institute, Georgia State University

    The fourth edition of Alex Schwartz’s book covers the full range of federal housing policies for renters, owners, and special needs populations. The book remains accessible to all readers, from the layman to the seasoned housing policy expert.  Finally, the book is well substantiated with many extremely helpful tables and figures that assist the reader in understanding the many insights offered in the text.

    Kirk McClure, Professor, Urban Planning, University of Kansas

    Alex Schwartz has done a great service to the housing field with his 4th edition of Housing Policy in the United States.  He has crafted an indispensable resource for understanding why housing matters in all its dimensions. Most of what you need to know about housing is in this book. 

    Sandra Newman, Professor of Policy Studies, Johns Hopkins University

    This time Alex Schwartz goes global with the most comprehensive and a most readable examination of US housing policy in its international context up to and including the impact of Covid-19 and beyond.  

    Gregory D. Squires, Professor of Sociology and Public Policy & Public Administration, George Washington University

    This latest edition remains the single best place to find up-to-date answers to nearly all questions about American housing policy. More than a clear technical guide, it shows how these policies are cultural and political products, now viewed in helpful international comparison.

    Lawrence J. Vale, Associate Dean, School of Architecture and Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    This is a definitive text for understanding the history and functioning of housing policy. The new comparative international chapter is especially insightful and useful. Comprehensive and up-to-date, this book is a most valuable resource for practitioners, policy makers and all who wish to be informed about US housing policy.

    Susan Wachter, Professor of Real Estate and Finance, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania