Housing is a fundamental need and universal part of human living that shapes our lives in profound ways that go far beyond basic sheltering. Where we live can determine our self-image, social status, health and safety, quality of public services, access to jobs, and transportation options. But the reality for many in America is housing choices are constrained: costs are unaffordable, discriminatory practices remain, and physical features do not align with needs. As a society, we recognize the significant role housing plays in our overall quality of life and the stability of our communities. We have made a national commitment to decent housing for all yet this promise remains unrealized.
Housing in America provides a broad overview of the field of housing, with the objective of fostering an informed and engaged citizenry. The evolution of housing norms and policy is explored in a historical context while underscoring the human and cultural dimensions of housing program choices. Specific topics covered include: why housing matters; housing and culture; housing frameworks and political ideologies; housing and opportunities; housing and the economy; housing discrimination; and housing affordability. Readers will gain an understanding of the basic debates within the field of housing, consider the motivations and performance of various interventions, and critically examine persistent patterns of racial and class inequality.
With an exploration of theoretical frameworks, short case studies, reflective exercises, and strong visuals, this introductory text explores improving housing choices in America.
"This book offers a clear look into the fundamental cultural and ideological foundations of US housing policy. Understanding these underlying influences is crucial to understanding why the United States continues to struggle with housing affordability, discrimination, and opportunity."
J. Rosie Tighe, Associate Professor of Urban Policy and Planning, Cleveland State University
"Housing in America is an engaging book about the complex role housing plays in our lives. The authors begin by looking at the social, cultural and psychological meaning of home. Subsequent chapters take an interdisciplinary approach and examine the government’s role in housing, housing discrimination and segregation, affordable housing, and housing’s relationship to opportunity. This important and insightful work is elevated by its recognition that humanity is at the center of our housing dilemmas."
Meris Bergquist, Executive Director, Massachusetts Fair Housing Center
"Housing in America is the broadest survey of the largest asset class in the economy ever undertaken. Without bias or point of view, the authors address the many ways housing affects the economy, the family, demographics, the role of race, public policy, affordability, and homelessness. An essential overview of this essential element of life."
Christopher B. Leinberger, Charles Bendit Distinguished Scholar and Research Professor of Urban Real Estate, George Washington University School of Business
Introduction. Housing in America Chapter 1. Unique Qualities of Housing Chapter 2. Housing and Culture Chapter 3. Framing Housing: Disciplinary Approaches and Ideologies Chapter 4. History of Federal Involvement in Housing Chapter 5. Housing and Discrimination Chapter 6. Housing Needs, Affordability, and Federal Responses Chapter 7. Housing and Opportunity Chapter 8. Housing and the Economy Chapter 9. Public Housing Chapter 10. State and Local Housing Initiatives Chapter 11. Homelessness Chapter 12. Conclusion