Call for Submissions: Solutions to Our Housing Crisis

How much do you pay for a place to live—and how much should you? Across the country, housing prices continue to climb while wages essentially have been stagnant since the 1970s. At the same time, the supply of housing isn’t keeping pace with population growth. Zillow has estimated that the current number of homes for sale is about the same as it was in 1994, but the U.S. population has grown by 63 million people since then. Even in places with laws requiring developers to build a certain percentage of affordable housing, “affordability” often applies only to a select few people within a narrow demographic. Most people below the upper middle class are priced out.

Where are the solutions? The last major drive toward public housing in the 1960s had wide-ranging effects that did little to alleviate poverty and, in some places, made it worse. Across the country, innovations in housing—cohousing developments and community land trusts to urban mixed-use communities and rural cooperatives—have shown some promise, but can they scale to address the scope of the problem? There are only 165 cohousing groups across the United States, for example, some having only a few homes and none more than a few dozen. And, no, a million tiny houses won’t fix us.

Read the rest at YES! Magazine


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