Urban Publishes Research Guide Pursuing Housing Justice: Interventions for Impact

Date Published: 
July 13th, 2023

The Urban Institute recently published an interactive guide on policy and programmatic interventions that advance housing justice. The guide contains actionable examples of housing justice interventions across the policy domains of 1) increasing housing supply, 2) homelessness, 3) household and community protections, 4) community asset-building, and 5) opportunity and wealth-building.

The guide recommends cost-effective strategies for increasing housing supply to confront the severe shortage. In addition to finding dedicated funding sources, reforms to land use regulation and zoning codes can allow dense, multifamily, and transit-oriented housing, as well as lower-cost housing such as accessory dwelling units and manufactured housing, can enable developers to build more housing of all types, increasing the supply of both market-rate and affordable homes. As an example, the authors cited Minneapoliselimination of single-family-only zoning in 2018 and the passage of additional reforms to allow greater density.

The authors posit the housing first model as a preeminent strategy to eliminate homelessness. They emphasize that systematic racial equity analyses such as those conducted by Alameda County, California, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, should be used to inform a jurisdiction’s efforts to equitably reduce homelessness. Emergency response resources like rapid rehousing programs in Los Angeles and Seattle are also highlighted.

The guide provides a sample of community and household protections that localities, advocates, and organizers can consider to help advance housing justice in their jurisdictions: “just cause” eviction laws, anti-gouging rent regulations, strategic code enforcement, and community benefit agreements. Later, the authors profile four approaches to advancing justice through power-building: community ownership, tenant organizing, community organizing, and alliance and coalition building. 

 

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