01475 | CRP 388-3
Affordable Housing Policy
This course introduces students to the history of housing as an area of social policy in the United States, covering the various approaches taken to meeting the housing needs of the poor and those with low incomes over time. Emphasis will be placed on the intersection between housing policy and local planning practice.
Housing concerns have been a key concern of the planning field since the late 19th century when urban social reformers focused on poor housing and neighborhood conditions. Since that time, the way that national and local policy makers and planners have framed housing concerns has ranged widely—from physical problems related to public health and safety, to social problems related to racism and lack of community control, to market problems resulting from local regulation of housing development. Currently, there is great debate about the nature of housing problems and the appropriate role of local, state and federal governments in responding.
- Conflicting motivations for housing policy in the U.S.
- Defining housing problems, debating the proper focus of housing policy
- Views of homeownership, past and present
- Strategies for providing affordable rental housing
- Competing views of neighborhood context
- Development regulations as problem and/or solution
- Housing and race: enduring challenges, debated strategies
- The local politics of affordable housing
- Current challenges in Austin
The course will follow a seminar format, with active class discussion required. We will also hear from local community and nonprofit housing leaders. The main assignment will be a class project focused on strategies for integrating affordable housing into the city’s plans for transit oriented development. Students will work in teams on particular aspects of the project. Additional assignments will include:
- A short paper on a key debate in housing policy
- A market assessment exercise
- A housing finance (pro forma) exercise
- Leading discussion in class on assigned topics