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Housing Expert Forum: The Unconventional Stakeholders

Welcome to the BPC Housing Commission expert forum! This forum is intended to foster interactive and substantive discussion about pressing housing issues. Each month contributors from different parts of the housing sector will be invited to respond to a discussion topic.

Guest posts are shared regularly with Housing Commissioners to help inform their work.

Have a pressing question you’d like us to consider? Please leave it in the comments section. We encourage you and our expert bloggers to add comments, contributing to the national dialogue on solutions for the future of the housing sector.

Expert bloggers are not members of the BPC Housing Commission. Any views expressed on this forum do not necessarily represent the views of the Housing Commission, its Co-Chairs, or the Bipartisan Policy Center.

HOPE SF: Rallying Support For Housing Through Unexpected Partnerships
By Terri Ludwig

As advocates of affordable housing, partnership needs to be in our DNA.

Advocates can’t solve our nation’s housing problems on their own?nor can governments, nor philanthropists, nor corporations. And we can’t build strong communities just by building homes. For low-income families to have any chance at a better life, housing must be linked to good schools, well paying jobs, quality health care and other opportunities.

Read the full post here.

Goals of Fiscal Conservatism and Affordable Housing Not Mutually Exclusive
By Amy Anthony

On July 17 Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee vetoed H5404, a bill that had passed the Rhode Island legislature that would have destabilized affordable housing in that state. In his veto message, Chafee listed some impressive fiscally prudent rationales to oppose the legislation.

Under the guise of trying to find needed revenues to deal with a financial crisis, legislators tried to impose the quick fix of raising property taxes – failing to take into account the economic impact of transferring the financial burden to current and prospective providers of affordable housing.

Read the full post here.

To Truly Reform Mortgage Finance System, Input Must Come from Outside Washington
By Mark A. Calabria

Perhaps the fundamental flaw behind U.S. housing policy is that it has been designed by and for the interests of industry insiders. Yes, lofty phrases to pull the heart-strings have been included in various goals and purposes, but for the most part the substance of housing policy is crafted in a manner acceptable to the politically powerful. Instead of trying to rally the broader public, the ultimate beneficiaries and funders of federal housing programs, to the cause of insiders, we should try to tap the broader public as an avenue for blunting the attempts of industry interests to enrich themselves via the public purse.

Read the full post here.

Unconventional allies: Finding common cause with workers on the ?front lines’ of communities
By Eileen Fitzgerald

It’s true: Home matters. The lack of safe, clean, affordable housing concerns a wide network of frontline workers in the community. Talk to health care professionals, teachers and business managers, and the critical necessity of decent, accessible housing for health and productivity immediately becomes apparent.

Read the full post here.

Reaching Out to New Constituencies
By Kent Watkins

Actually, history will show that housing, and especially affordable housing, arrives on the backs of other forces or necessities ? land expansion and sales promotions; immigration and slum conditions; financial crises; wars; jobs; transportation and exceptionalism or Manifest Destiny; racial migration within the country; and so forth (see Academy Fellow Charles Edson’s History of Public Housing, and the academy’s currently produced outline entitled, Comprehensive Housing Milestones, 1717-Present).

Read the full post here.

Link Housing to Health Care
By Bill Kelly

Health care payers, whether in the private sector or in government, are key potential allies for housing. The Affordable Care Act calls for solutions that achieve the “triple aim”–producing better health outcomes, improving the experience for citizens, and reducing the per capita cost of health care. The mandates and incentives in the ACA push in these directions.

Read the full post here.

Employers Rally Support for Housing Through Example
By Bill Gilmartin and Holly Moskerintz

The unconventional stakeholders who can rally support for housing are employers, stakeholders who have a very direct business interest in insuring the supply of affordable housing close to work or transit for employees. Employers are recognizing the drain on employee efficiency caused by the stress of inadequate and too costly living accommodations ? not to mention the fear of losing their homes ? and the long commute times that detract from family time. An adequate supply of affordable housing, especially in high cost areas and in areas undergoing revitalization, has a direct impact on employers’ bottom lines and can often make the difference for businesses that may be considering relocation.

Read the full post here.

The Power of Simple Human Stories
By Joe Belden

Our experience at the Housing Assistance Council over many years is that tenants and homeowning families who live in affordable housing and can often be effective and moving witnesses. The real life stories of these stakeholders may be able to help rally support.

Read the full post here.

Healthy Homes
By Conrad Egan

Good, safe, affordable homes also need to be and can be healthy homes. Therefore recommend reaching out to the “unconventional stakeholders who can help rally support for housing” in the health and safe homes arena like the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the National Center for Healthy Housing.

Paying the Price for Taking Housing for Granted
By David A. Smith

Housing is the only component of urban infrastructure that every one of us uses every day, and yet we have come to take it for granted, and assume that housing is a problem only for ‘those people,’ the poor or elderly or disabled or disturbed who need our charitable support. We’ve come to think of our housing as an end in itself, instead of seeing it as a place of life transformation:

  • In housing, children grow into adults, and adults make more children ? or families sunder and everyone pays the price.
  • In housing, those with disabilities or life setbacks regain their emotional and spiritual footing ? or they don’t, and become homeless.
  • In housing, the elderly live with independence, dignity, and happiness ? or they don’t, and they move out involuntarily, often horizontally, to assisted living, nursing home, hospital, or hospice ? all places where they do not wish to go.

Read the full post here.

The Future of Affordable Housing Advocacy: How Affordable Housing Addresses Our Climate, Education, and Health Care Concerns
By Michael Bodaken and Nicole Barrett

Affordable housing in the U.S. is not a problem for most of us. While we can relate to the effects of climate change, the power of education, and the frustrations of health care, few among us have experienced homelessness or paid a disproportionate share of our income for our homes or apartments. Still, over 40 million U.S. households experience housing cost burdens.

Read the full post here.

Green Construction and Alternative Energy Advocates Offer New Voices for Dialogue
By Brian Montgomery

The health of the U.S. housing market impacts nearly every firm in the economy and every consumer. Housing plays a critical role in the performance of the overall economy, as the Bipartisan Policy Center identifies; the housing industry has historically accounted for 4.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). The housing industry also supports 2.9 million direct jobs including architects, construction workers, real estate finance professionals, utility workers and real estate agents. The scope of stakeholders in the housing market also extends beyond the traditional actors, unsurprisingly given the widespread influence of the housing market in the economy.

Read the full post here.

Past Forums

May 2013: What should the federal government’s role be in helping prepare consumers to make financial decisions?

April 2013: Which of the recommendations in the BPC Housing Commission’s report should receive highest priority?

November 2012: What have we learned from past disaster recovery efforts that could be applied in the way of housing assistance following Hurricane Sandy?

October 2012: What should be the interaction (if any) between state and local policies that impact housing availability and affordability?

September 2012: What statement(s) related to housing?policy, or otherwise?would you want to hear in the presidential debates?

August 2012: What is the role of housing education and counseling in the future housing economy and finance system?

July 2012: Do alternative forms of homeownership, such as shared equity models and rent-to-own programs, present viable alternatives for future homeownership?

June 2012: What are the best options for the millions of single-family homes that may be left behind by Baby Boomers as they age, many of which are in suburban or exurban communities?

May 2012: What can we learn from current or previous efforts to link evidence-based outcomes to policy or program development?

April 2012: What lessons can the U.S. learn from housing programs, policies, or regulatory frameworks in other countries?

March 2012: How can housing policy be responsive to today’s urgent needs and simultaneously address long-term trends?

February 2012: What are some of the key characteristics of a healthy housing system? And how can the success of these features be measured?

January 2012: What should the federal government do to address the inventory of foreclosed properties?

December 2011: What are the most pressing issues in housing policy today?

2013-07-31 00:00:00
QUESTION: Who are unconventional stakeholders who can help rally support for housing?


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