What Does Homelessness in the U.S. Really Look Like?

Can we believe our perceptions of homelessness based on what we see on the streets? A decade of research provides a definitive answer: no.

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Want to Have an Impact on Housing Policy? Go Local!

Local decisions affect the density at which housing can be built and the complexity, duration, and cost of the land entitlement process, which in turn affect the cost of housing.

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Tags: housing

Expenses - the Neglected Half of the Household Budget Equation

To get a full picture of the economic challenges facing Americans of different incomes, we need to consider incomes and expenses together, especially rising expenses for housing, education and health care.

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The Private Housing Market: Friend or Foe?

The high cost of housing combined with low and unreliable incomes can lead to a destabilizing cycle of missed rent payments and evictions for poor households. What policies could address this challenge?

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Local Governments Lead the Way on Affordable Housing, Minimum Wage Reform

Across a range of social policy issues, cities and counties are becoming more active in developing local policy responses tailored to the needs of their residents. Building on an analogy to local policymaking on the minimum wage, my latest column focuses on the important role of high-cost cities and counties in developing comprehensive local housing strategies to increase the overall supply of housing and ensure the availability of housing affordable to people at all income levels. 

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Can a Policy Innovation Help Families in Public Housing Build Assets and Increase Their Earnings?

Imagine if all recipients of federal rental assistance had access to a savings account that grew as their earnings grew. This shift could potentially lead to a range of benefits, including increased earnings; investments in education, homeownership and small businesses that materially enhance households' well-being; and improvements in mental health. Of course, we don't know for sure whether these outcomes would occur - like all significant policy changes, this policy innovation would need to be rigorously tested. But it's an idea that merits further exploration, especially since any increases in earnings induced by the policy change would generate increased rent revenue that could help offset program costs.

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