Even before the country’s desperate economic situation was fully realized, American families were already in an increasingly vulnerable position; facing housing shortages and rising rent burdens across the country.
Much of this vulnerability can be attributed to problems endemic to all housing markets, but the current state of distress has become even more acute due to the declining support of the federal government.
With no significant new public housing added to the inventory since the late 1970s, working families have been increasingly faced with overcrowded, poor conditions while very often paying more than 30 percent of their household incomes just to maintain a roof over their heads.
Despite these pressing issues, the debate surrounding public housing has largely focused on saving existing stock, not how to add to it. The HOPE VI program has actually reduced the number of public housing units throughout the US, and while Section 8 was to be provided to those public housing residents who did not return to the rebuilt units, it cannot substitute for permanently affordable, publicly sanctioned housing.
CHPC were asked by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) to convene a unique roundtable discussion in 2008 to define a new model for ‘Public Housing in the 21st Century’. The conversation was not designed to address the problems currently facing the existing inventory of public housing, nor the challenges that Public Housing Authorities are encountering in their struggles to preserve it. Rather, eighteen Housing Authority innovators from all around the country came together to contribute their professional knowledge and ideas to articulate a program model for the production of new public housing that could serve the needs of low and moderate income families.
Thank you to our generous sponsors for their support and assistance of this event:
The Fannie Mae Foundation
Citi Community Capital
Goldman Sachs, Public Sector Investment Group