Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Contact

KL Conner, conner@cepr.net

Press Release

Rent Too High? US Needs European-Style Social Housing

WASHINGTON -

Public housing in the US, once quite desirable, is now a national symbol of urban blight and failed policy. To reverse that, CEPR’s Algernon Austin makes a case for adopting European-style social housing at the federal level.

In Only Radical Changes Will Make Rents Affordable, Austin argues that the way to achieve safe, sustainable, and permanently affordable rental housing is for the US to adopt not-for-profit social housing policies and provide rental assistance to all who need it, not just to a tiny fraction as is done today. 

“With these two strategies, the US can provide more affordable, high quality rental housing for all renters,” said Austin.

Experts estimate a shortage of 7 million rental units for households in poverty. The Biden administration responded with a housing plan that relies on the current toolkit of federal housing policies like the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit. The federal tax credit meets the needs of investors far better than it does renters.

“Even if the Biden plan is approved by Congress and fully implemented, it is not big enough to address the scale of the problem and is unlikely to eliminate the affordable rental housing crisis,” explains Austin.

To make a dramatic dent in that shortage, Austin proposes a new social housing model where public and nonprofit-owned housing is without restrictions by income or the number of households that can receive rental assistance.

###

The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) was established in 1999 to promote democratic debate on the most important economic and social issues that affect people’s lives. In order for citizens to effectively exercise their voices in a democracy, they should be informed about the problems and choices that they face. CEPR is committed to presenting issues in an accurate and understandable manner, so that the public is better prepared to choose among the various policy options.

Global Allies Stand With Walden Bello as Social Justice Champion Posts Bail in the Philippines

"Walden Bello's arrest is a violation of his fundamental rights, an affront to the institutions of Philippine democracy, and a threat to free expression everywhere," said the Progressive International council.

Jessica Corbett ·


Team Trump Reportedly 'Bullish' About Exploiting FBI Raid to Win Reelection

One former Trump aide-turned-"Big Lie" detractor said that the Justice Department may have "just handed Trump" the 2024 GOP nomination "or potentially the presidency."

Brett Wilkins ·


Pentagon Contractors in Afghanistan Pocketed $108 Billion Over 20 Years

Military contracting "obscures where and how taxpayer money flows," and "makes it difficult to know how many people are employed, injured, and killed," said the Costs of War Project report's author.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Enough Is Enough' Campaign Launched in UK to Fight Cost of Living Crisis

"Fair pay, affordable bills, enough to eat, and a decent place to live. These aren't luxuries—they are your rights!"

Kenny Stancil ·


Fetterman Demands Dr. Oz Answer for $50,000 Tax Break Intended for Pa. Farmers

"Dr. Oz does not want to live in Pennsylvania, and he doesn't want to pay taxes here; he just wants our Senate seat."

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo