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.

'Turn Off the Tap on Plastic,' UN Chief Declares Amid Debate Over New Global Treaty

"Plastics are fossil fuels in another form," said U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, "and pose a serious threat to human rights, the climate, and biodiversity."

Kenny Stancil ·


EPA Urged to 'Finish the Job' After Latest Move to Protect Bristol Bay From Pebble Mine

"Local residents, scientists, and the broader public all agree that this is quite simply a bad place for a mine, and it is past time for the EPA to take Pebble off the table permanently," said one activist in Alaska.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Zero Tolerance for Corruption': Grijalva, Porter Demand Answers on Alleged Trump Pardon Bribery Scheme

The Democrats believe a real estate developer donated to a Trump-aligned super PAC in exchange for the pardons of two other men.

Julia Conley ·


Millions of Americans Lack Adequate Health Coverage, But the Pentagon Has a New Nuclear Bomber to Flaunt

"This ominous death machine, with its price tag of $750 million a pop, brings huge profits to Northrop Grumman but takes our society one more step down the road of spiritual death," peace activist Medea Benjamin said of the new B-21 Raider.

Brett Wilkins ·


Betrayal of Railway Workers Ignites Working-Class Fury Toward Biden and Democrats

"Politicians are happy to voice platitudes and heap praise upon us for our heroism throughout the pandemic," said one rail leader. "Yet when the steel hits the rail, they back the powerful and wealthy Class 1 rail carriers every time."

Jessica Corbett ·

Common Dreams Logo