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College of Design

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Addressing Affordability

It pretty much goes without saying that housing is expensive. Legally, it is perfectly acceptable for a household to spend around 30% of their monthly income on housing-related expenses. When configuring prices of market-rate housing in comparison to average attainable wages, thousands (possibly millions) of households are forced to deal with housing affordability issues, even with a full-time job. A large portion of our studies in the housing program focus on these people and the many ways our nation addresses this affordability issue.

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The origins of Federal outreach trace back to the New Deal in the late 1930s, setting the foundations for the FHA (Federal Housing Administration) and public housing - subsequently leading to a grand series of different acts, amendments, and outreach programs aimed at addressing both housing affordability and the push for increased homeownership. But embedded in these policies were also underlying implementations designed to not only increase affordability, but boost our nation's economy as well. With well over a half century of trial and error, the results of these policies (both negative and positive) are being observed and studied by people like us - attempting to both influence future policies in a balanced direction, and granting everyone the fundamental right of attaining safe and secure housing in America.

Design is problem-solving. Some food for thought.

Jesse - Housing Studies, B.S.