The Case for a Social Housing Development Authority
Urban Democracy Lab at NYU’s Gallatin School
Co-authored by #UnequalCities Network members Gianpaolo Baiocchi and H. Jacob Carlson with Marnie Brady, Ned Crowley, and Sara Duvisac

Summary: The goal of the Social Housing Development Authority (SHDA) is to create lasting solutions for the housing crisis by purchasing distressed real estate, particularly multi-family rentals, and financing its transfer to the social housing sector (such as cooperatives, non-profits, community land trusts, and public housing). In addition to preventing the further consolidation of the housing market by private equity and other speculative investors, this federal program would avoid the upcoming crisis of evictions as moratoria expire and give distressed landlords a graceful exit. Most fundamentally, however, this policy contributes to the stability and empowerment of those communities most historically affected by predatory policies like redlining and disinvestment by creating permanently affordable, community-controlled housing. By investing in a robust social sector that is, in principle, lasting and immune to speculation, this policy helps communities avoid displacement and the destructive pressures of gentrification. And by investing in maintenance, upgrading, and retrofitting before turning units over to communities, it contributes to the stock of quality, environmentally sound housing. This policy will benefit vulnerable tenants in urban and rural areas of the country.

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