The National Science Foundation funds the Housing Justice in Unequal Cities Network (BCS 1758774), a research coordination network designed to address the housing crisis in a variety of cities. The Network will advance research on the interconnected processes related to the precarious nature of housing such as evictions, homelessness and displacement, and plans to study them in tandem with forms of segregation and discrimination. The Network fills a gap in research by systematically analyzing community and policy responses that seek to create housing access and housing justice through legal frameworks, cooperative models of land and housing, and collective action. An important aspect of the Network is its coordination at the intersection of scholarship, global partnership, and the politics of housing. Paying close attention to housing movements and policy interventions, the Network will synthesize the primary modalities of housing justice and its conceptual underpinnings into a Housing Justice Handbook that will be broadly disseminated. Focused Summer Institutes with a diverse group of scholars looking at housing issues will be held in various settings. The Network will generate new formats of university-community partnerships and engaged research in the United States focused on the experiences of marginalized social groups.
The Housing Justice in Unequal Cities Network builds a transnational, interdisciplinary, and intergenerational collaboration to tackle analytical and methodological problems pertaining to spatial exclusion. It cuts across various silos of housing research and links housing to two other relevant realms of geographic inquiry, carceral geographies and land dispossession. In doing so, it builds data collection, data visualization, and story mapping tools that can capture the complex space-time geographies of housing precarity. By developing novel methods of research dissemination and pedagogy that link key nodes of knowledge production in the Global South with those in the Global North, it fosters critical geographies of learning. Such an approach sheds new light on the housing crisis in the United States through comparison and demonstrates how the social function of land and housing is being addressed in other democratic contexts with long histories of spatial inequality.