As someone who is very interested in U.S. housing policy, I look at the current housing crisis from a glass half full perspective. Sure, the housing market is a mess and it seems, at times, that the problems are mounting faster than the solutions. Yet, as the editors of a new volume of research point out, crisis presents the opportunity for innovation. This body of research, titled Forging a New Housing Policy: Opportunity in the Wake of Crisis, examines the current crisis in the context of housing policy. The editors share my optimism when it comes to crisis and innovation:
Yet we believe that housing represents a viable andThe publication includes a collection of interesting articles by notable academic researchers, including Jeff Crump from the University of Minnesota's Housing Studies program. It is published by the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University.
largely unexplored arena for bold action. As the papers
in this report suggest, a careful look reveals that market
relations and the behavior of market actors themselves
are at the core of the crisis. The private housing market
commodifies basic human needs and motivates market
transactions with the promise of profit and wealth. These
market relations unavoidably contribute to the economic
and social conditions we now face. Once that fact
is recognized, it is possible to explore new avenues for
non-market policies that can lead us out of the present
crisis and, quite possibly, avoid new ones in the future.
The opportunities for intervention are plentiful.