Fast Company, December 07, 2017: America’s affordable housing crisis Is driving its homelessness crisis
The solution is clear: Cities need to build affordable–truly affordable, not just below-market-rate–housing, and they need to do so quickly. As noble as the efforts of mayors like de Blasio, Garcetti, and Lee are to funnel more money into shelters and homeless-services programs, they won’t be real solutions until they also make investments in building and preserving more affordable units. San Francisco, for instance, is facing an affordable-housing shortfall of at least 40,000 units. Cities should be turning to alternative funding streams–like Seattle’s proposal to introduce an extra tax on corporations that will go toward homeless housing–and investing in permanently affordable housing options like community land trusts. Especially as the Republican Party’s tax plan threatens to gut the financial resources of the lower and middle classes for the benefit of the already wealthy, it’s crucial that cities take more care to account for the reality of living in them, and provide a way for everyone to do so safely and securely.