Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Community Development

Community Investments Vol 17, Issue 3
Innovations in Housing Policy: The Evolving Role of Local Government

Author(s): Larry A. Rosenthal, UC Berkeley

September 2005

Community Investments

The US housing affordability crisis afflicting our highest-cost metropolitan areas is a dilemma of national dimension. But dreams of a national housing safety net—akin to the socialized programs familiar in Europe and elsewhere—have long since faded away. In the face of perennial shortfalls in federal subsidy and oversight, local government’s role in the promotion of affordable housing has evolved considerably, both in terms of leadership and policy innovation. Indeed, local initiative is increasingly making the difference between areas making real progress on their housing problems and those just treading water.

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