Wed 26 Sep 2018

Best way to turn Senator Warren's massive housing proposal into populist movement & prototypes?

Bill Wendel Public Seen by 221

After The Nation & Yes Magazine published cover stories earlier this year calling for a national housing movement, Senator Elizabeth Warren has responded with a massive proposal that could put housing into the 2020 presidential campaign. See highlights from The Atlantic's article followed by a poll about how you can participate in the groundswell of energy around this grassroots movement:

Elizabeth Warren’s Ambitious Fix for America’s Housing Crisis


"Ask an economist, or any recent graduate trying to afford rent, and they’ll tell you: America is still in a housing crisis.

It’s ambitious, pouring half a trillion dollars over 10 years into affordable-housing programs, ...resulting in the construction of 3.2 million homes over 10 years...But would its combination of tax increases, grants to homeowners, government incentives, and bank regulation make housing more affordable to working- and middle-class people?"

The bill "attempts to strip away the zoning laws that made developing housing so expensive in the first place;

Ties a "competitive block-grant program ...intended to appeal to suburban communities with stricter zoning laws. Those communities can only access grants if they reexamine and redress their land restrictions.

...also invests $2 billion to support borrowers still recovering from the financial crisis with negative equity on their mortgages.

Warren’s down-payment assistance would act in lieu of intergenerational wealth, helping buyers start to build wealth themselves through home ownership.

Alexander Casey, a policy adviser on the economic-research team at Zillow, ...thinks the bill smartly attempts a “holistic approach,” explaining that there have been other housing bills in the past, but none that tackled the issue from so many angles."

Casey's comment about the need for parts to "move in sync in this housing ecosystem,” explains why RE2020 is inviting innovators, both sustaining and disruptive, to use MIT's uLab to engage the emerging ecosystem at the intersection of #RETech and smart cities, real estate and housing, particularly alternative and affordable housing. Want to join an organizing meeting offline in Boston on 10/2/18? Cast your vote here and follow #RE2020:


PS. The Atlantic article ends with a flurry of comments for and against Warren's approach. No doubt the same reaction will unfold across the country, got an opinion you'd like to share?