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The Coming Battle for Affordable Housing


The Coming Battle for Affordable Housing

May 17, 2018
Affordable housing crisis_what to do_advertising executive Michael Franzini_Home1 advocacy campaign
Photo: Unsplash/Josh Johnson

The Home1 advocacy campaign was created to sound the "Inconvenient Truth"-style alarm on the country's affordable housing crunch, which it deems "the silent crisis in America."

Created by advertising executive Michael Franzini, founder of nonprofit ad agency Public Interest, part of Home1's mission is to change the national conversation around housing, and central to that effort is educating the public on the enormity of the issue. “There is no greater crisis that, at least in my lifetime, has ever faced our country and not been talked about,” Franzini tells CityLab. “As soon as you start talking about the nuts and bolts of it, people glaze over.” The upcoming documentary feature from the campaign, "The Contract," is titled after the Housing Act of 1949, which scholars have identified as an "explicit social contract" for adequate housing for Americans. 

Building more public, affordable housing appears to be gaining in popularity, as evidenced by the hype surrounding a recent report detailing how the U.S. could build ten million units of public housing in ten years. And new rent-control initiatives are gaining steam in California, Washington, and Illinois. Like the fight against climate change, the battle for better housing policy could be a frustratingly long one. Indeed, both find themselves severely stymied by the current administration. But as we’ve seen in high-cost cities, housing affordability can become so bad, so fast, that the issue could very well force itself.

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