Public Policy Program
Course Description

Public Policy 280
Housing Policy


Today in the Bay Area, policymakers are grappling with issues of affordable housing, gentrification, displacement, homelessness, and race and wealth inequality. Today, Oakland and its neighboring communities must make critical and defining decisions on housing supply and housing preservation. Questions of housing and credit availability, resident mobility, and inclusion and exclusion will permeate our study of the history of federal housing policy and the housing financial system, along with the housing opportunities governments typically support.

The class will introduce students to the policy and financial tools local governments can use to increase the supply of affordable housing while also aiding in the preservation and rehabilitation of existing housing. We’ll explore the tension inherent in regulating new market development—for example, through inclusionary zoning and impact fees. Our deep exploration of housing policy will include homeownership, rental housing, homelessness and local housing innovations. We will discuss the cadre of nonprofit organizations that have played a significant role in developing and managing housing—especially in California—over the past 25 years. Finally, we’ll learn about the nation’s system of credit, and a new federal agency created to protect homebuyers in the wake of the recent housing and financial crisis.

Our goal: to understand the complexity in federal and local housing policy, confront the tradeoffs inherent in local decisions, and build a personal arsenal of housing policy tools for use in any local community.

This course is offered fall 2016.
4 credits

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Last Updated: 3/15/18