Dec 13, 2021 – Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 403

Description: PVC is a plastic all around us today, shaping our lives and the built environment. This week’s episode from Bill and Rachel is about that.

Links and notes for Ep. 403 (PDF): http://arsenalfordemocracy.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/AFD-Ep-403-Links-and-Notes-Vinyl-PVC.pdf

Theme music by Stunt Bird.

Dec 5, 2021 – The Bungalow Economy – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 402

Description: A convergence of auto loans, reorganized home mortgages, and falling materials costs by 1910 launched the vast neighborhoods of durable bungalow single-family homes that brought white industrial workers into the American middle class and political power. (Bill and Rachel)

Links and notes for Ep. 402 (PDF): http://arsenalfordemocracy.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/AFD-Ep-402-Links-and-Notes-Bungalows-Workers-Cottages.pdf

Theme music by Stunt Bird.

[Preview] June 8, 2021 – The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit of 1986 – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 381

Full episode on Patreon: Have you ever wondered what the absolute peak example of neoliberal policy is? Bill and Rachel submit to you that it might be the tradable Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) in effect since 1986.

Lend Lease 3 – The Global Housing Crisis – June 23, 2019

This week Bill, Rachel, and Nate talk about left-wing housing policy and historical factors in Helsinki, Vienna, Berlin, Barcelona, Kerala, and Massachusetts.

Links and notes summer episode 3: http://arsenalfordemocracy.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/afd-lend-lease-3-links.pdf

Original music by Stunt Bird.

February 13, 2018 – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 214

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Half-Episode: Discussing homelessness and housing policy from UK Labour, New Zealand Labour, Salt Lake City, and Boise. People: Bill, Rachel, Nate. Produced: Feb 10th, 2018.

Episode 214 (29 min):
AFD 214

Related links

AFD 214 Links and notes (PDF)

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Music by friend of the show Stunt Bird.

June 14, 2017 – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 184

Posted by Bill on behalf of the team.

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Topics: The complexity of the U.S. housing crisis and its solutions (construction, land trusts, public housing corporations, Georgism and more). This is hard to cover when everyone uses the same heated rhetoric on all sides. People: Bill, Rachel, and Jonathan Produced: June 14th, 2017.

Episode 184 (55 min):
AFD 184

Subscribe

RSS Feed: Arsenal for Democracy Feedburner
iTunes Store Link: “Arsenal for Democracy by Bill Humphrey”

Music by friend of the show @StuntBirdArmy.

Selected reading materials

Georgism (Wikipedia)
YIMBY Darlings of the Real Estate Industry
– The Nation: Socialize American Housing
– Public housing authorities/affordable housing corporations in Austin TX
– Community Land Trusts: Building Livable Boston (PDF auto-download)
Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative
– Washington Monthly: The Decline of Black Business

Proposed: A Constitutional Right to Housing for All

In this Arsenal For Democracy mini-series, we propose new, progressive Constitutional rights. Part I: A right to housing, by Kelley.

Participating in the American dream requires a roof over one’s head. It does not have to be a fancy roof, but it does have to provide a little space to get yourself ready for work in the morning and a safe place to tuck your children in at night.

What if the American people and their government decided that having a home was not a privilege, but a right? Imagine a constitutional amendment to that effect:

“Every person has the right to adequate housing regardless of means. The legislature [or Congress] shall make such laws as are necessary to secure this right to all residents.”

The moral case for an absolute right to housing should be clear. All people deserve a little corner of the world to help them feel safe and stay healthy. They just do. A lack of housing can prevent progress in any other aspect of one’s life – from finding stable employment to keeping your children in school. Without stable housing, it is difficult, if not impossible, for people to break out of the oppressive cycle of poverty.

The economic case for a right to housing is also clear. Helping individuals and families to secure a place to live allows them to focus on finding employment, addressing health problems, or whatever other roadblocks may exist in their life. This allows them to contribute to the US economy and reduces their dependence on other government aid programs.

The history of housing policy in America is one tainted with efforts to help potential White homeowners, while making it nearly impossible for people of color to purchase a home. From Jim Crow laws to redlining loan policies to deed restrictions to the creation of ghettos, there is no doubt that the United States has an ugly and racist history when it comes to housing.

In recent years, states and cities have taken two distinct approaches to homelessness. The first approach is to criminalize homelessness, allowing individuals to be arrested for being outside at night or even adding active deterrence measures in public spaces. The second approach is to create long-term solutions for the homeless, particularly for homeless veterans.

What if the American people went farther? What if we no longer waited for cities and states to provide housing for their citizens but told our government that housing was a human right and demanded that they act accordingly, providing housing for all of America’s citizens?

We wouldn’t be the first country to do so. The EU has included the right to adequate housing as a part of its human rights charter. Many member states have taken significant steps in making this right a reality for their citizens. Notably, Belgium, Finland, Greece, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden have enshrined the right to housing in their constitution.

The moral and economic imperative to make housing a right in the United States exists. The only question is – will anybody act?