The great American housing crunch and what organizing can do about it. In this episode of The Laura Flanders Show, we discuss some of the challenges and victories in the campaign for green, affordable public housing.
- Cea Weaver, Campaign Coordinator, Upstate Downstate Housing Alliance
- Daniel Aldana Cohen, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Pennsylvania
- Anita Long, Volunteer, CASA – Community Action for Safe Apartments
“New York is one of the richest states in our country. Many billionaires live in our state. We have the capacity in New York State to fund public housing, to fund social housing, to fully fund housing for people who need it; to rehouse the 89,000 homeless people who live in our state.” – Cea Weaver
“Real estate is responsible for about 60 percent of the wealth in this world. They pretend there’s a scarcity. There’s not a scarcity. There’s no scarcity of resources to give every person in the country access to really high quality, safe, no-carbon, comfortable housing.” – Professor Daniel Aldana Cohen
“We need to keep fighting and keep making sure that we do have affordable places to rent.” – Anita Long
President Trump’s fame and fortune may be or may not be derived from a real estate empire, but millions of his fellow Americans are not so lucky. Instead, we are facing a real estate nightmare. Levels of housing insecurity and homelessness are at record highs, and the problem is getting worse, not better. According to a recent issue of Jacobin, “There is no U.S. state where a full-time, minimum-wage worker can afford to rent or own a one-bedroom dwelling.” No state!
Climate change alone will displace 13 million Americans, according to The Guardian. Is there a coherent vision to address the problem on a national level? What would a bold progressive housing plan actually look like? Recent victories by community advocates in states like New York are providing some answers.