The United States has long had difficulty providing adequate housing to all Americans. A key issue has been affordability. That is, the cost of shelter as a proportion of low-income families meager income has often been so great that it has left them hard stretched to afford their other basic needs. Today, it is often associated with California and major cities like, Boston Chicago and New York City (though rural areas with widespread poverty also have serious problems).
It is hard for the private sector to meet housing needs below a certain level, in part because what makes affordable housing appealing is its price, which means that increased demand makes it disappear without necessarily leading to more construction. In the early 1980s, the Reagan administration withdrew federal support for affordable housing, and states and local jurisdictions were put in the position of having to deal with the housing problem. Twenty years on, how to best deal with this is a matter of debate.
Group page: RESEARCH TEAM: Affordable Housing: Programmatic and Architectural Design Challenges (mentor: Betsy Morris, research team supporter: Jeff Tayman, Mirle Bussell)
Group page: RESEARCH TEAM: Affordable housing: Socio-economic Impacts (mentor: Ken Grimes, research team supporter: Nico Calavita, Mirle Bussell)