America Needs Affordable Housing Essay

America Needs Affordable Housing Essay

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America Needs Affordable Housing

It is often easy to castigate large cities or third world countries as failures in the field of affordable housing, yet the crisis, like an invisible cancer, manifests itself in many forms, plaguing both urban and suburban areas. Reformers have wrestled passionately with the issue for centuries, revealing the severity of the situation in an attempt for change, while politicians have only responded with band aid solutions. Unfortunately, the housing crisis easily fades from our memory, replaced by visions of homeless vets, or starving children. Metropolis magazine explains that “…though billions of dollars are spent each year on housing and development programs worldwide, ? At least 1 billion people lack adequate housing; some 100 million have none at all.? In an attempt to correct this worldwide dilemma, a United Nations conference, Habitat II, was held in Istanbul, Turkey in June of 1996. This conference was open not only to government leaders, but also to community organizers, non governmental organizations, architects and planners. “By the year 2000, half the world’s people will live in cities. By the year 2025, two thirds of the world population will be urban dwellers ? Globally, one million people move from the countryside to the city each week.? Martin Johnson, a community organizer and Princeton professor who attended Habitat II, definitively put into words the focus of the deliberations. Cities, which are currently plagued with several of the severe problems of dis-investment ?crime, violence, lack of jobs and inequality ?and more importantly, a lack of affordable and decent housing, quickly appeared in the forefront of the agenda.

The dis-investment is present in many large citie...

... middle of paper ...

...ary 1997: 66+

Johnson, Martin. “United Nations Habitat II Conference in Instanbul, Turkey,?The Advocate, December 1996: 2+


I. Introduction

A. International situation

1. Habitat II conference in Istanbul

a. Article written in Metropolis magazine

b. Personal account by community organizer

II. Body

A. Bergen county

1. HUD statistics for county

2. Studies shown in graphs, charts, tables

3. Maps showing minority, unemployed, and low income areas

a. This is to draw a possible conclusion of course

b. Statistics show ownership : housing problems

B. NYC situation

1. Less statistics, more stories and examples

a. Drawing from NYT article 8 part series

III. Conclusion(s)

A. Are there relationships of race : housing?

B. Is the government pulling its weight?

C. Are there solutions at hand?

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