Monday, September 4, 2006
On Labor Day, it's worth reflecting on the state of the political debate over what used to be called the "laboring class," or the "working class." This was generally understood to refer to perhaps the poorest one-third of the nation. Today, these people have almost disappeared from the national political debate; it is acceptable in most circles to talk only of helping "middle-class families." Talk of helping "the poor" is considered political suicide in many debates. So how do advocates of low-cost housing gather public support, especially when rising housing prices have not cut the homeownership rate, which stays near the all-time high of around 69 percent?
The answer may be to appeal to the selfishness of the great masses of middle-class families who want government to help them. With housing, this case can done by an appeal to "workforce housing," a fascinating term of rhetoric that is sweeping through the nation's local political debates. If we don't help provide for low-cost housing, who will police our streets, put out our fires, nurse in our hospitals, and teach our children? This problem is especially alarming for middle-class families who live in increasingly large numbers in isolated suburbs and exurbs. Here are discussions of efforts to use the term to get low-cost housing built and paid for, from Fannie Mae, the American Planning Association, and the Urban Land Institute. Here's hoping that the rhetorical device of "workforce housing" will get more low-cost housing built for less affluent people who labor in all occupations.
This blog is an Amazon affiliate. Help support Land Use Prof Blog by making purchases through Amazon links on this site at no cost to you.
- Stephen Miller on New Arkansas law requires local governments to pay for a "takings" where certain "regulatory programs" reduce FMV by at least 20 percent
- Josh Galperin on New Arkansas law requires local governments to pay for a "takings" where certain "regulatory programs" reduce FMV by at least 20 percent
- Jesse Richardson on New Arkansas law requires local governments to pay for a "takings" where certain "regulatory programs" reduce FMV by at least 20 percent
- Jamie Baker Roskie on Uber Goes to the State House Seeking Preemption of Local Government Control
- Stephen R. Miller on Why are building inspectors so often on the take?
- Can UberPOOL Make Carpooling Cool?
- Are Earth Day cookies an endangered species?
- Fordham Urban Law Center's Sharing Economy | Sharing City Conference - April 24
- Land Use, Telescopes and Sacred Land in Paradise
- Tekle on Percent-for-Art Ordinances