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URBANST 175: Confronting Our Housing and Homelessness Crises: Policy, Politics, and the Law (PUBLPOL 171)

In virtually every major U.S. city, the lack of affordable housing or homelessness (or both) constitutes the most urgent concern to residents. Amid ample hang-wringing by politicians, pundits, and the press, the human toll of the housing affordability crises has only worsened. This class will focus on solutions to this crisis. Solutions abound, but implementing them at scale requires understanding--and navigating--the legal, economic, and political constraints faced by decision makers. It's in large cities where we see the problem most acutely, but where we also see America's most innovative solutions. So, this class--taught by the former mayor of one of America's dozen largest cities-- will have a decidedly urban focus. While the local entitlement and development process will provide a starting point, the class will also delve into key elements of state and federal policy and law that shape the local responses to these crises. An eclectic set of sources --studies, court opinions, cons more »
In virtually every major U.S. city, the lack of affordable housing or homelessness (or both) constitutes the most urgent concern to residents. Amid ample hang-wringing by politicians, pundits, and the press, the human toll of the housing affordability crises has only worsened. This class will focus on solutions to this crisis. Solutions abound, but implementing them at scale requires understanding--and navigating--the legal, economic, and political constraints faced by decision makers. It's in large cities where we see the problem most acutely, but where we also see America's most innovative solutions. So, this class--taught by the former mayor of one of America's dozen largest cities-- will have a decidedly urban focus. While the local entitlement and development process will provide a starting point, the class will also delve into key elements of state and federal policy and law that shape the local responses to these crises. An eclectic set of sources --studies, court opinions, consultant reports, economic meta-analyses, news accounts and an occasional guest lecturer--will support class discussion. The class will be taught with a bias against the ideological, eschewing progressive or conservative "quick fixes," and emphasizing problem-solving, pragmatism, an openness to opposing viewpoints, and a willingness to acknowledge the trade-offs in every approach. Students will be expected to persuasively advocate for specific solutions--in class discussion and in writing--and to demonstrate an understanding of the limitations of those solutions. Elements used in grading: Class Participation, Written Assignments. This class is limited to 35 students, with an effort made to have students from SLS (25 students by lottery) and up to 10 non-law students by consent of the instructor. This course is cross-listed with LAW 7128.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3
Instructors: Liccardo, S. (PI)
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