Episode

8/10 Can Anything Be Done About Housing In America? w/ Rachel Cohen & Jessica Preheim

August 10, 2022

Sam and Emma host Rachel Cohen, senior policy reporter at Vox, to discuss her recent piece “How state governments are reimagining American public housing”. Then, they are joined by Jessica Preheim, Vice President of Strategic Planning and Public Affairs at the Houston Coalition for the Homeless to discuss housing policy in the city.  First, Emma runs through yesterday’s primaries before diving right into updates from the FBI’s January 6th investigations, from the seizing of Scott Perry’s phone to the GOP’s responses to the Mar-a-Lago raid that vary from “they planted it!” to “they’re making it up!” but all seem to recognize an “it” that will be exposed. Then, she’s joined by Rachel Cohen as they dive into the state of public housing in the US, with rents reaching record highs and not coming down anytime soon, despite dropping inflation levels. Next, they step back and walk through the history of public housing in the US, with the Federal Government first becoming involved in the lead-up to the New Deal, even with private interests’ successful lobbying for limitations and, all continuing through the fifties and up to the creation of HUD, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, in the ‘60s, helping to regulate the federal policies around the matter – seeing a complete cutoff of investment in public housing alongside a subsidizing of white middle-class families moving to the suburbs. Wrapping up the history of US housing policy, they walk through the post-HUD neoliberal era, with the crime panic starting in the 1980s seeing a complete decimation of HUD’s budget, and leading into an era void of housing infrastructure. Next, Rachel looks to states like Massachusetts to explore how it seems to be local politics that is actually looking to intervene in this crisis, putting forwards policy that isn’t just subsidies for privatized housing, and actually seeks to reinvest in community care and infrastructure, before they wrap up by exploring the future of a reimagined housing system that stems from the states and local communities themselves. Then, Jessica Preheim from the Houston Coalition for the Homeless walks Emma through the incredibly remarkable work that the organization has done over the last decade in Houston, with homelessness decreasing by over 60% despite having the sixth largest homeless population as of 2011 and a crackdown from HUD. They explore how much the most marginalized in society can be helped by just having a roof over their head, the Houston Coalition’s tactics to strengthen communities’ ability to shelter their citizens (and the importance of supporting encampments’ existence when there is no other option) and their emphasis on chronic homelessness.

And in the Fun Half: Emma takes a call from St. Paul on a public reserve, based on grain? Tulsi Gabbard teams up with Jesse Watters as she continues her streak of fascist apologia, this time in defense of Donald Trump and tax evaders everywhere, Stephanie from Minneapolis dives into the “manosphere” as a meeting point of the Jordan Peterson “intellectual” misogyny and the more traditional masculine aesthetics, looking at how race plays a particularly central role in the community’s pathologizing. They also cover Ilhan Omar’s incredibly narrow victory in the Democratic primary, AIPAC’s massive influence in pushing conservative Democrats into Congress, Fox and Friends ponders the FBI’s ethics for the very first time, and Nathaniel from Fresno dives deep into the re-emergence of book banning. Charlie Kirk calls for retributive raids, plus, your calls and IMs!

Check out Rachel’s piece here: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/23278643/affordable-public-housing-inflation-renters-home

Check out the Houston Coalition for the Homeless here: https://www.homelesshouston.org/

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