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  • Writer's pictureMichael Hays

What Democratic Milestones Teach Us About Housing

A shift in perspective of what’s possible is needed.


Before FDR and the New Deal, federally-guaranteed income during one’s golden years did not exist. In the decades before the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, attempts to establish health insurance coverage for the estimated 44 million Americans without it failed. Then, “Obamacare” proved it was possible.


We face a similar situation with housing, in my view. Matthew Desmond, author of Evicted, writes:


“We have affirmed provision in old age, 12 years of education, and basic nutrition to be the right of every citizen because we have recognized that human dignity depends on the fulfillment of these fundamental human needs. And it is hard to argue that housing is not a fundamental human need. Decent, affordable housing should be a basic right for everybody in this country. The reason is simple: without stable shelter, everything else falls apart.”


Photo credit: FDR Presidential Library & Museum

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