The Housing Act of 1949 called for a “decent home and suitable living environment” for every American. The progress toward this goal over the last fifty years is generally a story of success. Kent Colton documents the remarkable progress in the areas of housing production, homeownership, and rental housing, the transformation of the nation’s housing finance system, the role of government, and the place of housing in the economy. However, significant challenges remain and new issues have arisen.
This work looks to the future using case studies developed during the author’s fifteen-year tenure as head of the National Association of Home Builders and includes discussions of real-world problems and the people involved. Highlighting the process of developing and implementing housing policy given the great challenges of working with many diverse interests, the author outlines a housing policy framework based on a set of principles for achieving common ground.