Housing Accessibility And Quality Has Been A Chief Concern For The United States

1990 Words Mar 7th, 2016 8 Pages
Housing accessibility and quality has been a chief concern for the U.S. government since the 19th century. During that early period, however, government’s role in housing for the disadvantaged was primarily a regulatory one, ensuring that new construction had bare minimum livability standards or requesting that landlords make accommodations for such in existing properties. Government’s role was on the fringes even through the period of tenement reform, which was largely supported philanthropically and still relied on the foundation of building codes.
The National Housing Association was established in 1910 with the mission of improving housing conditions in both suburban and urban neighborhoods. Over the course of the 20th century, the primary focus on housing policy and programs shifted from building codes to a broader approach on community development.
Federally funded housing was incorporated into the New Deal and housing and urban development became more permanent fixtures for the federal government with the Housing Act of 1937. That act became the backbone for housing policy for decades to come. The achievement of this act was broad in scope, but the amendments to the initial legislation had problems in practical application. As one example, amendments related to uniform rent penalized tenants for increases in income. A tenant who spends 30 percent of his income on rent and receives a pay increase will pay more in rent without a corresponding upgrade in housing…
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