Housing Justice Grand Challenge

Michaele Pride, Nancy Lopez, Renia Ehrenfeucht

Affordable, stable, culturally appropriate housing creates a base for people to thrive at work, school, and in other areas of their lives. Yet, housing insecurity and homelessness are persistent crises that have only worsened with tight housing markets and the COVID-19 pandemic. Although public sector investment in housing ultimately costs less than the emergency services deployed to address homelessness, our communities pay for temporary solutions while failing to ensure access to adequate housing. Research shows that Black, Brown, and Indigenous people face the most housing challenges, and intersecting identities including—but not limited to—age, gender, and family status influence housing needs and options. Advancing housing justice demands creative, multi-level, multi-sectoral, and multidisciplinary approaches.

The Housing Justice Grand Challenges team seeks to convene, understand, build knowledge, and co-create community-driven solutions to advance housing justice, decrease housing security, and end homelessness. What does housing justice look like? How can we change the narrative, policies, practices, and housing resources in our state and communities?

Three conceptual pillars shape our approach to addressing these questions:

  1. With intersectionality, we recognize simultaneous systems of oppression and resistance (e.g. racism, sexism, classism, ableism, heterosexism) shape the housing market, and shape people’s needs, preferences, and options. We will explore how housing is systematically racialized at different scales through social forces, institutions, ideologies, and processes. Dismantling inequities within the housing system is paramount to advancing housing justice.
  2. Housing is a social determinant of health, a place-based contextual factor that influences health outcomes and access to resources and opportunities.
  3. A community-engaged, participatory approach underlies our actions, from convening to knowledge and solution building.
The goal of the Housing Justice Grand Challenges team is to build a network of collaborators seeking innovative solutions to achieve better outcomes for all. We can increase the collective impact of this endeavor by working with YOU—we invite you to join us!