The Federal Government and Urban Housing, Third Edition

By R. Allen Hays

Subjects: Political Science, Urban And Regional Planning, Housing, Public Policy, Social And Cultural History
Series: SUNY series in Urban Public Policy
Paperback : 9781438441665, 352 pages, May 2012
Hardcover : 9781438441672, 352 pages, May 2012

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Table of contents

Introduction to the Third Edition
1. Power, Ideology, and Public Policy
2. The Ideological Framework for Housing Policy
3. Housing and Human Needs
4. Federal Housing Assistance from the Depression to the Moratorium: 1934–1973
5. New Directions in Housing Assistance: 1973–1980
6. The Federal Role in Community Development
7. Retrenchment and Recovery: Reagan and George H. W. Bush
8. Stagnation and Progress: The Clinton Era
9. Housing in the Twenty-first Century

A comprehensive history of U.S. housing policy that illuminates the political struggles that have accompanied the nation’s effort to assist those citizens who are in desperate need of decent, affordable housing.


Since its initial publication, The Federal Government and Urban Housing has become a standard reference on the history of housing policy in the United States. It remains a unique contribution, going beyond simply describing current housing policy to situate it firmly within a broader political context. Specifically, the book examines American housing policy in the context of the ideological crosscurrents that have shaped virtually all areas of domestic policy.

In this newly revised and expanded third edition, R. Allen Hays has comprehensively updated the original material and added chapters covering the important developments in housing policy that have taken place since the publication of the second edition in 1995. Spanning more than eighty years, from the Great Depression to the first two years of the Obama administration, the book argues that while our nation's policy makers have learned a great deal about how to create and implement successful housing programs, the United States, as a country, has yet to summon the political will to address the urgent housing needs of its many citizens who are unable to afford decent housing on their own.

R. Allen Hays is Director of the Graduate Program in Public Policy and Professor of Political Science at the University of Northern Iowa. He is the author of Who Speaks for the Poor? and editor of Ownership, Control, and the Future of Housing Policy.


"…a very solid and useful book … Overall, this book is worth reading for anyone interested in US housing policy." — Housing Studies

"…well written and tightly focused on a highly relevant policy area. Students and policy makers alike will benefit from reading this welcome addition to the literature … Highly recommended." — CHOICE

Praise for the First Edition
"…a thorough analysis of federal intervention in the U.S. housing market from the 1930s." — American Political Science Review

"Hays's treatment of the complex history of housing and community-development programs is accurate, thoroughly documented, and concise … [it] is a very good book which can easily serve as a basic reader for courses in housing and community development." — Journal of Policy Analysis and Management