From headrights in colonial times and homestead grants in the Civil War era to the establishment of the Federal Housing Administration and Fannie Mae in the Great Depression, the United States government has played a role in the housing market.
On September 14, the Initiative on Business and Public Policy (IBPP) at Brookings hosted a conversation on housing policy that featured an early screening of “A House Divided,” an excerpt from the EPIX original docu-series on inequality called AMERICA DIVIDED. In “A House Divided,” Norman Lear, creator of “All in the Family,” “Good Times” and “The Jeffersons,” investigates the housing affordability crisis in New York City through conversations with tenants, realtors, homeless people, housing activists, landlords, and city officials. “America Divided” is executive produced by Lear, Shonda Rhimes, Common, Solly Granatstein, Lucian Read and Rick Rowley. After the screening, Lear was join IBPP Policy Director Aaron Klein in a one-on-one conversation, followed by a panel of policy experts discussing the state of housing, focusing on: what level and amount of government funding should exist and how it should best be structured; how government policies should support the businesses that develop and provide housing; how policies can support individual families; and what impact does racial discrimination have on people’s ability to access housing.