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America's Trillion-Dollar Housing Mistake: The Failure of American Housing Policy Hardcover – September 23, 2003

4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

A provocative but wise and convincing book. (Stuart Butler, Heritage Foundation)

Provocative critiques...maybe this time Congress will finally listen. (Ron Utt, Senior Research Fellow, Heritage Foundation)

This brief book is a gem...an incisive and devastating analysis.... A must-read. (Stephan Thernstrom, Winthrop Professor of History, Harvard University)

Has been popular with [Presidential] administration officials. (David W. Chen The New York Times)

Howard Hussock...has made an important contribution to public policy and to American Government in general. (Governing Magazine)

About the Author

Howard Husock is director of public policy case studies at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is a contributing editor of City Journal, the magazine of urban affairs published by the Manhattan Institute, from which the essays in this book are drawn. Mr. Husock lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Ivan R. Dee (September 23, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1566635314
  • ISBN-13: 978-1566635318
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.4 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,361,433 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Book offers biting criticism of the destructive nature of public housing as practiced by our federal government, but the suggested solution... "let the free-market solve the problem" seems naive, although its point that fostering the will to strive is an important element of exiting poverty seems sound. Perspective is politically conservative but hardly the paranoid "John Birch" mentality sited by another reviewer.

Anyone interested in this topic will also want to see "The Pruitt-Igoe Myth" documentary (which for some crazy reason you can't stream on Amazon) and also "Spanish Lake" (which you can stream). The first documentary is excellent, the second is an overly-long look at what resulted when the housing authorities changed tack after Pruitt-Igoe (warning: the second documentary has a 'white-guy' perspective). Both documentaries deal with public housing in St. Louis and both are directly relevant to what happened in Ferguson, a St. Louis suburb.

Anyone interested in the Ferguson situation will want to download the Justice Department's report on Ferguson. You only really need to read the summary at the beginning of this report to get a sense of how badly the Ferguson PD was betraying the Ferguson residents leading up to the Michael Brown protests...

http://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/opa/press-releases/attachments/2015/03/04/ferguson_police_department_report_1.pdf
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I recommend this book to all political science majors.

It is a clear-eyed analysis of the mistakes made by well-intentioned people who failed dismally to perceive the differences between their dream worlds and the world which is inhabited by real human beings.

In the book, Husock also analyzes alternative approaches such as providing housing vouchers.

I have also read Husock's essay, "Mayor must reconsider 'affordable'," which was published in the Boston Globe January 2006, while Husock was adjunct lecturer at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.

And I have read his 2007 Wall Street Journal commentary "What's Lost in the Move - Helping our newest neighbors acclimate," which was written after he became vice president of the Manhattan Institute.

I look forward to reading more work by Husock.
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Format: Hardcover
Tough but good arguments. If you are a pro low-income housing advocate do not pass up an opportunity to read this book. Admittedly told from a conservative's (ideological) perspective, this book presents many ideals advanced by former Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) Chairman Vince Lane, who was once on the Clinton administration's short list for HUD Secretary, as well as former(CHA) public housing residents.
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Format: Hardcover
Don't be swayed by ideologues who likely haven't read the book.

Husock does a fantastic job of deconstructing the various policies and programs that have contributed to our current state of affairs with housing issues in the United States. Not content to just stay within the realm of government/taxpayer sponsored housing initiatives: the author proceeds to analyze programs like Habitat for Humanity. He views Habitat as a wonderful catalyst to get aspiring homeowners to invest in their home and their community with a sense of ownership, versus a handout that leaves no sense of place. But, this is just one example, the book gives you many more.

If one did actually read this with an open-mind, not likely for some, you would take away different perspectives on what is good/bad about various programs, and how resources could be shifted to meet housing needs in the most economic and managebale manner.
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