Understanding Housing: Root Causes, Housing Movements, and Solutions

BTU members have found the following resources helpful in understanding the root causes of the housing crisis and the the solutions we need to solve it.



Meet the Rising New Housing Movement That Wants to Create Homes for All

From rent regulation to social housing, activists are pushing for serious solutions to the affordable-housing crisis.

By Jimmy Tobias, reporting for The Nation

An excellent introduction to the rising housing movement - from fights for rent control to universal social housing.


The Deep, Uniquely American Roots of Our Affordable-Housing Crisis

Nearly half of all renters can’t afford rent, and over half a million Americans are homeless on any given night. How did we get here?

By Bryce Covert, reporting for The Nation

Homelessness wasn't even a word that was widely recognized by the public in the 1980s. How did we get into this mess? 


Whatcom Democrats Draft Resolution On Improving Bellingham Housing Choice, Availability, and Affordability

AN EXCELLENT RESOURCE ON Understanding Bellingham's housing market and INEQUITIES IN BELLINGHAM.

What are the trends for housing costs in Bellingham? How has zoning impacted our schools and communities? 


Book: The Color of Law


By Richard Rothstein

In 1968, the Fair Housing Act was enacted to prohibit future discrimination in our housing policy. However, it did nothing to reverse the deeply racial undertones that were already embedded in American society. This book dives into America’s housing policy and how segregation has persisted because of the laws and policy decisions of local, state, and federal governments over the last century.

Also, check out this video: The Color of Law: Richard Rothstein in conversation with Ta-Nehisi Coates [1 hr, 14 m]


Why are new apartments so expensive?

We did the math to find out who gets what from a rent check — then explored nine ways to make Portland’s rents lower.

By Michael Anderson  

Learn what goes into the cost of building housing - and how we can make it more affordable.

“Reducing the cost of building homes matters whether you're a capitalist or a communist. Everybody (except a few NIMBY wingnuts) agree that cities should build enough housing to keep up with population. They mostly disagree about where it should go & how to pay for it.”