The Rent’s Too Damned High

A human right, commodified and rendered zero-sum.

The pandemic housing bubble has multiple, complex causes. Among them:

Generations of Americans have dreamed of owning a home, both to insulate themselves from the whims of their landlords and to create intergenerational wealth. Home ownership was a key driver of social mobility, allowing working class people to enter the middle class. A horrible “natural experiment” shows just how important property acquisition is to economic stability: redlining and restrictive covenants froze Black people out of the home-purchasing boom of the New Deal and the GI Bill, exacerbating and accelerating the racial wealth gap.

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