Affordable housing: Redrawing the master plan

ON THIS EPISODE … we take a look at how the country is trying to redraw its master plan for affordable housing.

Back in the 1950s, St. Louis was home to the nation’s grandest housing experiment.

The name “Pruitt-Igoe” is now infamous. And synonymous for what many see as failed housing policy and government failure.

A massive urban forest just north of downtown now occupies 57 acres of what once was  a sprawling campus of mid-century housing projects that housed thousands of people.

Not many people agree on a single reason for Pruitt-Igoe’s demise, though many point to rapid population loss, disappearing factory jobs, white flight and lack of investment as a few causes.

And the housing policy that created places like Pruitt-Igoe has become more and more fragmented since the 1970s.  

But recently there’s been a big push to re-examine the ideas and questions that have been around for a long, long time. Including:

  • How do you make sure housing policies aren’t deepening racial and economic segregation?
  • How do you pay for what’s left of America’s public housing?
  • And, isn’t a home supposed be more than just a house?

We guide you to some of the policies aimed at answering these questions, and the people working to implement these proposed solutions. And we feature voices from Chicago, Phoenix, Oakland and St. Louis.