Shelter From the Storm ... Or Is a Decent Home More Than That?
As the foreclosure crisis deepens, lawmakers and community organizations are scrambling to create affordable, decent places to live for the millions in need. Yet affordable housing is poorly understood and widely controversial.
In A Decent Home, recently published by APA Planners Press, housing expert Alan Mallach paints a comprehensive picture of what affordable housing is, how it works, and how it is planned, built, and preserved. This book provides both a solid, factual introduction to the topic and a serious, thought-provoking examination of the important issues and controversies — including social, economic, and political considerations — raised by affordable housing.
A Decent Home offers readers information and insight to make informed, responsible decisions about affordable housing. Shouldn't this book find a home on your shelf?
Alan Mallach, FAICP, is a nonresident senior fellow of the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution and a visiting scholar of the Community Affairs Department, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. Mallach is the author of Bringing Buildings Back: From Abandoned Properties to Community Assets and Inclusionary Housing Programs: Policies and Practices.
In addition to his interest in housing and neighborhoods, Mallach is also knowledgeable about music. He speaks about music, particularly Italian opera, and has written several books on the subject.
"In A Decent Home, Alan Mallach combines a compelling case for affordable housing policies with useful guidelines for how to actually produce it. This book is an important one-stop resource full of practical information for public-policy makers, nonprofit leaders, and the private housing producers — indeed, for all community builders working to add to the stock of badly needed affordable housing."
—Henry Cisneros, Executive Chairman of CityView and Former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Please describe your book.
A Decent Home is the book for anyone who wants to understand what affordable housing is about in the United States today, short of seeking to become an expert on the subject. In other words, it is the book for professionals who deal with affordable housing issues (city planners, architects, and lawyers), for public officials and concerned citizens, and for classroom use. It is designed both as a solid, factual introduction to the topic, and as a serious, thought-provoking examination of the many issues and controversies — social, economic, physical — raised by affordable housing.
This is the only book available that truly provides a comprehensive picture of affordable housing today, beginning with why affordable housing is needed, and walking through issues of design, planning, and financing, addressing specific topics such as homelessness and inclusionary zoning. Moreover, while A Decent Home provides detailed factual information and background, it recognizes the controversial nature of many affordable housing issues, and does not shy away from addressing them clearly and constructively.
The book contains many useful checklists, dealing with such matters as design issues, project approvals needed, housing development budget elements, issues to consider when thinking about an inclusionary zoning ordinance, and more. It includes a step-by-step case study of the affordable housing development process, as well as a case study that walks the reader through the financing of a low-income tax credit rental project. Finally, it contains an appendix that includes detailed recommendations of resources — books, articles, and web sites — where the reader can get further information, organized chapter by chapter, for each of the topics covered in the book.
Is there a particular segment of the planning profession that might be especially interested in your book?
Who among nonplanners will be most interested in the book?
How about associations or organizations?
Does your book have a potential for classroom use?
Yes, very much so. I believe that it could be used most profitably in graduate and advanced undergraduate courses. It could also be used, either in toto or individual chapters, for continuing professional education programs.