Monday, June 29, 2009

Daily Kos Proposes Housing Progress Administration (HPA)!

Daily Kos [Steven Attewell]: “Reason Not the Need”: Housing Policy and Jobs:

"...My suggestion would be for the Federal government, along with the state and local governments, to go into areas where the housing market has failed (large proportions of renters paying more than 30% of income in rent, housing values far out of sync with median incomes, large numbers of abandoned foreclosed properties, or a lack of affordable housing in general) and do three things: first, to restore and rehabilitate derelict housing and second, to build new housing units where new housing is needed in central cities, and third, to destroy 'ghost towns' that are now nothing of blight in such a way that as much of the materials can be saved as possible."

"If we were establish a Housing Progress Administration (HPA) to employ 5 million unemployed workers (many of whom would no doubt be former construction workers) to do this, and we paid $24k a year (assuming an overhead rate of 30%, which is actually 10% higher than the WPA's historic 20% rate), making a deal with states and localities to pitch in for the cost of land and materials, it would cost approximately $155 billion per year. If we kept the program going for the next two years, at which point economic growth would start to transition into employment growth, it would cost $310 billion – less than half the cost of the stimulus bill. And it would create at least 5 million jobs, nearly the total number of jobs lost in this recession..."

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Steven Attewell said...

Actually, it wasn't DailyKos per se. It was me, posting on DailyKos.

I'm Steven Attewell, a graduate student in history who's writing his dissertation on the history of job creation programs/full employment.

I've blogged a lot about this sort of stuff, both at:

WPA Posters

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