Public Housing: Democracy by Design


Who should provide affordable housing? Numerous generations have promoted different roles for the public and private sectors. At the turn of the 20th century, tenement reformers pushed the real estate and building industries to provide safe, sanitary accommodations for all. But Pittsburgh and its region continued to face a chronic shortage of worker housing. By the Great Depression, there was broad support for the government to build affordable apartments that the private sector would not. In 1937, Congress passed the Wagner-Steagall United States Housing Act, establishing and funding public housing.
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