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The Affordable City: Strategies for Putting Housing Within Reach (and Keeping it There) (Paperback)

The Affordable City: Strategies for Putting Housing Within Reach (and Keeping it There) Cover Image


From Los Angeles to Boston and Chicago to Miami, US cities are struggling to address the twin crises of high housing costs and household instability. Debates over the appropriate course of action have been defined by two poles: building more housing or enacting stronger tenant protections. These options are often treated as mutually exclusive, with support for one implying opposition to the other.

Shane Phillips believes that effectively tackling the housing crisis requires that cities support both tenant protections and housing abundance. He offers readers more than 50 policy recommendations, beginning with a set of principles and general recommendations that should apply to all housing policy. The remaining recommendations are organized by what he calls the Three S’s of Supply, Stability, and Subsidy. Phillips makes a moral and economic case for why each is essential and recommendations for making them work together.

There is no single solution to the housing crisis—it will require a comprehensive approach backed by strong, diverse coalitions. The Affordable City is an essential tool for professionals and advocates working to improve affordability and increase community resilience through local action.

About the Author

Shane Phillips is an urban planner and policy expert based in Los Angeles. He is currently managing the UCLA Lewis Center Housing Initiative and teaching public policy as an adjunct instructor at the University of Southern California. Phillips previously worked as the Director of Public Policy for Central City Association, a Downtown LA advocacy organization. He writes about housing and transportation policy at Better Institutions (

Praise For…

“[The Affordable City] provides pragmatic solutions to the housing affordability crisis facing many cities before the pandemic, which is all but a certainty to last well beyond the final infections.”
— Planetizen: Top Urban Planning Books of 2020

"The Affordable City as an excellent jumping-off point for nuanced, difficult, and hopefully, constructive conversations about how we can use policy to create a housing system that meets everyone’s need for a safe, clean and stable home."
— Spacing

"Exceptionally and effectively well written, organized and presented, The Affordable City: Strategies for Putting Housing Within Reach (and Keeping it There) is an extraordinary instructional guide and reference that is especially and unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library Urban and City Planning/Development collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists."
— Midwest Book Review

"The book was written with the intent of making housing policy accessible to anyone who picks it up, and this well-written, highly readable gem does just that."
— choice

Product Details
ISBN: 9781642831337
ISBN-10: 1642831336
Publisher: Island Press
Publication Date: September 15th, 2020
Pages: 280
Language: English