About the Book – Making Housing Happen

The growing housing crisis cries out for solutions that work. As many as 3.5 million Americans experience homelessness each year, half of them women and children. One in four renters spend more than half of their income on rent and utilities (more than 30 percent is considered unaffordable). With record foreclosures and 28 percent of homes "underwater," middle and low-income homeowners are suffering. This crisis affects companies unable to pay salaries that adequately cover housing costs, and creates traffic—preventing employees from living in close proximity to their places of work. And often distance from family and needed support systems.
Many congregations want to address this daunting and sometimes confusing problem, yet feel powerless and uncertain about what to do. The good news in Making Housing Happen, it this: that there is much that can be done. Many churches are effectively addressing the housing crisis from Washington State to New York City—where an alliance of sixty churches has built five thousand homes for low-income homeowners, with virtually no government funding or foreclosures. These homes have decreased crime, broken cycles of poverty, and fostered community health: shalom.

This book not only presents solid theological thinking about housing, but also offers workable solutions to the current crisis: true stories by those who have made housing happen. Each story features a different Christian denomination, geographic area, and model: adaptive reuse, cohousing, cooperative housing, mixed-income, mixed-use, inclusionary zoning, second units, community land trusts, sweat equity, and more.

Making Housing Happen is about vision and faith, relationships, and persistence. Its remarkable stories will inspire and challenge you to action. This new edition includes significant new material, especially in light of the ongoing mortgage crisis.

The book is organized around three parts: "The Foundation," "The Tangible Structures," and "The Intangible Structures"—all needed to build faith-filled best practices.