What Is The Faircloth Amendment? How Is It Crippling Social Housing In America?

classic orange brick high rise public housing towers beside the East River in NYC.
Governor Alfred E. Smith Houses photo by Reading Tom is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Governor Alfred E. Smith Houses, New York City. How come it can be against the law to build projects that are as fundamentally important as this one?

The Faircloth Amendment, passed in 1999, attempts to freeze American social housing in time. Now and in the future, cities may destroy public housing. Cities may neglect public housing until it falls down. But, borne on the wings of a visceral hatred of social housing by a ‘small government’ philosophy that has dominated American political thinking for several decades, the amount of social housing in a community can never exceed its 1999 inventory.

How is it crippling social housing in America? An article in the Boston Globe explores the reasoning behind the City’s rent-geared-to-income social housing crisis. It neatly lays out the Faircloth legacy that faces most cities in America where there is a critical need for truly affordable housing. It also identifies the loophole specific to Boston that means more social housing can be built right now.  Read more in the Boston Globe: Public housing is an investment in the public good