The Housing System: From silos to system

Can we produce a paradigm shift that would allow us to achieve adequate housing for all?

July 17, 2019

Recorded on June 10, 2019.

The Housing System was a six-program series on pressing issues at the intersection of design, policy, and politics in housing in spring 2019.

With record numbers of New Yorkers severely rent-burdened or experiencing homelessness, our housing system—from land use to design to finance to occupancy and management practices—is not producing what we need. The sixth and final event of the series sought to learn from Donald M. Berwick, one of the nation’s leading authorities on healthcare quality and improvement, on his efforts to implement improvement science to redesign broken processes. What can the housing industry learn from another highly complex sector strained by conflicting interests?

Rosanne Haggerty, who as the founder of Community Solutions has been at the leading edge of efforts to end homelessness, lays out the consequences of a housing system seemingly designed to achieve poor results. She advocates for establishing a clear, measurable goal—zero homelessness and no heavily rent-burdened families—as a starting point for improvement. She is then joined by Berwick for a long conversation on what it takes for disparate actors to work together, the steps to redesigning a poorly-functioning system, why “naming people and knowing specific stories” is crucial, and more.