As part of the GRI Whitepaper Series, GRI has released 10 Special Investigation Reports supported by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). These reports bring together analysis and policy recommendations in cross-cutting critical areas including municipal and state budgets, housing, food, healthcare, K-12 education, childcare, higher education, small business, energy, and fisheries. Each sector-specific report was authored by subject matter experts of these areas from GRI’s Northeastern Faculty Affiliates and Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory, providing an in-depth, accessible review of the challenges, opportunities and actionable policy considerations in each area facing the COVID-19 crisis.
Housing is a necessity, a choice, a financial investment, and a human right. For many communities, their housing supply, affordability, and quality are the invisible infrastructure that supports growth, vitality, sustainability, inclusion and resilience. Solutions to housing issues must be examined within the overall community economic ecosystem so that underlying interdependent factors affecting housing choice, availability, and affordability are also addressed. Effective solutions to housing cannot JUST be about better, different, or more abundant housing if housing is to support a resilient post-pandemic recovery of New England’s economy. The United States has not undertaken a comprehensive review of its housing needs and investment policies for three quarters of a century.1 As long-term homelessness has risen, the COVID-19 pandemic prompts such a comprehensive and transformative review across New England, to address the region’s affordable housing shortage and to assess the opportunity to generate new jobs through support for housing development.