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The Great American Housing Finance System and the Role of the Federal Government

Published by USC Bedrosian Center on

by Anthony Orlando

Housing is local, but money is global. Therein lie both conflict and collective opportunity. For while our cities and our citizens need targeted strategies, they cannot achieve their full potential on their own. Thus, the federal government has developed a complex toolkit of policies over the past eighty-plus years, some of which work better than others and all of which are evolving. What is the best way to allocate our resources toward housing affordability? How far are we from that goal? How do we even agree on what affordability means?

In this episode, our resident housing finance expert Richard K. Green will walk us step-by-step through these winding routes we’ve constructed to access the American dream.

Prof. Green is the Chair of the Department of Policy Analysis and Real Estate in the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California, where he also serves as the Director of the Lusk Center for Real Estate in the Price School and the Marshall School of Business. He recently finished a year as Senior Advisor for Housing Finance at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He is currently a Trustee of the Urban Land Institute, a Weimer Fellow at the Homer Hoyt Institute, and a member of the faculty of the Selden Institute for Advanced Studies in Real Estate. He has previously served as Director of Financial Strategy and Policy Analysis at Freddie Mac, Chair of Real Estate and Urban Land Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Chair of Real Estate Finance at The George Washington University School of Business, and President of the American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association.

To listen to this episode of Our American Discourse, click the arrow in the Soundcloud player here. Or you can download it and subscribe through ApplePodcasts, Soundcloud, or Google Play.


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Related Reading


“Toward an Urban Housing Strategy” by Richard K. Green

“The Rise and Fall of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: Lessons Learned and Options for Reform” by Richard K. Green & Ann B. Schnare

“The Housing Finance Revolution” by Richard K. Green & Susan M. Wachter

“The American Mortgage in Historical and International Context” by Richard K. Green & Susan M. Wachter

“Thoughts on Rental Housing and Rental Housing Assistance” by Richard K. Green

“Measuring Housing Affordability in São Paulo Metropolitan Region: Incorporating Location” by Arthur Acolin & Richard K. Green

“Metropolitan-Specific Estimates of the Price Elasticity of Supply of Housing, and Their Sources” by Richard K. Green, Stephen Malpezzi, & Stephen K. Mayo



This podcast was produced by Aubrey Hicks and Jonathan Schwartz, recorded and mixed by Corey Hedden.

@AubreyHi @jonHLYP @coreyhedden

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