Housing Decommodified: A global exploration with New York Times writer Francesca Mari

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“Vienna invites us to envision a world in which homeownership isn’t the only way to secure a certain future — and what our lives might look like as a result,” writes Francesca Mari. America might have achieved the same had it not made a series of fateful policies in the mid-20th century that privileged homeownership over large-scale federal investments in public housing. Today we find ourselves living in a country where housing is a commodity, power has been ceded to private investors, and Americans are struggling. But earlier experiments in limited-profit and social housing show that it might be otherwise. Join us in imagining housing in America done differently.

Francesca Mari writes about housing, con men, and abuses of power. She is a contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine and an assistant professor of the practice at Brown University teaching narrative nonfiction. She has also written for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Review of Books, and others. She was a 2022 National Fellow at New America and a 2023 Radcliffe Fellow.