Discussion: Housing and Community Development


Getting Started

Our communities are constantly changing. For example, the formerly robust city of Detroit lost its luster with the decline of the automobile industry. With that decline, homes were foreclosed on and now stand dormant. Communities withered. How can affordable housing spark community development? How can community development create an interest in housing in areas suffering such a decline?

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Upon successful completion of this discussion, you will be able to:

  • Identify social policies at the local, state, and federal levels that impact well-being, service delivery, and access to social services. (PO 5)
  • Assess how social welfare and economic policies impact the delivery of and access to social services. (PO 5)
  • Analyze policies with regard to advancement of human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice. (PO 5, ILO 5)
  • Demonstrate character, scholarship, and leadership in becoming a world changer through application to personal life and professional social work practice.
  • Demonstrate Christ-like attitudes, values, worldviews, and ethical and professional behavior within advanced clinical practice. (ILO 1)


  • Textbook: Social Welfare Policy: Responding to a Changing World
  • Textbook Reference:   Hoefer, R., & McNutt, J. (2016). Social Welfare Policy: Responding to a Changing World. Oxford University Press.


Background Information

Suppose you are working with a young couple and they have two small children. The husband was a foreman at the local mill and was making a really good living. Then the mill shut down. The couple had bought a house based on his overtime hours, and now they cannot afford the mortgage. They put the house on the market, but they owe more than the home is worth.

This situation is a real problem today. At one point in time, a house was considered an investment. Then “subprime” lending became the trend. Banks were lending to people with less-than-stellar credit. While this practice may have seemed like a good idea in the beginning, with the rise of unemployment and a decline in the housing market, foreclosure became commonplace. How do we work to resolve these issues? Should the federal government be held accountable? Should the banking industry forfeit profits to assist with revitalization?


  1. Review the rubric to make sure you understand the criteria for earning your grade.
  2. In your textbook Social Welfare Policy: Responding to a Changing World, read Chapter 12, “Housing and Community Development.”
  3. Watch the TED Talks video by James A. White, Sr., “The Little Problem I Had Renting a House.”  You can also download and view the TED Talks: James A. White Sr.—The Little Problem I Had Renting a House Video Transcript file.
  4. Navigate to the threaded discussion and respond to the following prompts:
    1. What modifications or changes can be made to current housing policies to help make a positive difference in the amount of affordable housing available to low-income individuals? 
    2. What effect could a crisis in housing have for the economy as a whole?
    3. How can you advocate for fair housing?
  5. Your initial post is due by the end of the fourth day of the workshop.
  6. Read and respond to at least two of your classmates’ postings, as well as all instructor follow-up questions directed to you, by the end of the workshop.