Skip to content
CityLab
Housing

The American Housing Crisis Might Be Our Next Big Political Issue

Several new advocacy groups have sprung up to push for better housing policies at the state and national level. Their first job: Communicating how significant the problem really is.
An apartment building in Sacramento, California, where a state bill designed to ease regulations limiting new housing was recently defeated. But the issue isn't going anywhere.
An apartment building in Sacramento, California, where a state bill designed to ease regulations limiting new housing was recently defeated. But the issue isn't going anywhere. Rich Pedroncelli/AP

The advertising executive Michael Franzini, founder of the nonprofit ad agency Public Interest, has created campaigns to fight AIDS, spur Holocaust awareness, and advocate for STEM education. The cause driving his latest campaign is a tricky one: He wants to bring housing policy—a topic that is now largely the purview of wonks, developers, big city activists, and a select few politicians—into the forefront of our national discourse.

“In the same way that Al Gore put climate change on the map, that's what we’re hoping to do,” Franzini said. “We want everyone to start demanding change.”