Chapter Activities

Activity 1: Housing Policy

Have each student pick a housing policy enacted from the mid-1930s to present. Ask them to answer the following questions:

  • Why was the policy enacted?
  • What are the current issues about the policy?

Activity 2: Housing Policy and Race Issues

Students should work alone and write on a sheet of paper how some U.S. housing policies may have reinforced racism. They should explain the covert and overt discrimination that minorities experience. Give them 15 minutes to write and then 5 minutes each to present to their classmates.

Activity 3: Defining Homelessness

Have students refer to the HEART definition of homelessness. They should indicate which of the following individuals would be considered homeless. If they can’t tell from the information given, they should list what information they would need in order to make the determination.

  1. A survivor of domestic violence staying temporarily in a homeless shelter with her children
  2. A family who has been given notice of eviction in 5 days
  3. A transgender teenager who is afraid of physical violence from his parents if he stays in his parents’ home
  4. A homeless veteran who is camping out in public parks
  5. An undocumented minor who came into the country without parents
  6. A college-age student who is couch-surfing from one friend’s house to the next
  7. A single father staying in a rent-by-the-week hotel with three children
  8. A formerly incarcerated woman who can’t find a landlord willing to rent to someone with a criminal conviction
  9. A foster child who has run away from her foster home because of abuse
  10. A family with two working parents who are living in their car after their house was taken in foreclosure