Here is the 112-second explanation of why homes — even fancy ones — help us all

More homes aren’t the only thing poor people need. But in a growing city, nothing we do will work unless we’re also building enough.

by Michael Andersen | Oct. 31, 2017

Housing is a human right, and we should use public housing, inclusionary zoning, rental protections and building standards to ensure that every human has a safe place of their own.

But none of that will work if there aren’t enough places for everybody.

The video above, released today by the Seattle-based Sightline Institute, lays this out as simply and briefly as anything I’ve seen.

When you add a new chair to a game of musical chairs, it doesn’t matter whether that new chair is a throne or a stool: either way, one more person is going to get to sit down.

Obviously the real housing market is more complicated. Neighborhoods matter; life circumstances matter. That’s why we need to layer other policies on top of the basic idea that in general, adding more homes to a growing area helps everybody.

But none of those other important policies changes the underlying truth: Adding homes to a growing city is good and necessary.

Portland for Everyone supports abundant, diverse, affordable housing. This is a reported blog about how to get more of those things. You can follow it on Twitter and Facebook or get new posts by email a few times each month.