Maps

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This year, we’ve reformed the Index to focus on unhoused youth and young adults (YYA), aligning it with their experiences and policy needs. Shifting from harm reduction to transformative change, some jurisdictions may see lower scores than before. This is a deliberate strategy, not a setback. Lower scores should motivate, not discourage, jurisdictions. They present an opportunity to adopt policies that effectively tackle and prevent youth homelessness, fostering meaningful progress.

Laws to Facilitate Housing Reparations and Landback

  • Anti-oppressive
  • Shifting power

The jurisdiction has laws that facilitate reparations in housing and/or landback

Reparations refer to the compensation or restitution provided to individuals or groups who have been historically oppressed or wronged. Landback laws, on the other hand, aim to restore and return the land to Indigenous communities that have been dispossessed of their lands through colonialism and other forms of injustice. Both concepts are rooted in the idea of redressing past wrongs and promoting justice and equity.

“I would like to be a first time home buyer but there are so many barriers to qualify for HUD services for those who have experienced homelessness and poverty. We need to remove these barriers. A form of reparations could look like fair and equal value for black and brown neighborhood homes and back pay for the devaluing of these homes for so long.”Focus Group Participant

Key Metric Score Type of Policy Description
2.0 Transformative High Score
1.5 Transformative Edge Medium Score
1.0 Reform Fair Score
0.5 Harm Reduction Low Score
0.0 Status Quo Status Quo
-0.5 Harmful Negative Score
-1.0 Violent Negative Score
N/A No Data No Data

Cite: National Homelessness Law Center and True Colors United. "State Index on Youth Homelessness, Laws to Facilitate Housing Reparations and Landback" https://youthstateindex.com/maps/laws-to-facilitate-housing-reparations-and-landback/. Accessed: February 24, 2024.

Shifting power

Shifting power in housing refers to a change in the dynamics of control and decision-making regarding housing. Historically, power in housing has been concentrated in the hands of wealthy individuals and corporations, leaving marginalized communities with limited say in the development and management of their homes and neighborhoods. However, there has been a growing movement towards shifting power towards these communities, with a focus on community-led development, tenant rights, and affordable housing.

Shifting power in housing can also help us move towards the decommodification of housing, which is when housing is treated primarily as a place to live rather than a financial asset or means of accumulating profit. There are a few types of decommodified housing, such as public or social housing (housing owned by governments or other public entities) or shared equity housing (housing owned by a group of residents, community members, or community organizations). But decommodified housing today constitutes less than 1 percent of US housing stock. The Index tracks a few policies that jurisdictions can enact to support shared equity models but action is needed on the federal level to reinvest in public housing and to support efforts like a Homes Guarantee.

“Autonomy in housing choice – I think about subsidized housing and what I had to give up to access it. Privacy was lacking when accessing certain things, like refrigerators had to be looked in. Over policing in these spaces removes privacy and autonomy and the impact on mental health in spaces that lack autonomy and privacy is devastating. Constantly looking for notices, constantly anxious about conditions of housing and maintenance checks. This causes stress and anxiety with my son, as well. MULTIGENERATIONAL stresses, constantly on the defense. Housing should preserve dignity and respect.” – Tiffany S. Haynes

Anti-Oppression

(racism, ableism, anti-trans/queerness, etc.)

Anti-oppression is an essential component of creating a just and equitable society. It is crucial to acknowledge the systemic oppression faced by marginalized communities, including racism, ableism, anti-trans/queerness, and other forms of oppression. In the context of housing, these oppressions manifest in various ways, such as discriminatory rental practices, inaccessible housing for people with disabilities, and harassment and violence against marginalized communities.

To combat these injustices, it is essential to implement anti-oppressive policies and practices in the housing sector. This includes creating inclusive housing policies that prioritize the needs of marginalized communities, providing accessible housing for people with disabilities, and addressing discrimination and harassment through legal measures. By prioritizing anti-oppression in housing, we can create a more just and equitable society where everyone has access to safe and affordable housing, regardless of their identity or background.