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May 29 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm

“Homelessness Is a Housing Problem” with Gregg Colburn

In their book “Homelessness Is a Housing Problem: How Structural Factors Explain U.S. Patterns,” Gregg Colburn and Clayton Page Aldern seek to explain the substantial regional variation in rates of homelessness in cities across the United States. In a departure from many analytical approaches, Colburn and Aldern shift their focus from the individual experiencing homelessness to the metropolitan area. Using accessible statistical analysis, they test a range of conventional beliefs about what drives the prevalence of homelessness in a given city—including mental illness, drug use, poverty, weather, generosity of public assistance, and low-income mobility—and find that none explain the regional variation observed across the country. Instead, housing market conditions, such as the cost and availability of rental housing, offer a far more convincing account. With rigor and clarity, “Homelessness Is a Housing Problem” explores U.S. cities’ diverse experiences with housing precarity and offers policy solutions for unique regional contexts.

In partnership with the City of Ketchum, Blaine County Housing Authority, and Spur Community Foundation.

Gregg Colburn is an Associate Professor in the Runstad Department of Real Estate in the College of Built Environments at the University of Washington. He publishes research on topics related to housing and homelessness and is co-author of the book, Homelessness is a Housing Problem: How Structural Factors Explain U.S. Patterns (University of California Press). His research has been featured in leading media outlets, including The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Economist, Bloomberg, and National Public Radio. Gregg holds a B.A. from Albion College, an M.B.A. from Northwestern University, and a M.S.W. and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. Prior to academia, he worked as an investment banker and private equity professional. At the University of Washington, Gregg teaches classes in housing, urban economics, and finance. Gregg serves as co-chair of the University of Washington’s Homelessness Research Initiative and is a member of the National Alliance to End Homelessness Research Council.


May 29
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
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The Community Library
415 Spruce Ave
Ketchum, ID 83340 United States
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