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[Excerpt] The American Dream of home ownership is slipping from the grasp of working people. Decent and affordable apartments in locations near to work and the amenities of life are also harder to find. The 1980’s and 1990’s have seen the rise of homeless populations. Housing prices have skyrocketed, propelled by rising land prices and soaring mortgage interest rates. The pay of working people hasn’t kept up. Working people have seen well-paying manufacturing jobs shipped overseas. They have seen jobs destroyed by corporate downsizing. Good jobs have been lost due to defense cutbacks. Many jobs have become part-time or contingent without pensions and health insurance. Many jobs have been replaced by low-paying service jobs. These developments have made it hard to maintain a decent standard of living, including shelter.


Suggested Citation
Parente, F. (1995). Housing and the American dream: Unions have a role; so does government(AFL-CIO Reviews the Issues, Report No. 85). Retrieved [insert date] from Cornell University, ILR School site:

Required Publisher Statement
Copyright by the AFL-CIO. Document posted with special permission by the copyright holder.