Course Information

Course Overview and Objectives

Housing represents a fundamental human need and a critical element of human settlements. Within the context of urban planning, housing represents one of the ways in which planning intervention has sought to ensure the health and safety of residents, while also bearing influence on the spatial, social, and economic relationships that differentiate housing and other land uses. Within this class, we will explore the policies and practices that constitute housing policy in the United States and abroad, in order to understand where and how planning strategies have been effective (and ineffective) at shaping physical, economic, social, and political dimensions of housing.

Learning Goals

By the end of this course, we will develop:

  1. An understanding of the housing production and regulation system in the United States;
  2. An understanding of historic and contemporary housing policy intervention strategies;
  3. An understanding the intersection between housing policy and other urban policy initiatives;
  4. A framework for evaluation and analysis of housing policies in the US and abroad;
  5. Strategies for effective analysis and communication of housing policy trends and impacts.


UP 473 is designed as a seminar which compliments engagement and discussion with independent work. This course has no prerequisites aside from upper-level undergraduate or graduate-level standing. Students will benefit from some prior knowledge of urban planning theories, concepts, and analytical techniques, although these are not a required prerequisite. Please touch base with me if you have any questions regarding whether this course is right for you.

Course Materials

Most course materials are accessible via our course website. Because this website is publicly accessible, some course materials are restricted access and available by logging in to your UIUC account. Some links especially to academic journal articles may also require you to log in via VPN if you are off campus.

There is one required textbook which we will use of the course of the semester:

Schwartz, Alex F. Housing Policy in the United States (4th Edition)

Please purchase a copy of this book from your preferred bookseller.

Assignments, Grading, and Attendance


This course requires your engagement both within and outside of our seminar sessions. Grading criteria include contribution to the course environment, quality of writing, depth of analysis, and thoughtful engagement with the subject matter and each other. You work will be graded on a 100-point scale:

Letter Grade Point Range Description
A > 90 Points Outstanding work, ready for publication and dissemination
B 80 - 89 Points Good work, work needs minor revision
C 70 - 79 Points Work needs major revision
D 60 - 69 Points Work needs significant revision and rethinking
F < 59 Points Work does not meet minimum standards

Consistent contributions to discussion, thoughtful engagement with course material, and other achievements may lead to adjustments in course grades.


You can find more information on grade elements on the Assignments page.

All assignments should be submitted via Canvas as a PDF file (unless otherwise noted in the assignment). Late work will be automatically graded down by 5 points per 24-hour period your assignment is late, and will only be accepted if you have made arrangements with me prior to the assignment due date.


The learning environment in this seminar depends upon your participation. Full participation is expected for all course sessions. For each course session that you are absent from (excluding excused absences), 2 percent will be deducted from your final course grade. Excused absences will be granted on a case-by-case basis, but must be approved by me prior to the course session which you are absent from.

For those students who need to miss class due to a religious observance, please complete the Request for Accommodation for Religious Observances form should any instructors require an absence letter in order to manage the absence. In order to best facilitate planning and communication between students and faculty, we request that students make requests for absence letters as early as possible in the semester in which the request applies.

For more information on attendance policy as described in the University of Illinois Student Code, please see Sections 1-501 and 1-502.

Accomodations for Students with Disabilities

If you need accommodations for any sort of disability, please make an office hours appointment so we can discuss your needs and ways I can support your learning. To ensure that disability-related concerns are properly addressed, students who require assistance to participate in this class should contact Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES). DRES provides students with academic accommodations, access, and support services. To contact DRES you may visit 1207 S. Oak St., Champaign, call 333-4603 (V/TDD), or e-mail

Honor Code and Learning Environment

The Illinois Student Code states: “It is the responsibility of each student to refrain from infractions of academic integrity, from conduct that may lead to suspicion of such infractions, and from conduct that aids others in such infractions.” Note that you are subject to the Honor Code, as well as procedures for addressing violations to the Code, regardless of whether you have read it and understand it. According to the Code, “ignorance is no excuse.”

To meet this standard in this class, note the following: in written work, all ideas (as well as data or other information) that are not your own must be cited. Note that ideas that require citation may not have been published or written down anywhere. While you are free—and indeed encouraged—to discuss the assignments with your peers, all of your data collection, analysis, and writing should be your own. Sharing of data sources you have been assigned to collect is a violation of the honor code in this course. The penalty for failing to meet the principles or spirit of the honor code may include automatic failure of the assignment or the class, at the discretion of the instructor.

The Department of Urban and Regional Planning is committed to maintaining a learning environment that is rooted in the goals and responsibilities of professional planners. By enrolling in a class offered by the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, students agree to be responsible for maintaining an atmosphere of mutual respect in all activities, including lectures, discussions, labs, projects, and extracurricular programs. See Student Code Article 1-Student Rights and Responsibilities, Part 1. Student Rights: §1-102.

Health and Safety

Following University policy, all students are required to engage in appropriate behavior to protect the health and safety of the community. If you feel ill, do not come to class. In addition, if you test positive for COVID-19 or have had an exposure that requires testing and/or quarantine, do not attend class. Please notify me, and at my discretion, you will be given excused absences for these class sessions. We will also develop a plan to discuss how to make up any missed work.

Staying in Touch

As you learn and face challenges this semester, I need you to communicate with me, either during our course sessions or individually. You can schedule an appointment with me at your convenience via my Calendly page. I promise to listen, to be a resource, and to help in any way that I can - if I can’t help you, I will find someone who can.

Sexual Misconduct Reporting Obligation

The University of Illinois is committed to combating sexual misconduct. Faculty and staff members are required to report any instances of sexual misconduct to the University’s Title IX and Disability Office. In turn, an individual with the Title IX and Disability Office will provide information about rights and options, including accommodations, support services, the campus disciplinary process, and law enforcement options.

A list of the designated University employees who, as counselors, confidential advisors, and medical professionals, do not have this reporting responsibility and can maintain confidentiality, can be found here. Other information about resources and reporting is available at

Mental Health

The University of Illinois offers a variety of confidential services including individual and group counseling, crisis intervention, psychiatric services, and specialized screenings which are covered through the Student Health Fee. If you or someone you know experiences mental health concerns, please contact or visit any of the University’s resources provided below. Getting help is a smart and courageous thing to do for yourself and for those who care about you.

If you are in immediate danger, call 911.