Housing Justice One-Year Institute Description (starting in Jan. 2019), consider applying.

23 Aug

Description of the One-Year Institute:

The One-Year Institute is comprised of a cohort of no more than 14 passionate and committed people of faith who will learn ways to address housing/homeless crisis in their communities through local congregations, partnerships and policy. Participants will practice within their own community a theology of advocacy, land use, and housing as part of God’s mission and the human right to housing.

This course has been offered at Azusa Pacific University in the Graduate Social Work Department. If you wish to earn credit from your own higher learning institution, please email Jill@makinghousinghappen.com and she will send you approved curriculum that you may want to use or adapt for your institution.

We will meet in person for five days in January at a lovely retreat center in Sierra Madre, CA, adjacent to Pasadena. We have the freedom to adjust the year’s curriculum somewhat based on the expectation and needs of participants. From February to September we will meet on-line once a month and also enjoy a phone check in/reflection/prayer time once a month. In October we will attend the Grounded Solutions Network national conference, which will provide a wealth of support in long-term solution to the housing crisis with best practice practitioners from throughout the US. See link: Grounded Solutions Conference

In the One-Year Cohort we will examine case studies of how churches and faith-rooted visionaries, community developers, advocates and community organizers are addressing the housing crisis, and thereby transforming people and communities. Guest speakers, interactive assignments, readings, site visits, community-based research and skill development as well as firsthand experiences to engage with affordable housing developers, local decision makers, policy, best practice models and processes of systemic change within a community.

Primary textbooks and recommended reading:

  • Brueggemann, W. (2002). The land: Place as gift, promise, and challenge in biblical faith (2nd Ed.). Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress.
    • Desmond, M. (2016). Evicted: Poverty and profit in the American city. New York: Penguin Random House LLC.
    • Shook, J.S. (Ed.). (2012). Making housing happen: Faith-based affordable housing models (2nd Ed.). Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, a Division of Wipf and Stock Publishers.
    • Mallach, A. (2009). A decent home: Planning, building, and preserving affordable housing. Chicago, IL: American Planning Association.
    • Salvatierra, A., & Heltzel, P. (2014). Faith-rooted community organizing: Mobilizing the church in service to the world. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

Dates, topics covered, and fees:

January 2-6 2019, Five days at the Friends Nature Lodge Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, next to Pasadena, CA. We will participate in team building assignments, affordable housing site visits, lectures, field trips, and course work on the following themes:

  • Defining the scope of the problem: course overview, stories, statistics, the case for affordable housing.
  • Developing theological frameworks for ownership, land, housing, and redemption of the cities: human rights perspectives.
  • Housing development: case studies and models.
  • Affordable housing preservation and solutions-reflection on field trip and all the tools to do affordable housing development (intermediaries).
  • Integrate theological frameworks including: what is the gospel, the role of the church, our stories, and how to help others tell their stories.

February 1 or 2, online (dates chosen based on class decision) Homelessness; defining housing challenges: homelessness–roots and causes and reason for hope, and key concepts.

March 1 or 2, (online) Understand underlying causes for the US housing crisis and rays of hope: segregation, gentrification, and displacement

April 5 or 6, (online) Define the housing problem: complexities and its interplay with federal, state, and city housing mandates and court rulings that have shaped our nation. Define: concentration, exclusion, fair and healthy housing, habitability, discrimination, and housing rights.

May 3 or 4, (online) Biblical city planning: Housing Element, CCD, New Urbanism, Smart Growth, housing trends, alternative building materials (Biblical basis for ecological and sustainable practices).

May 31 or June 1, (online) Going up the stream vs. Putting out fires: Intro to housing policy, how decision are made and how using spiritual practices we can influence them.

July 12 or 13, (online) Biblical basis of advocacy, how to be an advocate. Steps to advocacy.

August 2 or 3, (online) Advocacy practice/ You can’t do this alone. How to start a housing group and why. Jesus had a team.

September 6 or 7,  (online) Local, regional, state and national housing resources, empowerment theory and preparation for final presentations.

October meeting in person at national Grounded Solutions Affordable Housing Conference, dates and location to be determined. We will be sharing our final presentations of our years work with each other before, during and after the conference. See the conference for this year:


One-Year Housing Institute total estimated cost: $2, 500 (excluding travel to retreat, conference, and course materials) if you wish to fund raise for the cost of the course, we have a button you can use to set up a crowd sourcing event. Please consider inviting your church to support you. The deadline for applications submitted is Oct. 19th.  Since there is space for only 14 in the cohort, we encourage you to apply soon. We will let you know within two weeks after you have applied if you are accepted.



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