The Toxic Problem of Poverty + Housing Costs: Lessons from New Landmark Research About Homelessness

Location: Piper Auditorium, Harvard Graduate School of Design and Online

Speaker(s): Margot Kushel, James O’Connell, Peggy Bailey, Chris Herbert

For over three decades, Dr. Margot Kushel has both cared for people who experience homelessness and studied the causes, consequences, and solutions to homelessness particularly in California, which is home to 30 percent of the people experiencing homelessness in the US. Kushel, who recently led the largest representative study of homelessness in the United States since the mid-1990s, will discuss insights that have emerged from her work as a physician and researcher. Her research has shown that California’s homelessness crisis is primarily due to the lack of housing that low-income households can afford. Moreover, contrary to popular beliefs, the majority of people experiencing homelessness in the state were born in California. She will draw on the findings to discuss policies, programs, and practices that would help people experiencing homelessness and those who are risk of becoming homeless.  

Following the lecture, Chris Herbert, the Center’s Managing Director, will moderate a conversation with KushelPeggy Bailey, Vice President for Housing and Income Security at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and Dr. Jim O’Connell, President of the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program.

The John T. Dunlop Lecture honors a labor economist who played a central role in the creation of the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies and its Policy Advisory Board, which supports housing research at Harvard. A longtime member of the Harvard faculty, Dunlop was dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences from 1969 to 1973, served as US Secretary of Labor in the Ford administration, and worked for every US president from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Bill Clinton. He was also a mediator in numerous labor-management disputes, where he was known for developing innovative, multi-party agreements.  

Dr. Margot Kushel