Housing Activities

This page includes lesson plans and materials for five housing topics.  Supplementary materials can be found on the Housing Resources page.

NOTE: If you have tried any of these activities and would like to leave a comment, please go to the bottom of this page. Specify the activity name or number.

TOPIC 1:  HISTORY OF HOUSING

Activity : In this activity, participants share their own history of housing and match it to a general history of housing over the last three generations. Then they discuss and look for trends and how these trends have affected the people in the room. Materials you will need:

TOPIC 2:  HISTORY OF HOUSING IN BALTIMORE

Add activity or delete topic?

TOPIC 3: CONNECTIONS BETWEEN HOUSING AND HEALTHCARE

Activity 1: Medical Causes of Home Mortgage Foreclosures
In this activity, participants read an article and discuss the connection between healthcare and housing.  Materials you will need:

Activity 2Strength in the Storm. 
This is a 10-minute segment of a documentary made of how the Vermont Worker’s Center, who had recently won Healthcare as a Human Right, fought to get victims of Hurricane Sandy back in housing. The documentary is a poignant description of what happens to people after they lose their housing. Materials you will need:

  • Add Lesson Plan
  •  Strength in the Storm video

Activity 3: Expenses Graph (needs to be printed in color or projected)
The  graph linked below shows the rise in basic expenses over the last 13 years., including food, housing, apparel, transportation, medical care, recreation, internet and phone, and college loans.

TOPIC 4:  HOUSING AND THE CRISIS CAUSED BY DEBT AND CREDIT

Activity 1: Housing wages in MD
This activity is based on a very long study by the National Law Housing Coalition. You would use a few pages in the study to read and discuss the fact that in Maryland, a person must make $24 an hour to afford average housing in Maryland. What are the implications of this, and is this true in the experience of the participants in the room? (pages 1, 9-10, 13-15) Materials you will need:

Activity 2Here’s What Happens When Wall Street Builds a Rental Empire (Huffington Post)
This is an article about big investors buying houses and then putting those houses on the rent market. This practices has turned Wall Street into the biggest slum lord on record, and is taking place in the suburbs, meaning housing has become an issue that affects suburban and city dwellers alike. Read the article and discuss. Pretty simple. Materials you will need:

Activity 4: We Lost Our House, the Economy Crashed, and You Made a FortuneHow Much Do We Owe You? (Huffington Post) This is an article about banks like JP Morgan paying the fees they owe for their inappropriate conduct of foreclosures using taxpayers money. Again, read article as a group, discuss. Pretty simple. Materials you will need:

Activity 5: The Crisis of Credit:
This is an 11 minute video on the housing bubble. It’s pretty wonky, so be prepared to watch it a couple of times before you take it to your meeting. It’s about the mechanisms big investors and big banks used to get us into the housing crisis. Materials you will need:

Housing Resources