The City of Grand Junction is hosting another series of book club meetings in May and June with a focus on the intersection between houselessness and housing. The book chosen for the summer of 2023 is titled Homelessness is a Housing Problem by Gregg Colburn and Clayton Page Aldern.
Book club meetings are offered in two-time frames: one in a five-week series to be held Wednesdays from 1-2:30 p.m. beginning May 31, and another planned for five weeks on Tuesday evenings from 6-7:30 p.m. beginning June 13. All sessions will be led by city staff and take place at the Mesa County Libraries’ Central Branch at 443 N. 6th Ave. Space is limited. Registration is free. Each session will include a guided discussion and when relevant, a guest attendee will be invited to offer context on that session’s material.
The summer book selection, Homelessness is a Housing Problem, seeks to explain the substantial regional variation in rates of homelessness in cities across the United States. In a departure from many analytical approaches, the authors shift their focus from the individual experiencing homelessness to the metropolitan area. Using accessible statistical analysis, they test a range of conventional beliefs about what drives the prevalence of homelessness in each city—including mental illness, drug use, poverty, weather, generosity of public assistance, and low-income mobility—and find that none explain the regional differences observed across the country. Instead, housing market conditions, such as the cost and availability of rental housing, offer a far more convincing account. Homelessness Is a Housing Problem explores the diverse experience in U.S. cities with the precarious nature of housing and offers policy solutions for unique regional challenges.
Author Gregg Colburn is assistant professor at the University of Washington, where he studies housing policy, housing affordability, and homelessness. Author Clayton Page Aldern is a data scientist and policy analyst based in Seattle.
More information and to register for either book club series.