How to solve the affordable housing crisis

Sociology Professor Sullivan discusses hot-button issue of housing at TEDxMileHigh

September 27, 2017
CU Denver Assistant Professor Esther Sullivan
Esther Sullivan, an assistant professor of Sociology at CU Denver, spoke at a recent TEDxMileHigh event in downtown Denver.

“Right now, there is no state in the nation where a person working full time for minimum wage can afford rent for a fair-market, one-bedroom home. In fact, affordable housing is so hard to find, you’ll actually spend less of your income if you can afford to buy a house rather than rent.”

With that statement, Esther Sullivan, PhD, an assistant professor of Sociology at the University of Colorado Denver, opened a compelling and insightful talk about the hot-button issue of affordable housing at a recent TEDxMileHigh event. She was among a lineup of accomplished speakers and thinkers who shared the power of ideas with packed houses in downtown Denver.

You can view Sullivan’s TEDx talk on “America’s Most Invisible Communities” here.

Sullivan researches poverty, housing, legal regulations, spatial inequality and the built environment, with a special interest in both forced and voluntary residential mobility.

Inspired by what she witnessed after Hurricane Katrina, Sullivan spent two years living among low-income populations, documenting the effects of mass evictions. In her TEDx talk, Sullivan explains one surprising reason affordable housing is so insecure, and what can be done to fix the problem.

Her book, “Manufactured Insecurity: Mobile Home Park Evictions and Americans’ Tenuous Right to Place” (University of California Press) is scheduled to be released in fall 2018.