“The Big Mo”: The Early Days of Housing Policy Debate

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On the occasion of the 25th anniversary year of Housing Policy Debate, this article details the circumstances and the political climate of the late 1980s that led to the origin of this journal. I review the influence and the confluence of the National Housing Task Force of 1987, Jim Rouse (CEO of the Rouse Corporation), the Senate Subcommittee on Housing and Urban Affairs, and David O. Maxwell, then the chairman of Fannie Mae, to create the Office of Housing Research (OHR) within Fannie Mae. The article also highlights the role of the National Housing Task Force and the first Fannie Mae Housing Conference in expanding high-quality housing research in the 1990s through the MIT Housing Policy Project and the research and convening efforts of the OHR in Fannie Mae, which included this journal and a continuance of the Annual Housing Conference thereafter.


housing; financial institutions and industry; policy

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