For Civic Engagement, we ventured into the neighborhood around our school interviewing people. We needed to gather people’s opinions about housing as a public good. Some of their answers support or disprove previous opinions we had. Interviewing people was central to our project’s development.

What is a public good?
Examples of public goods are parks, churches, community centers and the national defense. When we think of the public good, we think of what is beneficial as a collective. However, a public good is an economic idea. It is a good that is non-excludable — nobody can be exempt from enjoying it, whether they contribute to paying for it or not.

What are some arguments in favor of treating human needs as public goods?
Arguments in favor of treating human needs as public goods are:
1)Some humans are not capable of providing goods for themselves and require the assistance of others.
2)Public goods create opportunities in the community.
3)Uniformity of available resources creates a sense of fairness.

What are the best arguments in favor of treating housing as a public good?
Public housing can be considered a public good because shelter is a basic human need. Like other human needs, not everyone has the capabilities in this society to obtain their own home. Many people struggle with the economy or disabilities and end up in need. If no assistance is provided, then the situation results in homelessness. Shelter is a human need because humans need a place of rest and protection from the environment; nobody should be excluded from enjoying it.

Explain the survey your created, how you distributed it, and the purpose of the survey/interview:
Our group (RJ, MML, myself, ZS and JDT), created a survey for people to complete. Our survey pertained to the topic of housing as a public good. All of our data was convertible into graphs, which can be viewed below. We distributed out surveys to people in the neighborhood of our school. We chose people at random; surely, some people declined to take the survey, but those cooperated gave useful data.

What did you find through your research?
Through this research, we discovered a number of things that informed our knowledge of public housing. The summary of results for each question are listed below:

1)The results of the first question showed us that people value public goods equally.

2)The second question showed that most people are unwilling to take a tax increase for more affordable housing. If they would, then it the limit would be at five percent.

3)The third results displayed an agreement that homeless people should not be left to handle their situation independently.

4)The fourth question’s results suggest that most people think that Cabrini Green’s downfall was a result of lack of government attention and funding. This also suggests that people think that projects in general need support from the government to survive.

5)The final question led us to the conclusion that most people see housing discrimination as a serious issue — no one said that it was not apparent.

All of this information will help us develop our project because we know increasing people’s taxes for more housing would not gain support. We also know that people agree that public housing needs more attention from the government. That is the conclusion of our findings for the day.