«AmericAn neighborhoods: inclusion And exclusion Volume 16, Number 3 • 2014 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development | Office of Policy ...»
The MTO findings have led to a vigorous debate about the importance of neighborhood effects (Clampet-Lundquist and Massey, 2008; Edin, DeLuca, and Owens, 2012; Ludwig, 2012; Ludwig et al., 2008; Turner et al., 2011).1 In his book, Great American City: Chicago and the Enduring Neighborhood Effect, Robert Sampson (2012) addresses the state of the neighborhood effects literature post-MTO. He offers a series of neighborhood facts: (1) considerable social inequity exists between neighborhoods, especially in terms of socioeconomic and racial diversity; (2) concentrated economic disadvantage often coincides with racial and ethnic concentrations; (3) public safety and health issues are bundled at the neighborhood level and can be predicted by other neighborhood characteristics; and (4) positive indicators, such as affluence and computer literacy, are also clustered geographically (Sampson, 2012). Although questions remain about the mechanisms by which neighborhood conditions affect individual outcomes, these four simple facts make it clear that neighborhoods matter and that policymakers and researchers should be concerned about inclusion and exclusion at the neighborhood level.
In stark contrast with the exclusionary government policies of the early and middle 20th century, today HUD has a strategic goal specifically to “reduce housing discrimination, affirmatively further fair housing (AFFH) through HUD programs, and promote diverse, inclusive communities.” A variety of HUD programs and policies seek to achieve this goal.
For an extensive discussion of MTO, see the Cityscape symposium, Moving to Opportunity (Volume 14, Number 2), at http://www.huduser.org/portal/periodicals/cityscpe/vol14num2/index.html.
One of HUD’s signature programs in the Obama Administration is Choice Neighborhoods, which seeks to reinvest in distressed communities, often with a high concentration of minority households. This place-based strategy seeks to increase diversity and opportunity by improving neighborhoods that are currently occupied by low-income individuals. The interagency Promise Zones and Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative seek to align programs from other agencies with Choice Neighborhoods to bring about comprehensive neighborhood revitalization.
Although HUD’s Housing Discrimination Studies have shown declines in blatant forms of racial housing discrimination, more subtle forms of discrimination persist that limit housing choices for minority and low-income (assisted) households. Education and enforcement efforts conducted by local fair housing organizations that are funded through HUD’s Fair Housing Initiatives Program and Fair Housing Assistance Program are critical to continued enforcement to identify systemic patterns of discrimination and to identify policies and practices that may have a disparate effect on minority households.
In addition, HUD is currently developing enhanced regulations related to the AFFH requirement of Section 808(e)(5) of the Fair Housing Act. This rule would encourage community development partners—in particular, state and local governments and public housing authorities—to proactively work to develop more inclusive communities, acknowledging that opportunities for success are influenced by a variety of neighborhood factors beyond housing. Local government policies to affirmatively further fair housing include enhanced mobility programs accompanied by housing counseling and supportive services, enacting small area fair market rents to allow for HUD payment standards to be higher in high-opportunity neighborhoods, and implementing inclusionary zoning ordinances to provide affordable housing along with new market-rate development.
Finally, recent research suggests that it is not enough to simply ensure that people of different backgrounds are able to live in proximity (as summarized by Joseph, 2013). To achieve more integrated mixed-income communities, it is essential to also create opportunities for community engagement—including planning that involves all members of a community and developing public spaces that can promote social capital and interaction across diverse income and ethnic groups.
Symposium Articles This symposium explores recent research on several topics related to ongoing segregation and efforts to develop sustainable and inclusive mixed-race, mixed-income communities. All articles were peer reviewed through a double-blind process.
Another recent Cityscape symposium, Mixed Messages on Mixed Income (Volume 15, Number 2), explored recent research related to mixed-income neighborhoods. A natural overlap exists between research on mixed-income and mixed-race populations, because in American society the correlation between income and race is persistent. As noted previously, American neighborhoods historically have been—and continue to be—highly segregated by race and by income. Thus, as housing and community development practitioners seek to develop mixed-income neighborhoods, they are also usually dealing with complicated issues around race and class.
CityscapeJoice and Bavan
In Mixed Messages on Mixed Income, contributors discussed many challenges related to the development of mixed-income neighborhoods. Levy, McDade, and Bertumen (2013) present the basic elements of a mixed-income housing strategy and discuss the theory of how such neighborhoods are expected to benefit low-income households. Several articles in that issue present case studies of particular mixed-income developments, programs, and strategies (Basolo, 2013; Keller et al., 2013; Kleinhans and van Ham, 2013; Oakley, Ruel, and Reid, 2103; Skobba and Goetz, 2013).
A consistent finding of these and other studies—best summarized by Joseph’s (2013) synthesis of income-mixing policies—is that mixed-income strategies often fall short of the ambitious goals theorized to result. As a result, a major question that remains relates to the extent to which individuals of different income levels actually interact and create opportunities for mutually beneficial relationships. Two of the articles in this symposium explore that question through the lens of race and class.
Laura M. Tach’s article, “Diversity, Inequality, and Microsegregation: Dynamics of Inclusion and Exclusion in a Racially and Economically Diverse Community,” includes finely grained qualitative analysis of the South End, an economically, racially, and culturally diverse neighborhood in Boston.
Tach directly takes on the question of how individuals of varied backgrounds actually interact in a neighborhood that appears on the surface to be very diverse. She finds that race- and class-based patterns of inclusion and exclusion emerge from the daily routines of residents, which create a phenomenon she describes as “microsegregation.” The second article in the symposium—“Building Ties: The Social Networks of Affordable-Housing Residents,” by Elyzabeth Gaumer, Ahuva Jacobowitz, and Jeanne Brooks-Gunn—includes a discussion of social networks in a mixed-income environment. The authors present novel analytic work on the nature and extent of the social networks of low- and moderate-income households living in a new affordable housing development in New York City. They find that residents interact less frequently with building neighbors, report fewer close ties in the building, and do not perceive building neighbors to be essential resources compared with networks of individuals who are more similar to residents who live in the same neighborhood but not the same building. They find that building residents do serve as an informational resource to residents, however.
The third article in the symposium—“Why and Where Do Homeowners Associations Form?” by Ron Cheung and Rachel Meltzer—takes a different approach to the issue of inclusion and exclusion. Homeowners associations (HOAs) have proliferated in recent decades, particularly in highgrowth regions like Florida. The authors examine spatial and temporal variation in the formation of HOAs in Florida. This analysis is related to inclusion and exclusion in two important ways.
First, the authors find that race/ethnicity and income are important predictors of where HOAs form. To the extent that HOAs represent an innovative form of local governance, minorities and low-income individuals may be missing out on more effective provision of public services. Second, HOAs essentially fragment the services traditionally performed by local government, creating an environment in which public services are provided unevenly even within a single jurisdiction. Just as suburbanization and “White flight” left behind distressed inner cities, HOAs may produce an uneven playing field, excluding nonresidents from the opportunities available to residents.
8 American Neighborhoods: Inclusion and Exclusion Inclusion and Exclusion in American Neighborhoods In the final article in the symposium, “Race, Segregation, and Choice: Race and Ethnicity in Choice Neighborhoods Initiative Applicant Neighborhoods, 2010–2012,” Matthew F. Gebhardt examines the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (Choice), which forms the centerpiece of HUD’s involvement in the interagency Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative. Choice seeks to build on the tradition of HOPE VI, revitalizing distressed public and assisted housing and transforming neighborhoods of concentrated poverty into neighborhoods of opportunity. Gebhardt analyzes the characteristics of the neighborhoods that have received funding through Choice planning grants, with a specific focus on the sociodemographic and socioeconomic characteristics of the neighborhoods. He finds that although racial desegregation is not an explicit goal of the program, Choice Planning Grantapplicant neighborhoods are in fact highly segregated by race and ethnicity, and this segregation is linked to disparities in educational attainment, unemployment, and income. The intention of the program is, of course, to transform these neighborhoods into less segregated, high-opportunity neighborhoods, and it will be important to monitor progress toward this goal in the coming years.
The articles in this symposium find many challenges that continue to hinder the development of inclusive neighborhoods. This symposium should be of particular interest to local practitioners working to develop more diverse, inclusive neighborhoods and to help low-income individuals access and benefit from neighborhoods of opportunity.
Acknowledgments We thank all the authors of articles, blind peer reviewers of this symposium, and the editorial staff of Cityscape.
Authors Paul Joice is a social science analyst in the Office of Policy Development and Research at the U.S.
Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Meena Bavan is a social science analyst in the Office of Policy Development and Research at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Basolo, Victoria. 2013. “Examining Mobility Outcomes in the Housing Choice Voucher Program:
Neighborhood Poverty, Employment, and Public School Quality,” Cityscape 15 (2): 135–154.
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Clampet-Lundquist, Susan, and Douglas Massey. 2008. “Neighborhood Effects on Self-Sufficiency:
A Reconsideration of the Moving to Opportunity Experiment,” American Journal of Sociology 114 (1): 107–143.
Cutler, David M., Edward L. Glaeser, and Jacob L. Vigdor. 1999. “The Rise and Decline of the American Ghetto,” Journal of Political Economy 107 (3): 455–506.
Edin, Kathryn, Stefanie DeLuca, and Ann Owens. 2012. “Constrained Compliance: Solving the Puzzle of MTO’s Lease-Up Rates and Why Mobility Matters,” Cityscape 14 (2): 181–194.
Ellen, Ingrid Gould, and Margery Austin Turner. 1997. “Does Neighborhood Matter? Assessing Recent Evidence,” Housing Policy Debate 8 (4): 833–866.
Isaacs, Julia. 2008. “Economic Mobility of Black and White Families.” In Getting Ahead or Losing Ground: Economic Mobility in America, edited by The Brookings Institution. Washington, DC: The Pew Charitable Trusts, Economic Mobility Project. Chapter VI: 1–10.
Jencks, Christopher, and Susan E. Mayer. 1990. “The Social Consequences of Growing Up in a Poor Neighborhood.” In Inner-City Poverty in the United States, edited by Laurence E. Lynn, Jr., and Michael G.H. McGeary. Washington, DC: National Academies Press: 111–186.
Joseph, Mark. 2013. “Cityscape Mixed-Income Symposium Summary and Response: Implications for Antipoverty Policy,” Cityscape 15 (2): 215–222.
Keller, JoDee, Janice Laakso, Christine Stevens, and Cathy Tashiro. 2013. “Ethnically Diverse
HOPE VI Redevelopments: A Community Case Study From the Pacific Northwest,” Cityscape 15 (2):
Kleinhans, Reinout, and Maarten van Ham. 2013. “Lessons Learned From the Largest Tenure-Mix Operation in the World: Right to Buy in the United Kingdom,” Cityscape 15 (2): 101–118.
Levy, Diane K., Zach McDade, and Kassie Bertumen. 2013. “Mixed-Income Living: Anticipated and Realized Benefits for Low-Income Households,” Cityscape 15 (2): 15–28.
Litschwartz, Sophie. 2013. “How Far Have We Come Since the Fair Housing Act? Black-White Segregation in the Last 45 Years.” Metrotrends. http://metrotrends.org/commentary/ segregation_1970_2010.cfm.
Ludwig, Jens. 2012. “Guest Editor’s Introduction,” Cityscape 14 (2): 1–28.
Ludwig, Jens, Jeffrey B. Liebman, Jeffrey R. Kling, Greg J. Duncan, Lawrence F. Katz, Ronald C.
Kessler, and Lisa Sanbonmatsu. 2008. “What Can We Learn About Neighborhood Effects From the Moving to Opportunity Experiment?” American Journal of Sociology 114 (1): 144–188.
Oakley, Dierdre, Erin Ruel, and Lesley Reid. 2013. “‘It was really hard. …It was alright. …It was easy.’ Public Housing Relocation Experiences and Destination Satisfaction in Atlanta,” Cityscape 15 (2): 173–192.
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