Age of Concrete is a history of the making of houses and homes in the subúrbios of Maputo (Lourenço Marques), Mozambique, from the late 1940s to the present. Often dismissed as undifferentiated, ahistorical “slums,” these neighborhoods are in fact an open-air archive that reveals some of people’s highest aspirations. At first people built in reeds. Then they built in wood and zinc panels. And finally, even when it was illegal, they risked building in concrete block, making permanent homes in a place where their presence was often excruciatingly precarious.
Unlike many histories of the built environment in African cities, Age of Concrete focuses on ordinary homebuilders and dwellers. David Morton thus models a different way of thinking about urban politics during the era of decolonization, when one of the central dramas was the construction of the urban stage itself. It shaped how people related not only to each other but also to the colonial state and later to the independent state as it stumbled into being.
Original, deeply researched, and beautifully composed, this book speaks in innovative ways to scholarship on urban history, colonialism and decolonization, and the postcolonial state. Replete with rare photographs and other materials from private collections, Age of Concrete establishes Morton as one of a handful of scholars breaking new ground on how we understand Africa’s cities.
Japanese and American economists assess the present economic status of the elderly in the United States and Japan, and consider the impact of an aging population on the economies of the two countries.
With essays on labor force participation and retirement, housing equity and the economic status of the elderly, budget implications of an aging population, and financing social security and health care in the 1990s, this volume covers a broad spectrum of issues related to the economics of aging. Among the book's findings are that workers are retiring at an increasingly earlier age in both countries and that, as the populations age, baby boomers in the United States will face diminishing financial resources as the ratio of retirees to workers sharply increases.
The result of a joint venture between the National Bureau of Economic Research and the Japan Center for Economic Research, this book complements Housing Markets in the United States and Japan (1994) by integrating research on housing markets with economic issues of the aged in the United States and Japan.
Between the early 1900s and the late 1950s, the attitudes of white Californians toward their Asian American neighbors evolved from outright hostility to relative acceptance. Charlotte Brooks examines this transformation through the lens of California’s urban housing markets, arguing that the perceived foreignness of Asian Americans, which initially stranded them in segregated areas, eventually facilitated their integration into neighborhoods that rejected other minorities.
Against the backdrop of cold war efforts to win Asian hearts and minds, whites who saw little difference between Asians and Asian Americans increasingly advocated the latter group’s access to middle-class life and the residential areas that went with it. But as they transformed Asian Americans into a “model minority,” whites purposefully ignored the long backstory of Chinese and Japanese Americans’ early and largely failed attempts to participate in public and private housing programs. As Brooks tells this multifaceted story, she draws on a broad range of sources in multiple languages, giving voice to an array of community leaders, journalists, activists, and homeowners—and insightfully conveying the complexity of racialized housing in a multiracial society.
High-rise public housing developments were signature features of the post–World War II city. A hopeful experiment in providing temporary, inexpensive housing for all Americans, the "projects" soon became synonymous with the black urban poor, with isolation and overcrowding, with drugs, gang violence, and neglect. As the wrecking ball brings down some of these concrete monoliths, Sudhir Venkatesh seeks to reexamine public housing from the inside out, and to salvage its troubled legacy. Based on nearly a decade of fieldwork in Chicago's Robert Taylor Homes, American Project is the first comprehensive story of daily life in an American public housing complex.
Venkatesh draws on his relationships with tenants, gang members, police officers, and local organizations to offer an intimate portrait of an inner-city community that journalists and the public have only viewed from a distance. Challenging the conventional notion of public housing as a failure, this startling book re-creates tenants' thirty-year effort to build a safe and secure neighborhood: their political battles for services from an indifferent city bureaucracy, their daily confrontation with entrenched poverty, their painful decisions about whether to work with or against the street gangs whose drug dealing both sustained and imperiled their lives.
American Project explores the fundamental question of what makes a community viable. In his chronicle of tenants' political and personal struggles to create a decent place to live, Venkatesh brings us to the heart of the matter.
Mumbai's textile industry is commonly but incorrectly understood to be an extinct relic of the past. In The Archive of Loss Maura Finkelstein examines what it means for textile mill workers—who are assumed not to exist—to live and work during a period of deindustrialization. Finkelstein shows how mills are ethnographic archives of the city where documents, artifacts, and stories exist in the buildings and in the bodies of workers. Workers' pain, illnesses, injuries, and exhaustion narrate industrial decline; the ways in which they live in tenements exist outside and resist the values expounded by modernity; and the rumors and untruths they share about textile worker strikes and a mill fire help them make sense of the industry's survival. In outlining this archive's contents, Finkelstein shows how mills, which she conceptualizes as lively ruins, become a lens through which to challenge, reimagine, and alter ways of thinking about the past, present, and future in Mumbai and beyond.
In the last three years the migrant labor hostels of South Africa, particularly those in the Transvaal, have gained international notoriety as theaters of violence. For many years they were hidden from public view and neglected by the white authorities. Now, it seems, hostel dwellers may have chosen physical violence to draw attention to the structural violence of their appalling conditions of life. Yet we should not lose sight of the fact that the majority of hostel dwellers are peace-loving people who have over the years developed creative strategies to cope with their impoverished and degrading environment.
In this challenging study, Dr. Mamphela Ramphele documents the life of the hostel dwellers of Cape Town, for whom a bed is literally a home for both themselves and their families. Elaborating the concept of space in its many dimensions—not just physical, but political, ideological, social, and economic as well—she emphasizes the constraints exerted on hostel dwellers by the limited spaces they inhabit. At the same time, she argues that within these constraints people have managed to find room for manoeuvre, and in her book explores the emancipatory possibilities of their environment.
The text is illustrated with a number of black-and-white photographs taken by Roger Meintjes in the townships and hostels.
In the decades following World War II, cities across the United States saw an influx of African American families into otherwise homogeneously white areas. This racial transformation of urban neighborhoods led many whites to migrate to the suburbs, producing the phenomenon commonly known as white flight. In Block by Block, Amanda I. Seligman draws on the surprisingly understudied West Side communities of Chicago to shed new light on this story of postwar urban America.
Seligman's study reveals that the responses of white West Siders to racial changes occurring in their neighborhoods were both multifaceted and extensive. She shows that, despite rehabilitation efforts, deterioration in these areas began long before the color of their inhabitants changed from white to black. And ultimately, the riots that erupted on Chicago's West Side and across the country in the mid-1960s stemmed not only from the tribulations specific to blacks in urban centers but also from the legacy of accumulated neglect after decades of white occupancy. Seligman's careful and evenhanded account will be essential to understanding that the "flight" of whites to the suburbs was the eventual result of a series of responses to transformations in Chicago's physical and social landscape, occurring one block at a time.
Blueprint for Green Affordable Housing is a guide for housing developers, advocates, public agency staff, and the financial community that offers specific guidance on incorporating green building strategies into the design, construction, and operation of affordable housing developments. A completely revised and expanded second edition of the groundbreaking 1999 publication, this new book focuses on topics of specific relevance to affordable housing including:
how green building adds value to affordable housing
the integrated design process
best practices in green design for affordable housing
green operations and maintenance
innovative funding and finance
emerging programs, partnerships, and policies
Edited by national green affordable housing expert Walker Wells and featuring a foreword by Matt Petersen, president and chief executive officer of Global Green USA, the book presents 12 case studies of model developments and projects, including rental, home ownership, special needs, senior, self-help, and co-housing from around the United States. Each case study describes the unique green features of the development, discusses how they were successfully incorporated, considers the project's financing and savings associated with the green measures, and outlines lessons learned.
Blueprint for Green Affordable Housing is the first book of its kind to present information regarding green building that is specifically tailored to the affordable housing development community.
In this vivid portrait of life in Chicago in the fifty years after the Civil War, Margaret Garb traces the history of the American celebration of home ownership. As the nation moved from an agrarian to an industrialized urban society, the competing visions of capitalists, reformers, and immigrants turned the urban landscape into a testing ground for American values. Neither a natural progression nor an inevitable outcome, the ideal of home ownership emerged from the struggles of industrializing cities. Garb skillfully narrates these struggles, showing how the American infatuation with home ownership left the nation's cities sharply divided along class and racial lines.
Based on research of real estate markets, housing and health reform, and ordinary homeowners—African American and white, affluent and working class—City of American Dreams provides a richly detailed picture of life in one of America's great urban centers. Garb shows that the pursuit of a single-family house set on a tidy yard, commonly seen as the very essence of the American dream, resulted from clashes of interests and decades of struggle.
Changes in federal housing policies over the past several decades shifted the primary responsibility for providing low-income renters with affordable housing from the government to private landlords. Federal, state, and local governments have passed laws to ensure that low-income renters are protected from illicit landlording practices. Yet we know little about how private landlords experience local housing regulations. In Collateral Damages, sociologist Meredith Greif examines how local laws affect private landlords and whether tenants are, in fact, being adequately protected.
For three years, Greif followed sixty private landlords serving low- and moderate-income residents in the Cleveland, Ohio, metropolitan area to better understand how local regulations, such as criminal activity nuisance ordinances (CANOs) and local water billing regulations, affect their landlording practices. CANOs are intended to protect communities by discouraging criminal activity on private properties. Property owners can face financial and criminal sanctions if they do not abate nuisance activities, which can include littering, noise, drug use, and calls for police assistance, including calls for domestic violence. Local water billing regulations hold landlords responsible for delinquent water bills, even in cases where the account is registered in the tenant’s name. Greif finds that such laws often increase landlords’ sense of “financial precarity” – the real or perceived uncertainty that their business is financially unsustainable – by holding them responsible for behavior they feel is out of their control. Feelings of financial uncertainty led some landlords to use illegitimate business practices against their tenants, including harassment, oversurveillance, poor property upkeep, and illegal evictions. And to avoid to financial penalties associated with CANOs and delinquent water bills, some landlords engage in discriminatory screening of vulnerable potential tenants who are unemployed or have histories of domestic violence or drug use. In this sense, by promoting a sense of financial insecurity among landlords, laws meant to protect renters ultimately had the opposite effect.
While some landlords, particularly those who rented a larger number of units, were able to operate their businesses both lawfully and profitably, the majority could not. Greif offers practical recommendations to address the concerns of small- and mid-sized landlords, such as regular meetings that bring landlords and local authorities together to engage in constructive dialogue about local housing policy, issues, and concerns. She also proposes policy recommendations to protect renters, such as establishing the right to counsel for lower-income tenants in eviction hearings and enacting a federal renter’s tax credit.
Collateral Damages is an enlightening investigation on how local laws and practices perpetuate disadvantage among marginalized populations and communities, in ways that are hidden and often unintended.
The colonias of the U.S.–Mexico border form a loose network of more than 2,500 settlements, ranging in size from villages to cities, that are home to over a million people. While varying in size, all share common features: wrenching poverty, substandard housing, and public health issues approaching crisis levels. This book brings together scholars, professionals, and activists from a wide range of disciplines to examine the pressing issues of economic development, housing and community development, and public and environmental health in colonias of the four U.S.–Mexico border states.
The Colonias Reader is the first book to present such a broad overview of these communities, offering a glimpse into life in the colonias and the circumstances that allow them to continue to exist—and even grow—in persistent poverty. The contributors document the depth of existing problems in each state and describe how government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and community activists have mobilized resources to overcome obstacles to progress.
More than reporting problems and documenting programs, the book provides conceptual frameworks that tie poverty to institutional and class-based conflicts, and even challenges the very basis of colonia designations. Most of these contributions move beyond portraying border residents as hapless victims of discrimination and racism, showing instead their devotion to improving their own living conditions through grassroots organizing and community leadership.
These contributions show that, despite varying degrees of success, all colonia residents aspire to a livable wage, safe and decent housing, and basic health care. The Colonias Reader showcases many situations in which these people have organized to fulfill these ambitions and provides new insight into life along the border.
Northern whites in the post–World War II era began to support the principle of civil rights, so why did many of them continue to oppose racial integration in their communities? Challenging conventional wisdom about the growth, prosperity, and racial exclusivity of American suburbs, David M. P. Freund argues that previous attempts to answer this question have overlooked a change in the racial thinking of whites and the role of suburban politics in effecting this change. In Colored Property, he shows how federal intervention spurred a dramatic shift in the language and logic of residential exclusion—away from invocations of a mythical racial hierarchy and toward talk of markets, property, and citizenship.
Freund begins his exploration by tracing the emergence of a powerful public-private alliance that facilitated postwar suburban growth across the nation with federal programs that significantly favored whites. Then, showing how this national story played out in metropolitan Detroit, he visits zoning board and city council meetings, details the efforts of neighborhood “property improvement” associations, and reconstructs battles over race and housing to demonstrate how whites learned to view discrimination not as an act of racism but as a legitimate response to the needs of the market. Illuminating government’s powerful yet still-hidden role in the segregation of U.S. cities, Colored Property presents a dramatic new vision of metropolitan growth, segregation, and white identity in modern America.
Seeing the camp as a persistent political instrument in Israel–Palestine and beyond
The Common Camp underscores the role of the camp as a spatial instrument employed for reshaping, controlling, and struggling over specific territories and populations. Focusing on the geopolitical complexity of Israel–Palestine and the dramatic changes it has experienced during the past century, this book explores the region’s extensive networks of camps and their existence as both a tool of colonial power and a makeshift space of resistance.
Examining various forms of camps devised by and for Zionist settlers, Palestinian refugees, asylum seekers, and other groups, Irit Katz demonstrates how the camp serves as a common thread in shaping lands and lives of subjects from across the political spectrum. Analyzing the architectural and political evolution of the camp as a modern instrument engaged by colonial and national powers (as well as those opposing them), Katz offers a unique perspective on the dynamics of Israel–Palestine, highlighting how spatial transience has become permanent in the ongoing story of this contested territory.
The Common Camp presents a novel approach to the concept of the camp, detailing its varied history as an apparatus used for population containment and territorial expansion as well as a space of everyday life and subversive political action. Bringing together a broad range of historical and ethnographic materials within the context of this singular yet versatile entity, the book locates the camp at the core of modern societies and how they change and transform.
From the middle of the nineteenth century, as Euro-Americans moved westward, they carried with them long-held prejudices against people of color. By the time they reached the West Coast, their new settlements included African Americans and recent Asian immigrants, as well as the indigenous inhabitants and descendants of earlier Spanish and Mexican settlers. The Coveted Westside deals with the settlement and development of Los Angeles in the context of its multiracial, multiethnic population, especially African Americans.
Mandel exposes the enduring struggle between Whites determined to establish their hegemony and create residential heterogeneity in the growing city, and people of color equally determined to obtain full access to the city and the opportunities, including residential, that it offered. Not only does this book document the Black homeowners’ fight against housing discrimination, it shares personal accounts of Blacks’ efforts to settle in the highly desirable Westside of Los Angeles. Mandel explores the White-derived social and legal mechanisms that created this segregated city and the African American-led movement that challenged efforts to block access to fair housing.
From 1976 to 1998, the Gautreaux Assisted Housing Program moved over 7,000 low-income black families from Chicago's inner city to middle-class white suburbs—the largest and longest-running residential, racial, and economic integration effort in American history. Crossing the Class and Color Lines is the story of that project, from the initial struggles and discomfort of the relocated families to their eventual successes in employment and education—cementing the sociological concept of the "neighborhood effect" and shattering the myth that inner-city blacks cannot escape a "culture of poverty."
"This book's history of Chicago public housing should be required reading for anyone interested in social policy in the United States."—Jens Ludwig, Social Service Review
"[The authors'] work is rightly cited as one of the important precedents in the field. . . . This is a remarkable, unassailable accomplishment and this book is an important record of their scholarly contribution."—John M. Goering, Ethnic and Racial Studies
Detroit: Race and Uneven Development
Joe T. Darden, Richard Child Hill, June Thomas and Richard Thomas Temple University Press, 1990 Library of Congress F574.D49N4335 1987 | Dewey Decimal 305.800977434
Hub of the American auto industry and site of the celebrated Riverfront Renaissance, Detroit is also a city of extraordinary poverty, unemployment, and racial segregation. This duality in one of the mightiest industrial metropolises of twentieth-century North America is the focus of this study. Viewing the Motor City in light of sociology, geography, history, and planning, the authors examine the genesis of modern Detroit. They argue that the current situation of metropolitan Detroit—economic decentralization, chronic racial and class segregation, regional political fragmentation—is a logical result of trends that have gradually escalated throughout the post-World War II era. Examining its recent redevelopment policies and the ensuing political conflicts, Darden, Hill, Thomas, and Thomas, discuss where Detroit has been and where it is going.
In the series Comparative American Cities, edited by Joe T. Darden.
Diversity and Disparities: America Enters a New Century
John Logan is professor of sociology and director of the Research Initiative on Spatial Structures in the Social Sciences at Brown University and editor of Diversity and Disparities: America Enters a New Century. Russell Sage Foundation, 2014 Library of Congress HC110.I5D55 2014 | Dewey Decimal 339.220973
The United States is more diverse than ever before. Increased immigration has added to a vibrant cultural fabric, and women and minorities have made significant strides in overcoming overt discrimination. At the same time, economic inequality has increased significantly in recent decades, and the Great Recession substantially weakened the economic standing not only of the poor but also of the middle class. Diversity and Disparities, edited by sociologist John Logan, assembles impressive new studies that interpret the social and economic changes in the United States over the last decade. The authors, leading social scientists from many disciplines, analyze changes in the labor market, family structure, immigration, and race. They find that while America has grown more diverse, the opportunities available to disadvantaged groups have become more unequal. Drawing on detailed data from the decennial census, the American Community Survey, and other sources, the authors chart the growing diversity and the deepening disparities among different groups in the United States Harry J. Holzer and Marek Hlavac document that although the economy always rises and falls over the business cycle, the Great Recession of 2007–2009 was a catastrophic event that saw record levels of unemployment, especially among less-educated workers, young people, and minorities. Emily Rosenbaum shows how the Great Recession amplified disparities in access to home ownership, and demonstrates that young adults, especially African Americans, are falling behind previous cohorts not only in home ownership and wealth but even in starting their own families and households. Sean F. Reardon and Kendra Bischoff explore the rise of class segregation as higher-income Americans are moving away from others into separate and privileged neighborhoods and communities. Immigration has also seen class polarization, with an increase in both highly skilled workers and undocumented immigrants. As Frank D. Bean and his colleagues show, the lack of a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants inhibits the educational and economic opportunities for their children and grandchildren. Barrett Lee and colleagues demonstrate that the nation and most cities and towns are becoming more diverse by race and ethnicity. However, while black-white segregation is slowly falling, Hispanics and Asians remain as segregated today as they were in 1980. Diversity and Disparities raises concerns about the extent of socioeconomic immobility in the United States today. This volume provides valuable information for policymakers, journalists, and researchers seeking to understand the current state of the nation.
The Economics of Aging
Edited by David A. Wise University of Chicago Press, 1988 Library of Congress HQ1064.U5E26 1988 | Dewey Decimal 305.260973
The Economics of Aging presents results from an ongoing National Bureau of Economic Research project. Contributors consider the housing mobility and living arrangements of the elderly, their labor force participation and retirement, the economics of their health care, and their financial status. The goal of the research is to further our understanding both of the factors that determine the well-being of the elderly and of the consequences that follow from an increasingly older population with longer individual life spans. Each paper is accompanied by critical commentary.
Researchers often hope that their work will inform social change. The questions that motivate them to pursue research careers in the first place often stem from observations about gaps between the world as we wish it to be and the world as it is, accompanied by a deep curiosity about how it might be made different. Researchers view their profession as providing important information about what is, what could be, and how to get there. However, if research is to inform social change, we must first change the way in which research is done.
Engaging the Intersection of Housing and Health offers case studies of research that is interdisciplinary, stakeholder-engaged and intentionally designed for “translation” into practice. There are numerous ways in which housing and health are intertwined. This intertwining—which is the focus of this volume—is lived daily by the children whose asthma is exacerbated by mold in their homes, the adults whose mental illness increases their risk for homelessness and whose homelessness worsens their mental and physical health, the seniors whose home environment enhances their risk of falls, and the families who must choose between paying for housing and paying for healthcare.
Environmental Regulations and Housing Costs
Arthur C. Nelson, John Randolph, Joseph M. Schilling, Jonathan Logan, James M. McElfish, Jr., and Newport Partners LLC Island Press, 2009 Library of Congress HD7293.E63 2009 | Dewey Decimal 333.338230973
Many communities across the nation still lack affordable housing. And many officials continue to claim that “affordable housing” is an oxymoron. Building inexpensively is impossible, they say, because there are too many regulations. Required environmental impact statements and habitat protection laws, they contend, drive up the costs of construction. But is this actually true? In a comprehensive study of the question, the authors of this eye-opening book separate fact from myth.
With admirable clarity, they describe the policy debate from its beginning, review the economic theory, trace the evolution of development regulation, and summarize the major research on the topic. In addition, they offer their own research, accompanied by a case study of two strikingly different Washington, D.C., suburbs. They also include results of focus groups conducted in Dallas, Denver, and Tucson. The authors find that environmental regulatory costs—as a share of total costs and processes—are about the same now as they were thirty years ago, even though there are far more regulations today. They find, too, that environmental regulations may actually create benefits that could improve the value of housing.
Although they conclude that regulations do not appear to drive up housing costs more now than in the past, they do offer recommendations of ways in which the processes associated with regulations—including review procedures—could be improved and could result in cost savings. Intended primarily for professionals who are involved in, or impacted by, regulations—from public officials, planners, and engineers to housing developers and community activists—this book will provide useful insights and data to anyone who wants to know if (and how) American housing can actually be made “affordable.”
Across the Western world, full membership of society is established through entitlements to space and formalized in the institutions of property and citizenship. Those without such entitlements are deemed less than fully human as they struggle to find a place where they can symbolically and physically exist. Written by an anthropologist who accidentally found herself homeless, The Ethics of Space is an unprecedented account of what happens when homeless people organize to occupy abandoned properties.
Set against the backdrop of economic crisis, austerity, and a disintegrating British state, Steph Grohmann tells the story of a flourishing squatter community in the city of Bristol and how it was eventually outlawed by the state. The first ethnography of homelessness done by a researcher who was formally homeless throughout fieldwork, this volume explores the intersection between spatial existence, subjectivity, and ethics. The result is a book that rethinks how ethical views are shaped and constructed through our own spatial existences.
From 1967 to 1973, a period that culminated in the socialist project of Salvador Allende, nearly 400,000 low-income Chileans illegally seized parcels of land on the outskirts of Santiago. Remarkably, today almost all of these individuals live in homes with property titles. As Edward Murphy shows, this transformation came at a steep price, through an often-violent political and social struggle that continues to this day.
In analyzing the causes and consequences of this struggle, Murphy reveals a crucial connection between homeownership and understandings of proper behavior and governance. This link between property and propriety has been at the root of a powerful, contested urban politics central to both social activism and urban development projects. Through projects of reform, revolution, and reaction, a right to housing and homeownership has been a significant symbol of governmental benevolence and poverty reduction. Under Pinochet’s neoliberalism, subsidized housing and slum eradication programs displaced many squatters, while awarding them homes of their own. This process, in addition to ongoing forms of activism, has permitted the vast majority of squatters to live in homes with property titles, a momentous change of the past half-century.
This triumph is tempered by the fact that today the urban poor struggle with high levels of unemployment and underemployment, significant debt, and a profoundly segregated and hostile urban landscape. They also find it more difficult to mobilize than in the past, and as homeowners they can no longer rally around the cause of housing rights.
Citing cultural theorists from Marx to Foucault, Murphy directly links the importance of home ownership and property rights among Santiago’s urban poor to definitions of Chilean citizenship and propriety. He explores how the deeply embedded liberal belief system of individual property ownership has shaped political, social, and physical landscapes in the city. His approach sheds light on the role that social movements and the gendered contours of home life have played in the making of citizenship. It also illuminates processes through which squatters have received legally sanctioned homes of their own, a phenomenon of critical importance in cities throughout much of Latin America and the Global South.
Sociopolitical views on housing have been brought to the fore in recent years by economic crises and rises in migration. Through case studies covering a range of geographical contexts, this book’s chapters build a narrative encompassing issues of housing equality, the biopolitics of dwelling and its associated activism, initiatives for social sustainability, and cohabitation of the urban terrain. This volume presents an ethical view of the stakeholders who are typically unaccounted for, thus offering a critique of recent governmental policy on housing access and development.
It's hard to overestimate the complexity of the factors that dictate something as simple as where, and in what sorts of structures, people live. Urban planning, business, labor, ethnicity, architecture—each influences the types of structures people live in, and the sorts of lives they lead within them.
Joseph C. Bigott takes on all of these fields in From Cottage to Bungalow, a sophisticated study of domestic structures and ethnic working-class neighborhoods in Chicago during the critical period of 1869 to 1929, when the city attracted huge numbers of immigrants. Exploring the meaning of home ownership in this context, Bigott develops two case studies that combine the intimate lives of ordinary people (primarily in Chicago's Polish and German communities) with broad analysis of everything from real estate markets to the very carpentry practices used to construct houses. His progressive methods and the novel conclusions they support chronicle not only the history of housing in Chicago, but also the organizations of people's lives, and the ways in which housing has affected notions of who is—and who is not—a worthy American citizen.
US cities are faced with the joint challenge of our climate crisis and the lack of housing that is affordable and healthy. Our housing stock contributes significantly to the changing climate, with residential buildings accounting for 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. US housing is not only unhealthy for the planet, it is putting the physical and financial health of residents at risk. Our housing system means that a renter working 40 hours a week and earning minimum wage cannot afford a two-bedroom apartment in any US county.
In Gray to Green Communities, green affordable housing expert Dana Bourland argues that we need to move away from a gray housing model to a green model, which considers the health and well-being of residents, their communities, and the planet. She demonstrates that we do not have to choose between protecting our planet and providing housing affordable to all.
Bourland draws from her experience leading the Green Communities Program at Enterprise Community Partners, a national community development intermediary. Her work resulted in the first standard for green affordable housing which was designed to deliver measurable health, economic, and environmental benefits.
The book opens with the potential of green affordable housing, followed by the problems that it is helping to solve, challenges in the approach that need to be overcome, and recommendations for the future of green affordable housing. Gray to Green Communities brings together the stories of those who benefit from living in green affordable housing and examples of Green Communities’ developments from across the country. Bourland posits that over the next decade we can deliver on the human right to housing while reaching a level of carbon emissions reductions agreed upon by scientists and demanded by youth.
Gray to Green Communities will empower and inspire anyone interested in the future of housing and our planet.
The definitive account of the housing bubble that caused the Great Recession—and earned Wall Street fantastic profits.
The American housing bubble of the 2000s caused the worst global financial crisis since the Great Depression. In this definitive account, Adam Levitin and Susan Wachter pinpoint its source: the shift in mortgage financing from securitization by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to “private-label securitization” by Wall Street banks. This change set off a race to the bottom in mortgage underwriting standards, as banks competed in laxity to gain market share.
The Great American Housing Bubble tells the story of the transformation of mortgage lending from a dysfunctional, local affair, featuring short-term, interest-only “bullet” loans, to a robust, national market based around the thirty-year fixed-rate mortgage, a uniquely American innovation that served as the foundation for the middle class.
Levitin and Wachter show how Fannie and Freddie’s market power kept risk in check until 2003, when mortgage financing shifted sharply to private-label securitization, as lenders looked for a way to sustain lending volume following an unprecedented refinancing wave. Private-label securitization brought a return of bullet loans, which had lower initial payments—enabling borrowers to borrow more—but much greater back-loaded risks. These loans produced a vast oversupply of underpriced mortgage finance that drove up home prices unsustainably. When the bubble burst, it set off a destructive downward spiral of home prices and foreclosures.
Levitin and Wachter propose a rebuild of the housing finance system that ensures the widespread availability of the thirty-year fixed-rate mortgage, while preventing underwriting competition and shifting risk away from the public to private investors.
Impact fees are one-time charges that are applied to new residential developments by local governments that are seeking funds to pay for the construction or expansion of public facilities, such as water and sewer systems, schools, libraries, and parks and recreation facilities. In the face of taxpayer revolts against increases in property taxes, impact fees are used increasingly by local governments throughout the U.S. to finance construction or improvement of their infrastructure. Recent estimates suggest that 60 percent of all American cities with over 25,000 residents use some form of impact fees. In California, it is estimated that 90 percent of such cities impose impact fees.
For more than thirty years, impact fees have been calculated based on proportionate share of the cost of the infrastructure improvements that are to be funded by the fees. However, neither laws nor courts have ensured that fees charged to new homes are themselves proportionate. For example, the impact fee may be the same for every home in a new development, even when homes vary widely in size and selling price. Data show, however, that smaller and less costly homes have fewer people living in them and thus less impact on facilities than larger homes. This use of a flat impact fee for all residential units disproportionately affects lower-income residents.
The purpose of this guidebook is to help practitioners design impact fees that are equitable. It demonstrates exactly how a fair impact fee program can be designed and implemented. In addition, it includes information on the history of impact fees, discusses alternatives to impact fees, and summarizes state legislation that can infl uence the design of local fee programs. Case studies provide useful illustrations of successful programs.
This book should be the first place that planning professionals, public officials, land use lawyers, developers, homebuilders, and citizen activists turn for help in crafting (or recrafting) proportionate-share impact fee programs.
Housing matters for everyone, as it provides shelter, security, privacy, and stability. For survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV), housing takes on an additional meaning; it is the key to establishing a new life, free from abuse. IPV survivors often face such inadequate housing options, however, that they must make excruciating choices between cycling through temporary shelters, becoming homeless, or returning to their abusers.
Home Safe Home offers a multifaceted analysis that accounts for both IPV survivors’ needs and the practical challenges involved in providing them with adequate permanent housing. Incorporating the varied perspectives of the numerous housing providers, activists, policymakers, and researchers who have a stake in these issues, the book also lets IPV survivors have their say, expressing their views on what housing and services can best meet their short and long-term goals. Researchers Hilary Botein and Andrea Hetling not only examine the federal and state policies and funding programs determining housing for IPV survivors, but also provide detailed case studies that put a human face on these policy issues.
As it traces how housing options and support mechanisms for IPV survivors have evolved over time, Home Safe Home also offers innovative suggestions for how policymakers and advocates might work together to better meet the needs of this vulnerable population.
Humans are social animals and, in general, don’t thrive in isolated environments. Homeless people, many of whom suffer from serious mental illnesses, often live socially isolated on the streets or in shelters. Homelessness, Housing, and Mental Illness describes a carefully designed large-scale study to assess how well these people do when attempts are made to reduce their social isolation and integrate them into the community.
Should homeless mentally ill people be provided with the type of housing they want or with what clinicians think they need? Is residential staff necessary? Are roommates advantageous? How is community integration affected by substance abuse, psychiatric diagnoses, and cognitive functioning? Homelessness, Housing, and Mental Illness answers these questions and reexamines the assumptions behind housing policies that support the preference of most homeless mentally ill people to live alone in independent apartments. The analysis shows that living alone reduces housing retention as well as cognitive functioning, while group homes improve these critical outcomes. Throughout the book, Russell Schutt explores the meaning and value of community for our most fragile citizens.
Just as investors want the companies they hold equity in to do well, homeowners have a financial interest in the success of their communities. If neighborhood schools are good, if property taxes and crime rates are low, then the value of the homeowner’s principal asset—his home—will rise. Thus, as William Fischel shows, homeowners become watchful citizens of local government, not merely to improve their quality of life, but also to counteract the risk to their largest asset, a risk that cannot be diversified. Meanwhile, their vigilance promotes a municipal governance that provides services more efficiently than do the state or national government.
Fischel has coined the portmanteau word “homevoter” to crystallize the connection between homeownership and political involvement. The link neatly explains several vexing puzzles, such as why displacement of local taxation by state funds reduces school quality and why local governments are more likely to be efficient providers of environmental amenities. The Homevoter Hypothesis thereby makes a strong case for decentralization of the fiscal and regulatory functions of government.
In the last decade, the South African state has been transformed dramatically, but the stubborn, menacing geography of apartheid still stands in the way of that country’s visions of change. Environmentally degraded old homelands still scar the rural geography of South Africa.
Formerly segregated, now gated, neighborhoods still inhibit free movement. Hostels, Sexuality, and the Apartheid Legacy is a study of another such space, the converted “male” migrant worker hostel.
Professor Glen Elder identifies hostels as sites of public and domestic violence, literal destruction and rebuilding, and as an important node in the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Hostels have also become home to increasing numbers of “invisible” female residents. Finding that one way to understand hostel space is through women’s experiences, Professor Elder turned to thirty black migrant women living in an East Rand hostel to map the everyday geographies of South Africa’s time of change.
By following the lives of these women, Elder identifies spatialized forms of marginalization, impoverishment, infection, and disempowerment. But, as he points out, the women’s survival strategies may provide signposts to the way out of apartheid’s malevolent geography.
Hostels, Sexuality, and the Apartheid Legacy argues that the gendered geography of the migrant labor system developed in South Africa was premised upon sexual assumptions about men, women, and their bodies, and that feminist and queer analyses of space can inform public policy decisions.
Housing provides shelter, in a variety of forms, but it is also resonant with meaning on many other levels--as a financial asset, a status symbol, an expression of private aspirations and identities, a means of inclusion or exclusion, and finally as a battleground for social change. John Adams' impressive new study explores this complex topic in all its dimensions. Using census data and other housing surveys, Adams describes the recent history of housing in America; the nature of housing supply and demand; patterns of housing use; and selected housing policy questions. Adams supplements this national and regional analysis with a remarkable set of small-area analyses, revealing how neighborhood settings affect housing use and how market forces and other trends interact to shape a neighborhood. These analyses focus on a sample of over fifty urbanized areas, including the nation's three largest cities (New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago). Special two-color maps illustrate the dynamics of housing use in each of these communities. Clearly and insightfully, this volume paints a unique picture of the American "housing landscape," a landscape that reflects and regulates significant aspects of our national life. A Volume in the Russell Sage Foundation Census Series
The central role of the housing market in the recent recession raised a series of questions about similar episodes throughout economic history. Were the underlying causes of housing and mortgage crises the same in earlier episodes? Has the onset and spread of crises changed over time? How have previous policy interventions either damaged or improved long-run market performance and stability?
This volume begins to answer these questions, providing a much-needed context for understanding recent events by examining how historical housing and mortgage markets worked—and how they sometimes failed. Renowned economic historians Eugene N. White, Kenneth Snowden, and Price Fishback survey the foundational research on housing crises, comparing that of the 1930s to that of the early 2000s in order to authoritatively identify what contributed to each crisis. Later chapters explore notable historical experiences with mortgage securitization and the role that federal policy played in the surge in home ownership between 1940 and 1960. By providing a broad historical overview of housing and mortgage markets, the volume offers valuable new insights to inform future policy debates.
This book assesses the effects of spatially concentrated programs for housing and neighborhood improvement. These programs provide direct assistance to low–income property owners in an attempt to arrest neighborhood decline and encourage revitalization.
The authors used the Harvard Urban Development Simulation Model (HUDS) in evaluating these programs. HUDS, a large–scale computer model, represents the process of housing rehabilitation, the production and consumption of housing services, household moving decisions, and other determinant of neighborhood change. The model simulates the behavior of approximately 80,000 individual households in two hundred residential neighborhoods of various quality levels. Unlike more aggregate models of urban development, HUDS has the capacity to identify how specific housing policies affect individual households as well as particular neighborhoods.
Since program evaluations are no better than the models on which they are based, the authors provide sufficient detail to permit those readers primarily interested in the policy analysis to assess the methodology and to understandhow the policies are represented in the model; a more technical discussion of the model is then presented in appendixes.
Although the simulations focus on policies that induce central–city property owners to upgrade their properties and thus stimulate revitalization, many of the authors' findings are relevant to larger issues of urban development. For example, the analysis of how housing rehabilitation subsidies affect the investment behavior of nonsubsidized property owners provides insights about the link between initial upgrading and sustained neighborhood improvement. The analysis also demonstrates how differences in location, household, and housing stock characteristics affect a particular neighborhood’s responsiveness to a common policy initiative.
Housing and the Financial Crisis
Edited by Edward L. Glaeser and Todd Sinai University of Chicago Press, 2013 Library of Congress HD7293.Z9H678 2013 | Dewey Decimal 332.10973
Conventional wisdom held that housing prices couldn’t fall. But the spectacular boom and bust of the housing market during the first decade of the twenty-first century and millions of foreclosed homeowners have made it clear that housing is no different from any other asset in its ability to climb and crash.
Housing and the Financial Crisis looks at what happened to prices and construction both during and after the housing boom in different parts of the American housing market, accounting for why certain areas experienced less volatility than others. It then examines the causes of the boom and bust, including the availability of credit, the perceived risk reduction due to the securitization of mortgages, and the increase in lending from foreign sources. Finally, it examines a range of policies that might address some of the sources of recent instability.
The Housing Act of 1949 called for a "decent home and suitable living environment" for every American. The progress toward this goal over the last fifty years is generally a story of success. Kent Colton documents the remarkable progress in the areas of housing production, homeownership, and rental housing, the transformation of the nation's housing finance system, the role of government, and the place of housing in the economy. However, significant challenges remain and new issues have arisen.
This work looks to the future using case studies developed during the author's fifteen-year tenure as head of the National Association of Home Builders and includes discussions of real-world problems and the people involved. Highlighting the process of developing and implementing housing policy given the great challenges of working with many diverse interests, the author outlines a housing policy framework based on a set of principles for achieving common ground.
Although Japan and the United States are the world's leading economies, there are significant differences in the ways their wealth is translated into living standards. A careful comparison of housing markets illustrates not only how living standards in the two countries differ, but also reveals much about saving patterns and how they affect wealth accumulation.
In this volume, ten essays discuss the evolution of housing prices, housing markets and personal savings, housing finance, commuting, and the impact of public policy on housing markets. The studies reveal surprising differences in housing investment in the two countries. For example, because down payments in Japan are much higher than in the United States, Japanese tend to delay home purchases relative to their American counterparts. In the United States, the advent of home equity credit may have reduced private saving overall.
This book is the first comparison of housing markets in Japan and the United States, and its findings illuminate the effects of housing markets on productivity growth, business investment, and trade.
Drawing upon research from six continents, Housing Needs and Policy Approaches analyzes the social problems involved with providing housing in the industrialized nations and in the Third World. The book focuses on four areas of concern: current trends in housing in specific Western countries, the role of Western governments in creating this housing, housing provisions in less developed nations, and the relationship of societal structure and housing, particularly with respect to the decentralization of population occurring in many regions.
Of the some sixty thousand vacant properties in Philadelphia, half of them are abandoned row houses. Taken as a whole, these derelict homes symbolize the city’s plight in the wake of industrial decline. But a closer look reveals a remarkable new phenomenon—street-level entrepreneurs repurposing hundreds of these empty houses as facilities for recovering addicts and alcoholics. How It Works is a compelling study of this recovery house movement and its place in the new urban order wrought by welfare reform.
To find out what life is like in these recovery houses, Robert P. Fairbanks II goes inside one particular home in the Kensington neighborhood. Operating without a license and unregulated by any government office, the recovery house provides food, shelter, company, and a bracing self-help philosophy to addicts in an area saturated with drugs and devastated by poverty. From this starkly vivid close-up, Fairbanks widens his lens to reveal the intricate relationships the recovery houses have forged with public welfare, the formal drug treatment sector, criminal justice institutions, and the local government.
How to House the Homeless
Ingrid Gould Ellen Russell Sage Foundation, 2010 Library of Congress HV4505.H69 2010 | Dewey Decimal 363.580973
How to House the Homeless, editors Ingrid Gould Ellen and Brendan O'Flaherty propose that the answers entail rethinking how housing markets operate and developing more efficient interventions in existing service programs. The book critically reassesses where we are now, analyzes the most promising policies and programs going forward, and offers a new agenda for future research. How to House the Homeless makes clear the inextricable link between homelessness and housing policy. Contributor Jill Khadduri reviews the current residential services system and housing subsidy programs. For the chronically homeless, she argues, a combination of assisted housing approaches can reach the greatest number of people and, specifically, an expanded Housing Choice Voucher system structured by location, income, and housing type can more efficiently reach people at-risk of becoming homeless and reduce time spent homeless. Robert Rosenheck examines the options available to homeless people with mental health problems and reviews the cost-effectiveness of five service models: system integration, supported housing, clinical case management, benefits outreach, and supported employment. He finds that only programs that subsidize housing make a noticeable dent in homelessness, and that no one program shows significant benefits in multiple domains of life. Contributor Sam Tsemberis assesses the development and cost-effectiveness of the Housing First program, which serves mentally ill homeless people in more than four hundred cities. He asserts that the program's high housing retention rate and general effectiveness make it a viable candidate for replication across the country. Steven Raphael makes the case for a strong link between homelessness and local housing market regulations—which affect housing affordability—and shows that the problem is more prevalent in markets with stricter zoning laws. Finally, Brendan O'Flaherty bridges the theoretical gap between the worlds of public health and housing research, evaluating the pros and cons of subsidized housing programs and the economics at work in the rental housing market and home ownership. Ultimately, he suggests, the most viable strategies will serve as safety nets—"social insurance"—to reach people who are homeless now and to prevent homelessness in the future. It is crucial that the links between effective policy and the whole cycle of homelessness—life conditions, service systems, and housing markets—be made clear now. With a keen eye on the big picture of housing policy, How to House the Homeless shows what works and what doesn't in reducing the numbers of homeless and reaching those most at risk.
Do you want to age independently in your own home and neighborhood? Staying home, aging in place, is most people's preference, but most American housing and communities are not adapted to the needs of older people. And with the fastest population growth among people over 65, finding solutions for successful aging is important not only for individual families, but for our whole society. In Independent for Life, former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros and a team of experts on aging, architecture, construction, health, finance, and politics assess the current state of housing and present new possibilities that realistically address the interrelated issues of housing, communities, services, and financial concerns.
Independent for Life covers a wide range of smart solutions, including remodeling current housing and building new homes for accessibility and safety, retrofitting existing neighborhoods to connect needed services and amenities, and planning new communities that work well for people of all ages. Case studies show how the proposals can be implemented. The authors offer action plans for working with policy makers at local, state, and national levels to address the larger issues of aging in place, including family financial security, real estate markets, and the limitations of public support. Lists of essential resources, including a detailed "to do" list of aging in place priorities and an individual home assessment, complete the volume.
A legendary figure in the realms of public policy and academia, John Gilderbloom is one of the foremost urban-planning researchers of our time, producing groundbreaking studies on housing markets, design, location, regulation, financing, and community building. Now, in Invisible City, he turns his eye to fundamental questions regarding housing for the elderly, the disabled, and the poor. Why is it that some locales can offer affordable, accessible, and attractive housing, while the large majority of cities fail to do so? Invisible City calls for a brave new housing paradigm that makes the needs of marginalized populations visible to policy makers.Drawing on fascinating case studies in Houston, Louisville, and New Orleans, and analyzing census information as well as policy reports, Gilderbloom offers a comprehensive, engaging, and optimistic theory of how housing can be remade with a progressive vision. While many contemporary urban scholars have failed to capture the dynamics of what is happening in our cities, Gilderbloom presents a new vision of shelter as a force that shapes all residents.
This companion volume to The Economics of Aging (1989) examines the economic consequences of an increasingly older population, focusing on the housing and living arrangements of the elderly, as well as their labor force participation and retirement.
Many immigrant communities along the U.S. border with Mexico are colonias, border settlements lacking infrastructure or safe housing. A Jumble of Needs examines the leadership of Mexican women immigrants in three colonias in New Mexico, documenting the role of NGOs in shaping women’s activism in these communities. Ethnographer Rebecca Dolhinow, who worked in the colonias, uncovers why such attempts to exercise political agency are so rarely successful.
Central to the relationship between NGOs and women activists in colonias, Dolhinow argues, is the looming presence of the neoliberal political project. In particular, the discourses of caretaking that NGOs use to recruit women into leadership positions simultaneously naturalize and depoliticize the activist work that these women do in their communities. Dolhinow discovers the connections between colonias as isolated communities and colonia leaders as political subjects who unintentionally reinforce neoliberal policy. In the long run, she finds, any politicization that might take place is limited to the women leaders and seldom involves the community as a whole.
Surprisingly, Dolhinow reveals, many NGOs promote neoliberal ideals, resulting in continued disenfranchisement, despite the women’s activism to better their lives, families, and communities.
With America on the brink of the largest number of older adults and persons with disabilities in the country’s history, the deceleration in housing production during the first decade of the twenty-first century, and a continued reliance on conventional housing policies and practices, a perfect storm has emerged in the housing industry. The lack of fit between the existing housing stock and the needs of the U.S. population is growing pronounced. Just as housing needed to be retooled at the end of WWII, the American housing industry is in dire need of change today. The South—with its high rates of poverty, older residents, residents with disabilities, extensive rural areas, and out-of-date housing policies and practices—serves as a “canary in the coal mine” for the impending, nationwide housing crisis. Just Below the Line discusses how reworking the policies and practices of the housing industry in the South can serve as a model for the rest of the nation in meeting the physical and social needs of persons with disabilities and aging boomers. Policy makers, designers, builders, realtors, advocates, and housing consumers will be able to use this book to promote the production of equitable housing nationwide.
Published in collaboration with the Fay Jones School of Architecture.
Special Mention, First Book Prize, International Planning History Society
Landed Internationals examines the international culture of postwar urban planning through the case of the Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara, Turkey. Today the center of Turkey's tech, energy, and defense elites, METU was founded in the 1950s through an effort jointly sponsored by the UN, the University of Pennsylvania, and various governmental agencies of the United States and Turkey. Drawing on the language of the UN and its Technical Assistance Board, Erdim uses the phrase "technical assistance machinery" to encompass the sprawling set of relationships activated by this endeavor.
Erdim studies a series of legitimacy battles among bureaucrats, academics, and other professionals in multiple theaters across the political geography of the Cold War. These different factions shared a common goal: the production of nationhood—albeit nationhood understood and defined in multiple, competing ways. He also examines the role of the American architecture firm Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill; the New York housing policy guru Charles Abrams; the UN and the University of Pennsylvania; and the Turkish architects Altuğ and Behruz Çinici. In the end, METU itself looked like a model postwar nation within the world order, and Erdim concludes by discussing how it became an important force in transnational housing, planning, and preservation in its own right.
A history of the antigentrification and housing rights movement in San Francisco, Local Protests, Global Movements examines the ability of local urban movements to engage in meaningful contestation with private real estate capital and area governmental leaders in the era of urban neoliberalism.
Using San Francisco as an illuminating case study, Beitel analyzes the innovative ways urban social movements have organized around issues regarding land use, housing, urban ecology, and health care on the local level to understand the changing nature of protest formation around the world.
Reconciling the passing of New Left Ideals and the emergence of mobilization on a global scale, he assesses the limits of contemporary urban movements as conduits for advancing a radical political program. Beitel argues these limits reflect recurrent problems of internal fragmentation, and the manner in which liberal democratic institutions structure processes of political participation and interest representation.
American cities entered a new phase when, beginning in the 1950s, artists and developers looked upon a decaying industrial zone in Lower Manhattan and saw, not blight, but opportunity: cheap rents, lax regulation, and wide open spaces. Thus, SoHo was born. From 1960 to 1980, residents transformed the industrial neighborhood into an artist district, creating the conditions under which it evolved into an upper-income, gentrified area. Introducing the idea—still potent in city planning today—that art could be harnessed to drive municipal prosperity, SoHo was the forerunner of gentrified districts in cities nationwide, spawning the notion of the creative class.
In The Lofts of SoHo, Aaron Shkuda studies the transition of the district from industrial space to artists’ enclave to affluent residential area, focusing on the legacy of urban renewal in and around SoHo and the growth of artist-led redevelopment. Shkuda explores conflicts between residents and property owners and analyzes the city’s embrace of the once-illegal loft conversion as an urban development strategy. As Shkuda explains, artists eventually lost control of SoHo’s development, but over several decades they nonetheless forced scholars, policymakers, and the general public to take them seriously as critical actors in the twentieth-century American city.
An exploration of how the Windy City became a postwar Latinx metropolis in the face of white resistance.
Though Chicago is often popularly defined by its Polish, Black, and Irish populations, Cook County is home to the third-largest Mexican-American population in the United States. The story of Mexican immigration and integration into the city is one of complex political struggles, deeply entwined with issues of housing and neighborhood control. In Making Mexican Chicago, Mike Amezcua explores how the Windy City became a Latinx metropolis in the second half of the twentieth century.
In the decades after World War II, working-class Chicago neighborhoods like Pilsen and Little Village became sites of upheaval and renewal as Mexican Americans attempted to build new communities in the face of white resistance that cast them as perpetual aliens. Amezcua charts the diverse strategies used by Mexican Chicagoans to fight the forces of segregation, economic predation, and gentrification, focusing on how unlikely combinations of social conservatism and real estate market savvy paved new paths for Latinx assimilation. Making Mexican Chicago offers a powerful multiracial history of Chicago that sheds new light on the origins and endurance of urban inequality.
First published in 1983 and praised by the likes of Ta-Nehisi Coates and Thomas Sugrue, Arnold R. Hirsch’s Making the Second Ghetto is the rare book that has only become more piercingly prescient over the years.
Hirsch’s classic and groundbreaking work of urban history is a revelatory look at Chicago in the decades after the Great Depression, a period when the city dealt with its rapidly growing Black population not by working to abolish its stark segregation but by expanding and solidifying it. Even as the civil rights movement rose to prominence, Chicago exploited a variety of methods of segregation—including riots, redevelopment, and a host of new legal frameworks—that provided a national playbook for the emergence of a new kind of entrenched inequality. Hirsch’s chronicle of the strategies employed by ethnic, political, and business interests in reaction to the Great Migration of Southern Blacks in the mid-twentieth century makes startingly clear how the violent reactions of an emergent white population found common ground with policy makers to segregate first a city and then the nation.
This enlarged edition of Making the Second Ghetto features a visionary afterword by historian N. D. B. Connolly, explaining why Hirsch’s book still crackles with “blistering relevance” for contemporary readers.
In Making the Second Ghetto, Arnold Hirsch argues that in the post-depression years Chicago was a "pioneer in developing concepts and devices" for housing segregation. Hirsch shows that the legal framework for the national urban renewal effort was forged in the heat generated by the racial struggles waged on Chicago's South Side. His chronicle of the strategies used by ethnic, political, and business interests in reaction to the great migration of southern blacks in the 1940s describes how the violent reaction of an emergent "white" population combined with public policy to segregate the city.
"In this excellent, intricate, and meticulously researched study, Hirsch exposes the social engineering of the post-war ghetto."—Roma Barnes, Journal of American Studies
"According to Arnold Hirsch, Chicago's postwar housing projects were a colossal exercise in moral deception. . . . [An] excellent study of public policy gone astray."—Ron Grossman, Chicago Tribune
"An informative and provocative account of critical aspects of the process in [Chicago]. . . . A good and useful book."—Zane Miller, Reviews in American History
"A valuable and important book."—Allan Spear, Journal of American History
Eastern European prefabricated housing blocks are often vilified as the visible manifestations of everything that was wrong with state socialism. For many inside and outside the region, the uniformity of these buildings became symbols of the dullness and drudgery of everyday life. Manufacturing a Socialist Modernity complicates this common perception. Analyzing the cultural, intellectual, and professional debates surrounding the construction of mass housing in early postwar Czechoslovakia, Zarecor shows that these housing blocks served an essential function in the planned economy and reflected an interwar aesthetic, derived from constructivism and functionalism, that carried forward into the 1950s.
With a focus on prefabricated and standardized housing built from 1945 to 1960, Zarecor offers broad and innovative insights into the country’s transition from capitalism to state socialism. She demonstrates that during this shift, architects and engineers consistently strove to meet the needs of Czechs and Slovaks despite challenging economic conditions, a lack of material resources, and manufacturing and technological limitations. In the process, architects were asked to put aside their individual creative aspirations and transform themselves into technicians and industrial producers. Manufacturing a Socialist Modernity is the first comprehensive history of architectural practice and the emergence of prefabricated housing in the Eastern Bloc. Through discussions of individual architects and projects, as well as building typologies, professional associations, and institutional organization, it opens a rare window into the cultural and economic life of Eastern Europe during the early postwar period.
This powerful new theoretical approach to analyzing urban housing problems and the policies designed to rectify them will be a vital resource for urban planners, developers, policymakers, and economists. The search for the roots of serious urban housing problems such as homelessness, abandonment, rent burdens, slums, and gentrification has traditionally focused on the poorest sector of the housing market. The findings set forth in this volume show that the roots of such problems lie in the relationships among different parts of the market—not solely within the lower-quality portion—though that is where problems are most dramatically manifested and housing reforms are myopically focused.
The authors propose a new understanding of the market structure characterized by a closely interrelated array of quality submarkets. Their comprehensive models ground a unified theory that accounts for demand by both renters and owner occupants, supply by owners of existing dwellings, changes in the stock of housing due to conversions and new construction, and interactions across submarkets.
2022 PROSE Award Finalist in Architecture and Urban Planning
2022 Association for Latin American Art Arvey Foundation Book Award, Honorable Mention
Throughout the early twentieth century, waves of migration brought working-class people to the outskirts of Buenos Aires. This prompted a dilemma: Where should these restive populations be situated relative to the city’s spatial politics? Might housing serve as a tool to discipline their behavior?
Enter Antonio Bonet, a Catalan architect inspired by the transatlantic modernist and surrealist movements. Ana María León follows Bonet's decades-long, state-backed quest to house Buenos Aires's diverse and fractious population. Working with totalitarian and populist regimes, Bonet developed three large-scale housing plans, each scuttled as a new government took over. Yet these incomplete plans—Bonet's dreams—teach us much about the relationship between modernism and state power.
Modernity for the Masses finds in Bonet's projects the disconnect between modern architecture’s discourse of emancipation and the reality of its rationalizing control. Although he and his patrons constantly glorified the people and depicted them in housing plans, Bonet never consulted them. Instead he succumbed to official and elite fears of the people's latent political power. In careful readings of Bonet's work, León discovers the progressive erasure of surrealism's psychological sensitivity, replaced with an impulse, realized in modernist design, to contain the increasingly empowered population.
Illinois State Historical Society Certificate of Excellence 2016
During the Great Migration of the 1920s and 1930s, southern African Americans flocked to the South Side Chicago community of Bronzeville, the cultural, political, social, and economic hub of African American life in the city, if not the Midwest. The area soon became the epicenter of community activism as working-class African Americans struggled for equality in housing and employment. In this study, Lionel Kimble Jr. demonstrates how these struggles led to much of the civil rights activism that occurred from 1935 to 1955 in Chicago and shows how this working-class activism and culture helped to ground the early civil rights movement. Despite the obstacles posed by the Depression, blue-collar African Americans worked with leftist organizations to counter job discrimination and made strong appeals to New Deal allies for access to public housing. Kimble details how growing federal intervention in local issues during World War II helped African Americans make significant inroads into Chicago’s war economy and how returning African American World War II veterans helped to continue the fight against discrimination in housing and employment after the war. The activism that appeared in Bronzeville was not simply motivated by the “class consciousness” rhetoric of the organized labor movement but instead grew out of everyday struggles for racial justice, citizenship rights, and improved economic and material conditions. With its focus on the role of working-class African Americans—as opposed to the middle-class leaders who have received the most attention from civil rights historians in the past—A New Deal for Bronzeville makes a significant contribution to the study of civil rights work in the Windy City and enriches our understanding of African American life in mid-twentieth-century Chicago.
This publication is partially funded by a grant from Furthermore: a program of the J.M. Kaplan fund.
In Now Is the Time! Todd C. Shaw delves into the political strategies of post–Civil Rights Movement African American activists in Detroit, Michigan, to discover the conditions for effective social activism. Analyzing a wide range of grassroots community-housing initiatives intended to revitalize Detroit’s failing urban center and aid its impoverished population, he investigates why certain collective actions have far-reaching effects while others fail to yield positive results. What emerges is EBAM (Effective Black Activism Model), Shaw’s detailed political model that illuminates crucial elements of successful grassroots activism, such as strong alliances, strategic advantages, and adaptive techniques.
Shaw uses the tools of social movement analysis, including the quantitative analysis of budgets, electoral data, and housing statistics, as well as historical research and personal interviews, to better understand the dilemmas, innovations, and dynamics of grassroots activism. He begins with a history of discriminatory housing practices and racial divisions that deeply affected Detroit following the Second World War and set the stage for the election of the city’s first black mayor, Coleman Young. By emphasizing downtown redevelopment, Mayor Young’s administration often collided with low-income housing advocates. Only through grassroots activism were those advocates able to delay or derail governmental efforts to demolish low-income housing in order to make way for more upscale development. Shaw then looks at present-day public housing activism, assessing the mixed success of the nationally sponsored HOPE VI project aimed at fostering home ownership in low-income areas. Descriptive and prescriptive, Now Is the Time! traces the complicated legacy of community activism to illuminate what is required for grassroots activists to be effective in demanding public accountability to poor and marginalized citizens.
Extreme poverty, which intensified in India during colonial rule, peaked in the 1920s—after decades of imperialist exploitation, famine, and disease—a time when architects, engineers, and city authorities proposed a new type of housing for India’s urban poor and industrial workers. As Farhan Karim argues, economic scarcity became a central inspiration for architectural modernism in the subcontinent.
As India moved from colonial rule to independence, the Indian government, business entities, international NGOs, and intergovernmental agencies took major initiatives to modernize housing conditions and the domestic environment of the state’s low-income population. Of Greater Dignity than Riches traces multiple international origins of austerity as an essential ingredient of postcolonial development. By prescribing model villages, communities, and ideal houses for the working class, this project of austerity eventually reduced poverty into a stylized architectural representation. In this rich and original study, Karim explains the postwar and postcolonial history of low-cost housing as an intertwined process of global transferences of knowledge, Cold War cultural politics, postcolonial nationalism, and the politics of economic development.
Chicago is celebrated for its rich diversity, but, even more than most US cities, it is also plagued by segregation and extreme inequality. More than ever, Chicago is a “dual city,” a condition taken for granted by many residents. In this book, Joel Rast reveals that today’s tacit acceptance of rising urban inequality is a marked departure from the past. For much of the twentieth century, a key goal for civic leaders was the total elimination of slums and blight. Yet over time, as anti-slum efforts faltered, leaders shifted the focus of their initiatives away from low-income areas and toward the upgrading of neighborhoods with greater economic promise. As misguided as postwar public housing and urban renewal programs were, they were born of a long-standing reformist impulse aimed at improving living conditions for people of all classes and colors across the city—something that can’t be said to be a true priority for many policymakers today. The Origins of the Dual City illuminates how we normalized and became resigned to living amid stark racial and economic divides.
An account of the legal battle to open up New Jersey's suburbs to the poor, looking at the views of lawyers on both sides of the controversy. It is a case study of judicial activism and its consequences and an analysis of suburban attitudes regarding race, class and property.
The income of blacks in most northern industrial states today is lower relative to the income of whites than in 1949.Fusfeld and Bates examine the forces that have led to this state of affairs and find that these economic relationships are the product of a complex pattern of historical development and change in which black-white economic relationships play a major part, along with patterns of industrial, agricultural, and technological change and urban development. They argue that today’s urban racial ghettos are the result of the same forces that created modern America and that one of the by-products of American affluence is a ghettoized racial underclass.
These two themes, they state, are essential for an understanding of the problem and for the formulation of policy. Poverty is not simply the result of poor education, skills, and work habits but one outcome of the structure and functioning of the economy. Solutions require more than policies that seek to change people: they await a recognition that basic economic relationships must be changed.
Reconstruction Fiction: Housing and Realist Literature in Postwar Britain by Paula Derdiger assesses the impact of World War II and the welfare state on literary fiction by focusing on one of the defining issues of the postwar period: housing. Through compelling close readings and lively historical and cultural analysis, Derdiger argues that literary realism was a necessary, generative response to the war and welfare state since they impacted the built environment and landscape. Wartime decimation of buildings and streets called for reconstruction, and reconstruction called not just for bricks and mortar, architectural drawings, town plans, preservation schemes, and new policies but also for fiction that invited particular ways of inhabiting an environment that had been irrevocably changed. Derdiger argues that fiction, like actual buildings, creates a sheltered space for the mediation between individual subjects and the social and geographical environments that they encounter. Realist fiction, specifically, insists that such mediation is possible and that it is socially valuable. Covering writers spanning various social positions and aesthetic tendencies—including Elizabeth Bowen, Graham Greene, Patrick Hamilton, Doris Lessing, Colin MacInnes, and Elizabeth Taylor—Derdiger shows how these authors responded to the war with realistic technique, investing in external conditions just as much as or more than their characters’ interior lives. In doing so, their reconstruction fiction helped to shape postwar life.
The San Francisco Bay Area is generally considered the most expensive regional housing market in the country. Because the region added jobs and residents at a faster rate than housing, rents and home prices escalated. Moreover, small municipalities, common in the most job-rich parts of the Bay Area, have strong political incentives to resist development of new multifamily housing. Regional Governance and the Politics of Housing in the San Francisco Bay Area explains how a decentralized, localistic structure of government shapes land-use politics in ways that exacerbate housing shortages and inequalities.
The authors evaluate six potential reforms, arguing that targeted changes to local and regional institutions could generate durable improvements to the region’s housing opportunities. The main lesson from the case of the San Francisco Bay Area is the need to focus on governance when addressing the housing challenge. As the authors effectively illustrate, leaving a solution up to individual cities is unlikely to lead to increased housing supply.
Deregulation, revenge evictions, corruption, and day-to-day instability: these are realities becoming ever more familiar for those of us who rent our homes or apartments. At the same time, house prices are skyrocketing and the promise of homeownership is now an impossible dream for many. This is the rent-trap, an inescapable consequence of market-induced inequality.
Samir Jeraj and Rosie Walker offer the first in-depth case study of the private rental sector in the United Kingdom, exploring the rent-trap injustices in a first-world economy and exposing the powers that conspire to oppose regulation. A quarter of British MPs are landlords; rent strike is almost impossible; and sudden evictions are growing. Nevertheless, drawing on inspiration from movements in the United Kingdom, continental Europe, and elsewhere, The Rent Trap shows how people are starting to fight back against the financial burdens, health risks, and vicious behavior of landlords, working to create a world of fairer, safer housing for all—lessons that extend well beyond the borders of the UK.
In the 1949 Housing Act, Congress declared "a decent home and a suitable living environment for every American family" our national housing goal. Today, little more than half a century later, upwards of 100 million people in the United States live in housing that is physically inadequate, unsafe, overcrowded, or unaffordable.
The contributors to A Right to Housing consider the key issues related to America's housing crisis, including income inequality and insecurity, segregation and discrimination, the rights of the elderly, as well as legislative and judicial responses to homelessness. The book offers a detailed examination of how access to adequate housing is directly related to economic security.
With essays by leading activists and scholars, this book presents a powerful and compelling analysis of the persistent inability of the U.S. to meet many of its citizens' housing needs, and a comprehensive proposal for progressive change.
The struggle to save the International Hotel and prevent the eviction of its elderly residents became a focal point in the creation of the contemporary Asian American movement, especially among Filipinos. Like other minorities who were looking for positive models in their past to build an identity movement, Filipino youth found their "roots" in the stories and lives of the "manongs" (respected elders), and the anti-eviction movement became a key site for the formation of a distinct Filipino American consciousness. Estella Habal, a student activist during the anti-eviction protests, relates this history within the context of the broader left politics of the era, the urban housing movement, and San Francisco city politics. Ultimately, the hotel was razed, but a new one now occupies the site and commemorates the residents and activists who fought for low-income housing for the elderly and their right to remain in their own community.
Acclaimed photographer Mary Beth Meehan and Silicon Valley culture expert Fred Turner join forces to give us an unseen view of the heart of the tech world.
It’s hard to imagine a place more central to American mythology today than Silicon Valley. To outsiders, the region glitters with the promise of extraordinary wealth and innovation. But behind this image lies another Silicon Valley, one segregated by race, class, and nationality in complex and contradictory ways. Its beautiful landscape lies atop underground streams of pollutants left behind by decades of technological innovation, and while its billionaires live in compounds, surrounded by redwood trees and security fences, its service workers live in their cars.
With arresting photography and intimate stories, Seeing Silicon Valley makes this hidden world visible. Instead of young entrepreneurs striving for efficiency in minimalist corporate campuses, we see portraits of struggle—families displaced by an impossible real estate market, workers striving for a living wage, and communities harmed by environmental degradation. If the fate of Silicon Valley is the fate of America—as so many of its boosters claim—then this book gives us an unvarnished look into the future.
When we think of segregation, what often comes to mind is apartheid South Africa, or the American South in the age of Jim Crow—two societies fundamentally premised on the concept of the separation of the races. But as Carl H. Nightingale shows us in this magisterial history, segregation is everywhere, deforming cities and societies worldwide.
Starting with segregation’s ancient roots, and what the archaeological evidence reveals about humanity’s long-standing use of urban divisions to reinforce political and economic inequality, Nightingale then moves to the world of European colonialism. It was there, he shows, segregation based on color—and eventually on race—took hold; the British East India Company, for example, split Calcutta into “White Town” and “Black Town.” As we follow Nightingale’s story around the globe, we see that division replicated from Hong Kong to Nairobi, Baltimore to San Francisco, and more. The turn of the twentieth century saw the most aggressive segregation movements yet, as white communities almost everywhere set to rearranging whole cities along racial lines. Nightingale focuses closely on two striking examples: Johannesburg, with its state-sponsored separation, and Chicago, in which the goal of segregation was advanced by the more subtle methods of real estate markets and housing policy.
For the first time ever, the majority of humans live in cities, and nearly all those cities bear the scars of segregation. This unprecedented, ambitious history lays bare our troubled past, and sets us on the path to imagining the better, more equal cities of the future.
The first part of this book presents a fresh and encouraging report on the state of racial integration in America's neighborhoods. It shows that while the majority are indeed racially segregated, a substantial and growing number are integrated, and remain so for years.
Still, many integrated neighborhoods do unravel quickly, and the second part of the book explores the root causes. Instead of panic and "white flight" causing the rapid breakdown of racially integrated neighborhoods, the author argues, contemporary racial change is driven primarily by the decision of white households not to move into integrated neighborhoods when they are moving for reasons unrelated to race. Such "white avoidance" is largely based on the assumptions that integrated neighborhoods quickly become all black and that the quality of life in them declines as a result.
The author concludes that while this explanation may be less troubling than the more common focus on racial hatred and white flight, there is still a good case for modest government intervention to promote the stability of racially integrated neighborhoods. The final chapter offers some guidelines for policymakers to follow in crafting effective policies.
"...the most original--and profoundly disturbing--work on the critical issue of housing affordability...."
--Chester Hartman, President, Poverty and Race Research Action Council
In Shelter Poverty, Michael E. Stone presents the definitive discussion of housing and social justice in the United States. Challenging the conventional definition of housing affordability, Stone offers original and powerful insights about the nature, causes, and consequences of the affordability problem and presents creative and detailed proposals for solving a problem that afflicts one-third of this nation. Setting the housing crisis into broad political, economic, and historical contexts, Stone asks: What is shelter poverty? Why does it exist and persist? and How can it be overcome?
Describing shelter poverty as the denial of a universal human need, Stone offers a quantitative scale by which to measure it and reflects on the social and economic implications of housing affordability in this country. He argues for "the right to housing" and presents a program for transforming a large proportion of the housing in this country from an expensive commodity into an affordable social entitlement. Employing new concepts of housing ownership, tenure, and finance, he favors social ownership in which market concepts have a useful but subordinate role in the identification of housing preferences and allocation. Stone concludes that political action around shelter poverty will further the goal of achieving a truly just and democratic society that is also equitably and responsibly productive and prosperous.
The Squatters' Movement in Europe is the first definitive guide to squatting as an alternative to capitalism. It offers a unique insider's view on the movement – its ideals, actions and ways of life. At a time of growing crisis in Europe with high unemployment, dwindling social housing and declining living standards, squatting has become an increasingly popular option.
The book is written by an activist-scholar collective, whose members have direct experience of squatting: many are still squatters today. There are contributions from the Netherlands, Spain, the USA, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and the UK.
In an age of austerity and precarity this book shows what has been achieved by this resilient social movement, which holds lessons for policy-makers, activists and academics alike.
A startling look at the power and perspectives of city building inspectors as they navigate unequal housing landscapes.
Though we rarely see them at work, building inspectors have the power to significantly shape our lives through their discretionary decisions. The building inspectors of Chicago are at the heart of sociologist Robin Bartram’s analysis of how individuals impact—or attempt to impact—housing inequality. In Stacked Decks, she reveals surprising patterns in the judgment calls inspectors make when deciding whom to cite for building code violations. These predominantly white, male inspectors largely recognize that they work within an unequal housing landscape that systematically disadvantages poor people and people of color through redlining, property taxes, and city spending that favor wealthy neighborhoods. Stacked Decks illustrates the uphill battle inspectors face when trying to change a housing system that works against those with the fewest resources.
"[Keating] chronicles efforts to break down suburban racial barriers in housing throughout the United States.... Keating's data also point up our urgent need to focus public policy on depopulated and increasingly impoverished and homogeneous urban centers. As he convincingly demonstrates, private and government attempts at suburban integration, as well as special urban integrationist projects, have achieved spotty results at best."
Whether through affirmative housing policies or mandatory legislation, there have been numerous efforts to integrate America's neighborhoods, especially the historically white, affluent suburbs. Though much of suburbia has rejected such measures out of a fear of losing their communities to an influx of low-income, inner-city, and primarily African American residents, several metropolitan areas have been successful in creating greater racial diversity. W. Dennis Keating documents the desirability, feasibility, and legality of implementing housing diversity policies in the suburbs.
At the heart of this book is the troubling dilemma that the private housing market will inevitably resist race-conscious policies that can be effective only if embraced and supported by individual home buyers and renters, politicians, realtors, financial institutions, and insurers. In the Cleveland, Ohio, metropolitan area, pro-integrative policies have resulted in some examples of long-term racial diversity, particularly in Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights.
Keating compares Cleveland's suburbs to suburbs around the country that have both failed and succeeded in reducing housing discrimination. While there have been occasional fair housing victories over the last three decades, Keating's analysis points toward strategies for greater progress in the future.
Suburban Steel chronicles the rise and fall of the Lustron Corporation, once the largest and most completely industrialized housing company in U.S. history. Beginning in 1947, Lustron manufactured porcelain-enameled steel houses in a one-million-square-foot plant in Columbus, Ohio. With forty million dollars in federal funds and support from the highest levels of the Truman administration, the company planned to produce one hundred houses per day, each neatly arranged on specially designed tractor-trailers for delivery throughout the country. Lustron’s unprecedented size and scope of operations attracted intense scrutiny. The efficiencies of uninterrupted production, integrated manufacturing, and economies of scale promised to lead the American housing industry away from its decentralized, undercapitalized, and inefficient past toward a level of rationalization and organization found in other sectors of the industrial economy.
The company’s failure marked a watershed in the history of the American housing industry. Although people did not quit talking about industrialized housing, enthusiasm for its role in the transformation of the housing industry at large markedly waned. Suburban Steel considers Lustron’s magnificent failure in the context of historical approaches to the nation’s perpetual shortage of affordable housing, arguing that had Lustron’s path not been interrupted, affordable and desirable housing for America’s masses would be far more prevalent today.
What do you want for yourself in the next five, ten years? Do your plans involve marriage, kids, a new job? These are the questions a real estate agent might ask in an attempt to unearth information they can employ to complete a sale, which as Upsold shows, often results in upselling. In this book, sociologist Max Besbris shows how agents successfully upsell, inducing buyers to spend more than their initially stated price ceilings. His research reveals how face-to-face interactions influence buyers’ ideas about which neighborhoods are desirable and which are less-worthy investments and how these preferences ultimately contribute to neighborhood inequality.
Stratification defines cities in the contemporary United States. In an era marked by increasing income segregation, one of the main sources of this inequality is housing prices. A crucial part of wealth inequality, housing prices are also directly linked to the uneven distribution of resources across neighborhoods and to racial and ethnic segregation. Upsold shows how the interactions between real estate agents and buyers make or break neighborhood reputations and construct neighborhoods by price.
Employing revealing ethnographic and quantitative housing data, Besbris outlines precisely how social influences come together during the sales process. In Upsold, we get a deep dive into the role that the interactions with sales agents play in buyers’ decision-making and how neighborhoods are differentiated, valorized, and deemed to be worthy of a certain price.
Urban Dwellings, Haitian Citizenships explores the failed international reconstruction of Port-au-Prince after the devastating 2010 earthquake. It describes the failures of international aid in Haiti while it analyzes examples of Haitian-based reconstruction and economic practices. By interrogating the relationship between indigenous uses of the cityscape and the urbanization of the countryside within a framework that centers on the violence of urban planning, the book shows that the forms of economic development promoted by international agencies institutionalize impermanence and instability. Conversely, it shows how everyday Haitians use and transform the city to create spaces of belonging and forms of citizenship anchored in a long history of resistance to extractive economies. Taking readers into the remnants of failed industrial projects in Haitian provinces and into the streets, rubble, and homes of Port-au-Prince, this book reflects on the possibilities and meanings of dwelling in post-disaster urban landscapes.
In Montreal in 1968, speculators announced their ‘urban renewal’ plan to demolish six blocks of the downtown heritage neighborhood of Milton Parc in order to build enormous high-rise condos, hotels, office buildings, and shopping malls. The local community viewed this as a declaration of war. What followed was a remarkable struggle that not only saved the heritage architecture from destruction but also protected local residents from gentrification through the creation of the largest nonprofit cooperative housing project on an urban community land trust in North America.
And Milton Parc is not unique. Villages in Cities takes us across North America—to New York, Boston, Burlington, Oakland, Jackson, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, and Vancouver—to show concrete examples of citizens taking back the land and claiming their right to secure housing. The book draws connections among these projects, examines their underlying causes, and connects them with a holistic “Right to the City” movement that is emerging internationally.
Winner, 2006 The American Lawyer Lifetime Achievement Award
On his thirty-ninth birthday in 1966, Alexander Polikoff, a volunteer ACLU attorney and partner in a Chicago law firm, met some friends to discuss a pro bono case. Over lunch, the four talked about the Chicago Housing Authority construction program. All the new public housing, it seemed, was going into black neighborhoods. If discrimination was prohibited in public schools, wasn't it also prohibited in public housing?
And so began Gautreaux v. CHA and HUD, a case that from its rocky beginnings would roll on year after year, decade after decade, carrying Polikoff and his colleagues to the nation's Supreme Court (to face then-solicitor general Robert Bork); establishing precedents for suits against the discriminatory policies of local housing authorities, often abetted by HUD; and setting the stage for a nationwide experiment aimed at ending the concentration--and racialization--of poverty through public housing. Sometimes Kafkaesque, sometimes simply inspiring, and never less than absorbing, the story of Gautreaux, told by its principal lawyer, moves with ease through local and national civil rights history, legal details, political matters, and the personal costs--and rewards--of a commitment to fairness, equality, and justice. Both the memoir of a dedicated lawyer, and the narrative of a tenacious pursuit of equality, this story--itself a critical, still-unfolding chapter in recent American history--urges us to take an essential step in ending the racial inequality that Alexis de Toqueville prophetically named America's "most formidable evil."
Collecting seventy-nine oral histories from former public housing residents and staff, J. S. Fuerst's When Public Housing Was Paradise is a powerful testament to the fact that well-designed, well-managed low-rent housing has worked, as well as a demonstration of how it could be made to work again.
J. S. Fuerst has been involved with public housing in Chicago for more than half a century. He retired from Loyola University, where he was a professor of social welfare policy. He was the editor of Public Housing in Europe and America. D. Bradford Hunt is an assistant professor of social science at Roosevelt University. John Hope Franklin is James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of History at Duke University. He has served as president of the Organization of American Historians, the American Historical Association, and many more.
In postwar America, not everyone wanted to move out of the city and into the suburbs. For decades before World War II, New York's tenants had organized to secure renters' rights. After the war, tenant activists raised the stakes by challenging the newly-dominant ideal of homeownership in racially segregated suburbs. They insisted that renters as well as owners had rights to stable, well-maintained homes, and they proposed that racially diverse urban communities held a right to remain in place--a right that outweighed owners' rights to raise rents, redevelop properties, or exclude tenants of color. Further, the activists asserted that women could participate fully in the political arenas where these matters were decided.
Grounded in archival research and oral history, When Tenants Claimed the City: The Struggle for Citizenship in New York City Housing shows that New York City's tenant movement made a significant claim to citizenship rights that came to accrue, both ideologically and legally, to homeownership in postwar America. Roberta Gold emphasizes the centrality of housing to the racial and class reorganization of the city after the war; the prominent role of women within the tenant movement; and their fostering of a concept of "community rights" grounded in their experience of living together in heterogeneous urban neighborhoods.
Many people characterize urban renewal projects and the power of eminent domain as two of the most widely despised and often racist tools for reshaping American cities in the postwar period. In A World More Concrete, N. D. B. Connolly uses the history of South Florida to unearth an older and far more complex story. Connolly captures nearly eighty years of political and land transactions to reveal how real estate and redevelopment created and preserved metropolitan growth and racial peace under white supremacy. Using a materialist approach, he offers a long view of capitalism and the color line, following much of the money that made land taking and Jim Crow segregation profitable and preferred approaches to governing cities throughout the twentieth century.
A World More Concrete argues that black and white landlords, entrepreneurs, and even liberal community leaders used tenements and repeated land dispossession to take advantage of the poor and generate remarkable wealth. Through a political culture built on real estate, South Florida’s landlords and homeowners advanced property rights and white property rights, especially, at the expense of more inclusive visions of equality. For black people and many of their white allies, uses of eminent domain helped to harden class and color lines. Yet, for many reformers, confiscating certain kinds of real estate through eminent domain also promised to help improve housing conditions, to undermine the neighborhood influence of powerful slumlords, and to open new opportunities for suburban life for black Floridians.
Concerned more with winners and losers than with heroes and villains, A World More Concrete offers a sober assessment of money and power in Jim Crow America. It shows how negotiations between powerful real estate interests on both sides of the color line gave racial segregation a remarkable capacity to evolve, revealing property owners’ power to reshape American cities in ways that can still be seen and felt today.