Panel: Affordable Housing and the Suburbanization of Poverty: Understanding the Links
(Housing & Community Development)

Saturday, November 10, 2012: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
Salon B (Radisson Plaza Lord Baltimore Hotel)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Organizers:  Kenya Covington, California State University, Northridge
Moderators:  Katherine O'Regan, New York University and Keren Horn, New York University
Chairs:  Michael Stoll, University of California, Los Angeles

Recent trends show that poverty has become more suburbanized. These changes in part are a result of immigrant populations locating within suburbs and the movement of low-income workers as they follow jobs into the suburbs. Essential to the mobility of the poor into suburbs is access to affordable housing. How might affordable housing options, particularly those associated with federally subsidized housing programs further explain the suburbanization of poverty? Moreover, how might the recent foreclosure crisis help explain growing trends in the suburbanization of poverty? This proposed panel includes three papers that will illuminate the links between affordable housing and the suburbanization of poverty. The first paper provides an analysis of the spatial concentration of poverty in America, particularly in the nation’s 95 largest metro areas in 2000, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010. During this time, suburbs were home to the fastest-growing poor population in the country. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) enacted policies in the 1990s to help ease the portability of vouchers and expand housing location choices for low-income families, affording some the ability to move away from high-poverty urban neighborhoods. Only recently have low income residents began more widely locating in suburban communities, albeit generally low-income suburban neighborhoods with poor job access. Indeed, the suburbanization of housing voucher recipients during the 2000s accounted for about 20 percent of the overall rapid growth in America’s suburban poor population. This growth serves to decentralize concentrated poverty in central cities by dispersing poverty more evenly across suburban communities. On average, the lion’s share of voucher recipients reside in low income suburbs. A second paper reveals more comprehensively the number of jobs located within five and ten miles of the average voucher household, and compares these job concentration levels to those for all households and poor renters, LIHTC units, and public housing households in U.S. metropolitan areas. In select cities, the analysis examines the number of jobs within 30 and 60 minute commutes of voucher and comparison households, using spatial data on commuting times. Currently, the United States is in the midst of the worst foreclosure crisis since the Great Depression; foreclosures have hit an all-time high, with nearly one in ten homes with a mortgage currently at risk of foreclosure. The third paper presents analysis about how unprecedented rates of foreclosure are associated with the suburbanization of voucher recipients and the suburbanization of the poor overall in 2000 and in 2008.

Upward Mobility? Classifying Suburban Poverty
Christa Lee-Chuvala, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Job Access to Federally Subsidized Affordable Housing
Michael Lens, University of California, Los Angeles

An Examination of Foreclosure Rates and the Suburbanization of Voucher Recipients
Kenya Covington, California State University, Northridge

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