People and Place in Low-Income Housing Policy
(Housing and Community Development)
Friday, November 13, 2015: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
Foster I (Hyatt Regency Miami)
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
Panel Organizers: Keri-Nicole Dillman, Independent
Panel Chairs: George Galster, Wayne State University
Discussants: Katherine O'Regan, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Charles Elsesser, Community Justice Project
A central debate in low-income housing policy revolves around the dichotomy between people-based and place-based policies. As most-often framed, people-based strategies - such as the federal Housing Choice Voucher program - invest in individuals, often with the explicit goal of allowing moves to a better life, while place-based strategies – such as the Low Income Housing Tax Credit - target locations for housing development and neighborhood revitalization.
Arguments about the proper focus of policymaking in this arena continue unabated, perhaps heightened by increasingly limited public resources for low-income housing. Nevertheless, there is evidence of reaching beyond the dichotomy (as evidenced by increasing calls for ‘integrated community development’ among practitioners and regional efforts such as the Chicago Area Fair Housing Alliance). Meanwhile, anticipated HUD rule changes related to Fair Housing Assessments could encourage real-time discussion of trade-offs at the local level.
This panel will ground and spur a productive and timely conversation about low-income housing policy and this age-old debate within it. Each of two papers will synthesize evidence on the neighborhood outcomes of place-based strategies and the people-outcomes of mobility strategies. The final paper will offer a place-conscious framework that challenges the “place-based” vs. “people-based” dichotomy, suggesting that efforts to revitalize distressed neighborhoods should both increase opportunity within neighborhood boundaries and give residents meaningful choices about where to live and work. The panel’s discussant will offer HUD’s perspective on how the available evidence informs federal policymakers’ decision-making, what else they need, and the utility of a new ‘place conscious’ frame going forward.