Slums and Social Insecurity: An Appraisal of the Effectiveness of Housing Policies in Helping to Eliminate Poverty in the United States

Slums and Social Insecurity: An Appraisal of the Effectiveness of Housing Policies in Helping to Eliminate Poverty in the United States

Slums and Social Insecurity: An Appraisal of the Effectiveness of Housing Policies in Helping to Eliminate Poverty in the United States

Slums and Social Insecurity: An Appraisal of the Effectiveness of Housing Policies in Helping to Eliminate Poverty in the United States

Excerpt

The programs of the Social Security Administration share in the underlying goal of wiping out poverty in the United States. As this assertion suggests, social security has a broader meaning than the specific programs that make it up. It means protection against the risks that arise in living in an increasingly complex society -- risks which individuals and small communities cannot by themselves control. The converse of social security is social insecurity: the situation in which people are exposed to and unprotected against overwhelming, frequently inscrutable social forces. The Nation has traveled a respectable distance toward limiting social insecurity, but there are people for whom we have fallen far short. Our reach has so far exceeded our grasp.

A number of issues in the field of housing are not susceptible of decision on the basis of evidence alone. They must be decided on the basis of which of several divergent or conflicting goals are seen as primary. If we approach the field of housing with social security in mind, one question stands out: What should housing policy be if wiping out poverty in the United States is given primacy? It is by no means settled that wiping out poverty is -- everywhere and for everyone -- primary, but stating the goal lends clarity to our conclusions.

The field of inquiry will necessarily be broad. However, we shall limit ourselves to poverty and housing policy in cities. Events are moving at a more rapid tempo and more people will eventually be affected by what is done in cities. It is hardly necessary to say that rural housing also requires attention, but the nature of the inquiry would be different.

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.