There's No Place like Home: Anthropological Perspectives on Housing and Homelessness in the United States

By Anna Lou Dehavenon | Go to book overview

lower classes. Industrial policy does not directly address the degree of inequality between classes, so economic growth is an incomplete solution. Furthermore, when the politics of growth fail, the politics of repression dominate, in an effort to avoid redistribution ( Wolfe 1981; Gross 1980). The result is that the benefits of economic growth become increasingly concentrated among the rich.

Recommendation #1. The federal government should develop a comprehensive and progressive housing policy, and it should coordinate fully with state and local governments. Almost all other industrialized nations have coherent housing policies. The United States has at best only a patchwork of federal programs ( Gilderbloom and Appelbaum 1988; Lang 1989; Appelbaum and Dreier 1990; van Vliet and van Weesep 1990).

Recommendation #2. The federal government should renew its commitment to the funding of public or "social" housing programs, which provide such auxiliary services as empowerment training and skills development in community organization among poor residents.

Recommendation #3. The federal government should encourage zoning policies and urban redevelopment programs that address low and moderate-income housing needs through subsidized single-room-occupancy hotel construction and provision of auxiliary social services ( Hoch and Slayton 1989).

Recommendation #4. The federal government should raise the minimum wage and institute a system of national health care to help improve the well-being of the homeless and poor.

Recommendation #5. The federal government should encourage the indexing of welfare benefits to the Consumer Price Index, just as Social Security is indexed.

Recommendation #6. The federal government should take the lead in improving the process of setting welfare standards and implementing them appropriately, so that everyone who is legally eligible properly receives the payments.

Recommendation #7. The federal government should adopt a more progressive tax policy that reduces deductions and increases taxes for corporate income, stock ownership and transfers, inheritance over $90,000, and the incomes of the top 5 percent of wage earners.

The social benefits from an increase in housing and collective empowerment programs sponsored by the federal government should be shared by both middle class and the working poor segments of society.


CONCLUSION

Park residents were able to multiply their resistance tactics to dominant authoritative strategies with outside resources and the assistance of community activists. Contesting authoritative strategies in open public areas produced a significant curtailment of repressive police practices. The integration of outside advocates into the activities of park residents reduced (but did not stop) their marginalization. Park residents moved from a simple geographic power base that relied on concen-

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There's No Place like Home: Anthropological Perspectives on Housing and Homelessness in the United States
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contemporary Urban Studies ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables and Figures ix
  • Prologue: Azdak Lives xi
  • Notes xiv
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • Introduction xvii
  • Conclusion xx
  • 1: Poverty and Homelessness in Rural Upstate New York 1
  • Introduction 1
  • Summary and Recommendations 13
  • Conclusion 16
  • Notes 16
  • 2: The 1990 Decennial Census and Patterns of Homelessness in a Small New England City 19
  • Introduction 19
  • Summary and Recommendations 30
  • Conclusion 33
  • Note 33
  • 3: Doubling-Up: A Strategy of Urban Reciprocity to Avoid Homelessness in Detroit 35
  • Introduction 35
  • Summury and Recommendations 46
  • Conclusion 48
  • Notes 48
  • 4: Doubling-Up and New York City's Policies for Sheltering Homeless Families 51
  • Introduction 51
  • Summary and Recomendations 63
  • Conclusion 64
  • Conclusion 65
  • 5: A Home by Any Means Necessary: Government Policy on Squatting in the Public Housing of a Large Mid-Atlantic City 67
  • Introduction 67
  • Summary and Recommendations 76
  • Conclusion 78
  • Notes 78
  • 6: Huts for the Homeless: A Low- Technology Approach for Squatters in Atlanta, Georgia 81
  • Introduction 81
  • Summary and Recommendations 100
  • Conclusion 102
  • 7: Piety and Poverty: The Religious Response to the Homeless in Albuquerque, New Mexico 105
  • Introduction 105
  • Summary and Recommendations 114
  • Conclusion 116
  • Conclusion 117
  • 8: Suburban Homelessness and Social Space: Strategies of Authority and Local Resistance in Orange County, California 121
  • Introduction 121
  • Summary and Recommendations 140
  • Conclusion 141
  • Conclusion 142
  • 9: "There Goes the Neighborhood": Gentrification, Displacement, and Homelessness in Washington, D.C. 145
  • Introdution 145
  • Summary and Recommendations 160
  • Conclusions 162
  • Conclusions 163
  • Conclusion 165
  • Epilogue: A Perilous Bridge 175
  • References 177
  • Index 193
  • Contributors 203
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