Race, Ethnicity, and Minority Housing in the United States

By Jamshid A. Momeni | Go to book overview

1
A Historical Review of Changes in Public Housing Policies and Their Impacts on Minorities

Peter Kivisto


Introduction

The federal government has played an important role in the provision of housing for racial minorities, particularly blacks, since the inception of the public housing program in 1937. Indeed, nearly a half century after the passage of the federal Housing Act of 1937, state-owned housing for the nonelderly has become, to a large extent, minority housing. A major reason for this is the fact that, unlike the experience of governments in housing markets in most of the advanced industrial societies of Western Europe, subsidized rental housing did not become a universal program, but was instead targeted to the poorest stratum of American society. The consequence has been a program beset by a lack of public support, resulting in a situation where the approximately 1.2 million units that have been constructed constitute less than 3 percent of the nation's total housing stock. This chapter examines changes in governmental policies regulating the public housing program over time, focusing on the effects of these policies on racial minorities.

One of the remarkable things about the program is that early supporters in the academic community and among social reformers frequently voiced second thoughts about the efficacy of government-owned housing, and within the span of three decades the overall assessments and perceptions of the program had changed dramatically. Once seen as not only part of the solution to the housing needs of the poor, but as a social locus wherein the pathologies generated by poverty would dissipate, public housing is now frequently seen as part of the problem. It is illustrative to contrast two sociologists whose views rather succinctly depict these changes. In 1940,

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Race, Ethnicity, and Minority Housing in the United States
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in Ethnic Studies Series Editor: Leonard W. Doob ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Figure and Tables ix
  • Foreword xv
  • Series Foreword xvii
  • Acknowledgments xix
  • Introduction xxi
  • References xxiv
  • 1: A Historical Review of Changes in Public Housing Policies and Their Impacts on Minorities 1
  • Introduction 1
  • Conclusion 14
  • References 15
  • 2: Racial Inequalities in Housing: An Examination of Recent Trends 19
  • Introduction 19
  • Notes 36
  • Acknowledgments 36
  • References 37
  • 3: Racial Inequalities in Home Ownership 39
  • Notes 50
  • References 51
  • 4: Blacks and the American Dream of Housing 53
  • References 65
  • 5: Housing Policy and Suburbanization: An Analysis of the Changing Quality and Quantity of Black Housing in Suburbia since 1950 69
  • Introduction 69
  • Conclusion 83
  • References 85
  • 6: The Housing Conditions of Black Female-headed Households: A Comparative Analysis 89
  • Acknowledgments 107
  • References 108
  • 7: Accessibility to Housing: Differential Residential Segregation for Blacks, Hispanics, American Indians, and Asians 109
  • Introduction 109
  • References 125
  • 8: Su casa no es mi casa: Hispanic Housing Conditions in Contemporary America, 1949- 1980 127
  • Notes 143
  • References 144
  • 9: American Indian Housing: An Overview of Conditions and Public Policy 147
  • Acknowledgments 174
  • References 174
  • 10: Housing Problems of Asian Americans 177
  • References 193
  • 11: Minority Housing Needs and Civil Rights Enforcement 195
  • Introduction 195
  • Conclusions 209
  • Notes 211
  • Acknowledgments 212
  • Selected Bibliography 217
  • Index 221
  • About the Contributors 223
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