Housing Policy and Suburbanization: An Analysis of the Changing Quality and Quantity of Black Housing in Suburbia since 1950
Suburbanization has been a process associated with urban growth since the nineteenth century ( Singleton, 1973). In the past four decades, however, the excessively rapid pace of suburbanization has transformed the entire fabric of metropolitan life in the United States. The sum effect of this metamorphosis has been the "urbanization of the suburbs" or, as Muller ( 1981: x) puts it, the creation of an "outer city." According to Muller ( 1981: x), this "outer city" boasts not only the greatest share of the metropolitan populace but has all but "eliminated the regional economic dominance of the central city by attracting a critical mass of leading urban activities to relocate to the outer ring." Recently released evidence from the 1980 census indicates that the migration from city to suburbs and nonmetropolitan areas during the 1970s far exceeded the rate during the 1960s. The overall net migration loss for cities was 13 million of which 10 million persons were absorbed by the suburbs ( Tucker, 1984). Moreover, the decentralization phenomenon affected some of the older fringe suburban communities and housing conditions, bestowing upon them demographic characteristics previously associated with deteriorating core city communities ( Long and DeAre, 1981).
In the wake of this metropolitan demographic development and changing housing conditions, the suburbs have taken on a new and diverse social character not in keeping with traditional perceptions. Berry ( 1973) concept of a "mosaic culture" in which homogeneous communities persist to offer residents distinctly different lifestyles still supplies an accurate portrayal of suburban society. Yet increasingly observable in the population