Housing & Community Development

Pathways to Integration: Examining Changes in the Prevalence of Racially Integrated Neighborhoods

Pathways to Integration: Examining Changes in the Prevalence of Racially Integrated Neighborhoods
Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research 14(3)33-53

Ellen, Ingrid, Katherine O’Regan and Keren Horn

Few researchers have studied integrated neighborhoods, yet these neighborhoods offer an important window into broader patterns of segregation.  We explore changes in racial integration in recent decades using decennial census tract data from 1990, 2000, and 2010.  We begin by examining changes in the prevalence of racially integrated neighborhoods and find significant growth in the presence of integrated neighborhoods during this time period, with the share of metropolitan neighborhoods that are integrated increasing from just under 20 percent to just over 30 percent.  We then shed light on the pathways through which these changes have occurred.  We find both a small increase in the number of neighborhoods becoming integrated for the first time during this period and a more sizable increase in the share of integrated neighborhoods that remained integrated.  Finally, we offer insights about which neighborhoods become integrated in the first place and which remain stably integrated over time.

Does Losing Your Home Mean Losing Your School? Effects of Foreclosure on the School Mobility of Children

Does Losing Your Home Mean Losing Your School? Effects of Foreclosure on the School Mobility of Children
Regional Science and Urban Economics, 41(4), 2011: 407-414.

Bean, Vicky, Ingrid Ellen, Amy Ellen Schwartz, Leanna Stiefel and Meryle Weinstein

In the last few years, millions of homes around the country have entered foreclosure, pushing many families out of their homes and potentially forcing their children to move to new schools. Unfortunately, despite considerable attention to the causes and consequences of mortgage defaults, we understand little about the distribution and severity of these impacts on school children. This paper takes a step toward filling that gap through studying how foreclosures in New York City affect the mobility of public school children across schools. A significant body of research suggests that, in general, switching schools is costly for students, though the magnitude of the effect depends critically on the nature of the move and the quality of the origin and destination schools.

Does Municipally Subsidized Housing Improve School Quality? Evidence from New York City

Does Municipally Subsidized Housing Improve School Quality? Evidence from New York City
Journal of the American Planning Association, 77 (2): 127-141.

Chellman, Colin, Ingrid Ellen, Brian McCabe, Amy Ellen Schwartz and Leanna Stiefel

Problem: Policymakers and community development practitioners view increasing subsidized owner-occupied housing as a mechanism to improve urban neighborhoods, but little research studies the impact of such investments on community amenities.

Purpose: We examine the impact of subsidized owner-occupied housing on the quality of local schools and compare them to the impacts of city investments in rental units.

Methods: Using data from the New York City Department of Education (DOE) and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), we estimate three main sets of regressions, exploring student characteristics, school resources, and school outcomes.

Results and conclusions: The completion of subsidized owner-occupied housing is associated with a decrease in schools’ percentage of free-lunch eligible students, an increase in schools’ percentage of White students, and, controlling for these compositional changes, an increase in scores on standardized reading and math exams. By contrast, our results suggest that investments in rental housing have little, if any, effect.

Takeaway for practice: Policies promoting the construction of subsidized owner-occupied housing have solidified in local governments around the country. Our research provides reassurance to policymakers and planners who are concerned about the spillover effects of subsidized, citywide investments beyond the households being directly served. It suggests that benefits from investments in owner occupancy may extend beyond the individual level, with an increase in subsidized owner-occupancy bringing about improvements in neighborhood school quality.

Major Expansion of Primary Care in Brazil Linked to Decline in Unnecessary Hospitalization

Major Expansion of Primary Care in Brazil Linked to Decline in Unnecessary Hospitalization
Health Affairs, Vol. 29, no. 12, pp. 2149-2160. 10.1377/hlthaff.2010.0251

Macinko, J., I. Dourado, R. Aquino, et al

In 1994 Brazil launched what has since become the world’s largest community-based primary health care program. Under the Family Health Program, teams consisting of at least one physician, one nurse, a medical assistant, and four to six trained community health agents deliver most of their services at community-based clinics. They also make regular home visits and conduct neighborhood health promotion activities. This study finds that during 1999–2007, hospitalizations in Brazil for ambulatory care–sensitive chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, and asthma, fell at a rate that was statistically significant and almost twice the rate of decline in hospitalizations for all other causes. In municipalities with high Family Health Program enrollment, chronic disease hospitalization rates were 13 percent lower than in municipalities with low enrollment, when other factors were held constant. These results suggest that the Family Health Program has improved health system performance in Brazil by reducing the number of potentially avoidable hospitalizations.

“You fix my community, you have fixed my life”: The disruption and rebuilding of ontological security in New Orleans

“You fix my community, you have fixed my life”: The disruption and rebuilding of ontological security in New Orleans
Disasters: Journal of Policy & Management, 35(1), 143 – 159.

Hawkins, R. L. & Maurer, K.

Using the concept of ontological security, this paper examines the physical and psychological loss of home and community following Hurricane Katrina. This qualitative longitudinal study includes 40 heads of households with school-age children who lived in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. Participants describe a breakdown in their social fabric at the individual and structural/community levels that contributes to a sense of community loss and social displacement, disrupting their ontological security--their notion of safety, routine and trust in a stable environment. Three interrelated reactions were common: 1) experiencing nostalgia for their old neighbourhoods specifically and New Orleans in general; 2) experiencing a sense of loss of people and things that represented a level of security or constancy; 3) initiation of a process for re-establishing ontological security whether or not they returned to New Orleans. The paper concludes that intangible losses have an important psychological effect on community redevelopment and recovery from trauma.

How to House the Homeless

How to House the Homeless
Russell Sage Foundation Press

Ellen, I.G. & O'Flaherty, B. (eds.).

How to House the Homeless, editors Ingrid Gould Ellen and Brendan O’Flaherty propose that the answers entail rethinking how housing markets operate and developing more efficient interventions in existing service programs. The book critically reassesses where we are now, analyzes the most promising policies and programs going forward, and offers a new agenda for future research. How to House the Homeless makes clear the inextricable link between homelessness and housing policy. Contributor Jill Khadduri reviews the current residential services system and housing subsidy programs. For the chronically homeless, she argues, a combination of assisted housing approaches can reach the greatest number of people and, specifically, an expanded Housing Choice Voucher system structured by location, income, and housing type can more efficiently reach people at-risk of becoming homeless and reduce time spent homeless. Robert Rosenheck examines the options available to homeless people with mental health problems and reviews the cost-effectiveness of five service models: system integration, supported housing, clinical case management, benefits outreach, and supported employment. He finds that only programs that subsidize housing make a noticeable dent in homelessness, and that no one program shows significant benefits in multiple domains of life. Contributor Sam Tsemberis assesses the development and cost-effectiveness of the Housing First program, which serves mentally ill homeless people in more than four hundred cities. He asserts that the program’s high housing retention rate and general effectiveness make it a viable candidate for replication across the country. Steven Raphael makes the case for a strong link between homelessness and local housing market regulations—which affect housing affordability—and shows that the problem is more prevalent in markets with stricter zoning laws. Finally, Brendan O’Flaherty bridges the theoretical gap between the worlds of public health and housing research, evaluating the pros and cons of subsidized housing programs and the economics at work in the rental housing market and home ownership. Ultimately, he suggests, the most viable strategies will serve as safety nets—“social insurance”—to reach people who are homeless now and to prevent homelessness in the future. It is crucial that the links between effective policy and the whole cycle of homelessness—life conditions, service systems, and housing markets—be made clear now. With a keen eye on the big picture of housing policy, How to House the Homeless shows what works and what doesn’t in reducing the numbers of homeless and reaching those most at risk.

Sustainable neighbourhood development: Insights from Southern California

Sustainable neighbourhood development: Insights from Southern California
Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 37(3) 387 – 407

Garde, A., Saphores, J.D., Matthew, R. & K. Day.

We examine the diffusion of sustainable planning and design concepts into neighbourhood development projects, based on findings of a survey of planners in all 180 cities of five Southern California counties. Sustainable neighbourhood development has particular significance in Southern California owing to the regions’s rapid growth. We compare ‘typical’ and ‘innovative’ neighbourhood developments to determine whether sustainable planning and design concepts are being incorporated in these projects. Although planners agree that ‘innovative’ projects are more likely than ‘typical’ projects to incorporate sustainable planning and design concepts, sustainability is not a high priority even in innovative neighbourhood projects. Our respondents identified significant barriers to and limited opportunities for encouraging sustainable neighbourhood development. These trends in planning and design appear likely to continue unless strong policy and other mechanisms are adopted to encourage sustainable neighbourhood development. The paper concludes with recommendations to promote more sustainable neighbourhood development.

The High Cost of Segregation: The Relationship Between Racial Segregation and Subprime Lending

The High Cost of Segregation: The Relationship Between Racial Segregation and Subprime Lending
November 2009

Furman Center for Real Estate & Urban Policy

This study examines whether the likelihood that borrowers of different races received a subprime loan varied depending on the level of racial segregation where they live. It looks both at the role of racial segregation in metropolitan areas across the country and at the role that neighborhood demographics within communities in New York City played.


Subscribe to Housing & Community Development