People and Place in Low-Income Housing Policy

Katherine O'Regan
Housing Policy Debate, 27:2 (2017), pp. 315-319.

The articles in this forum appearing in Housing Policy Debate help update the evidence on two key housing policies and help frame the broader issues. The title of this focus issue, People AND Place, captures two key points raised in the articles but which are worth repeating as they are themes of the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) approach to our housing policy and more broadly.

First, housing policy is a both/and, not either/or proposition: people and place in terms of housing policies to support access to better places and policies to improve the places where low-income people live. Second, people and place is an acknowledgment that the ultimate goal of each approach is to foster better outcomes for people, with explicit recognition of the role and importance of place in shaping their opportunities, and life outcomes. This is true for all approaches, not just those that have been labeled place based.

Broadly, the articles and discussions (a) lay out what we know about housing policy impacts on people and places, with a focus on two of the largest federal policies; and (b) ask what might be the most fruitful way of framing and moving the people and place conversation forward? I am going to thread a bit between the articles to focus on five points.

Wagner Faculty