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Clearing the Way

Deconcentrating the Poor in Urban America

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Document date: June 05, 2003
Released online: June 05, 2003
Over the past three decades, the concentration of poverty in America’s inner cities has exacerbated a wide range of social problems. School delinquency, school dropout, teenage pregnancy, out-of-wedlock childbirth, violent crime, and drug abuse are magnified in neighborhoods where the majority of residents are poor. In response, policymakers have embarked on a large and coordinated effort to “deconcentrate” the urban poor by dispersing the residents of subsidized housing. Despite the clean logic of these policies, however, deconcentration is not a clean process. In Clearing the Way, Edward Goetz goes beyond the narrow analysis that has informed the debate so far, using the experience of Minneapolis-Saint Paul to explore the fierce political debate and complicated issues that arise when public housing residents are dispersed, sometimes against their will. Along the way, he explores the cases for and against deconcentrating the poor, the programs used to pursue this goal, and the research used to evaluate their success. Clearing the Way offers important lessons for policymakers, activists, and anyone interested in poverty in America. [View the corresponding press release]

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Topics/Tags: | Cities and Neighborhoods | Poverty, Assets and Safety Net | Race/Ethnicity/Gender


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