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New Book Assesses Urban Poverty Reduction Policies

Politics and Process of Deconcentration Explored

Document date: June 30, 2003
Released online: June 30, 2003

Contact: Karen McKenzie, (202) 261-5709, [email protected]

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 30, 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 and dropout, teen pregnancy, out-of-wedlock childbirth, violent crime, and drug abuse are magnified in neighborhoods where the majority of residents are poor and, increasingly, minorities. In response, policymakers have embarked on a large and coordinated effort to "deconcentrate" the urban poor by dispersing the residents of subsidized housing to other more economically and racially mixed residential areas.

While the logic of deconcentration is compelling, the process raises fundamental questions of urban planning and policies. In Clearing the Way: Deconcentrating the Poor in Urban America, a new Urban Institute Press book, Edward Goetz, director of the Urban and Regional Planning Program at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, goes beyond the narrow analysis that has informed the debate so far. He uses the experience of Minneapolis-St. Paul to explore the political controversies and complicated issues in housing, community development, and antipoverty policies that arise when public housing residents are dispersed, sometimes against their will, to other metropolitan and suburban regions. Along the way, Goetz 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: Deconcentrating the Poor in Urban America offers important lessons for policymakers, activists, and anyone concerned about poverty in America.

Clearing the Way: Deconcentrating the Poor in Urban America, by Edward G. Goetz, is available in paperback from the Urban Institute Press (6" x 9", 326 pages, ISBN 0-87766-712-8, $29.50). Order online at www.uipress.org or call 202-261-5687 or toll-free 1-877-847-7377.

The Urban Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan policy research and educational organization that examines the social, economic, and governance challenges facing the nation.

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

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