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Housing policy and poverty in Springfield

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Author Info

  • Lynn E. Browne
  • with Marques Benton
  • Prabal Chakrabarti
  • Sol Carbonell
  • DeAnna Green
  • Yolanda Kodrzycki
  • Ana Patricia Muñoz
  • Anna Steiger
  • Richard Walker
  • Bo Zhao

Abstract

This essay considers whether housing policies may have contributed to the concentration of poverty in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts – a question that emerged in conversations with local leaders. Springfield is not alone in having large numbers of lower income households living downtown. This pattern is common in American cities. Recent research emphasizes the role of public transportation in causing lower income households to live closer to downtown. However, spillover effects and government policies, including housing policies, have reinforced this tendency. The essay reviews federal housing policy, with a focus on Springfield. A dilemma for Springfield today is that housing and community development policies and resources tend to reflect the needs of communities with strong housing markets where preserving affordable housing is critical. In Springfield, with a much weaker housing market, these policies may perpetuate the status quo. A higher priority for Springfield is attracting a more economically diverse population.

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File URL: http://www.bostonfed.org/commdev/pcadp/2011/pcadp1101.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in its series Public and Community Affairs Discussion Papers with number 2011-1.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbpc:2011-1

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Keywords: Housing policy ; Housing policy - Massachusetts ; Poverty - Massachusetts ; Transportation;

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  1. LeRoy, Stephen F. & Sonstelie, Jon, 1983. "Paradise lost and regained: Transportation innovation, income, and residential location," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 67-89, January.
  2. Edward L. Glaeser & Matthew E. Kahn & Jordan Rappaport, 2000. "Why Do the Poor Live in Cities?," NBER Working Papers 7636, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Glaeser, Edward L. & Kahn, Matthew E. & Rappaport, Jordan, 2008. "Why do the poor live in cities The role of public transportation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 1-24, January.
  4. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko, . "Urban Decline and Durable Housing," Zell/Lurie Center Working Papers 382, Wharton School Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center, University of Pennsylvania.
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