The transformation of public housing will necessarily have profound effects on the lives of thousands of very vulnerable families. For three decades, public housing served as the housing of last resort, with federal regulations increasingly favoring the neediest households. But this transformation has meant dramatic changes in federal policy for housing the poor by promoting mixed-income housing and the use of vouchers to prevent the concentration of troubled, low-income households. This transformation has largely failed to address the needs of the hard-to-house residents who have relied on public housing for stable, if less than ideal, housing.
The authors use data from two studies of developments targeted for HOPE VI (Housing Opportunities for People Everywhere) revitalization to estimate the size of the hard-to-house population. We conclude that public housing authorities will need to develop a range of alternative options to ensure that all residents obtain stable, secure housing.
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