Why Not in My Backyard?
Neighborhood Impacts of Deconcentrating Assisted Housing
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Policymakers who wish to deconcentrate assisted housing for low-income and special-needs households into areas where these households are underrepresented are at odds with citizens who wish to keep such housing out of their neighborhoods. One side sees the expanded opportunities and quality of life for residents. The other side sees an invasion of undesirable neighbors who will undermine their quality of life, security, and property values.In Baltimore County and Denver, jurisdictions that differ in many respects, innovative efforts during the tail end of the twentieth century to spatially deconcentrate assisted households of various types met with vocal, well-organized community opposition in both locales. In Denver, scattered-site public housing and the supportive housing for special needs populations programs were targeted. In Baltimore County, the Section 8 Moving to Opportunity rental assistance program proved a lightning rod for protest.The authors seize the analytical opportunity provided by these programs in Denver and Baltimore County to explore fundamental issues concerning the deconcentration of assisted housing. Does assisted housing of various types cause negative neighborhood impacts? Do impacts vary across different sorts of neighborhoods? How does the spatial concentration of assisted housing or the scale of the facility affect impacts? What are the mechanisms through which these impacts transpire? How can deconcentration policies be revised to minimize any negative impacts? This book provides answers to these questions by bringing to bear a variety of qualitative and quantitative research methods.