Date of Award

1991

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Community Planning (MCP)

Department

Community Planning and Area Development

First Advisor

Marcia Marker Feld

Abstract

The Housing Act of 1949 established the goal of a "decent home and a suitable living environment for every family." However, rising housing costs, a decline in real income, and local zoning and land use practices have all contributed to the polarization of housing in American society (Heilbrun 1987) . The widening gap between the cost of housing and real income, during the last two decades, has fueled an affordability crisis that prevents many segments of the population from participating in the "American Dream" of home ownership. For many low and moderate income households the quest for decent, affordable housing is becoming an impossible dream and "America is increasingly becoming a nation of housing have's and have-nots" (Joint Center for Housing

Studies of Harvard University 1988:73). Compounding the problem of housing affordability for low and moderate-income households has been the on-going problem of housing accessibility. The exclusion of lower income and minority households from suburban communities has been a growing problem since the 1960's (Brooks 1972 and Downs 1973). Preliminary data from the 1990 United States Census indicates that the locating of lower income and minority households to older central cities continues.

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