Mechanisms for Stigma Reduction, the Deconcentration of Poverty, and Hope for HOPE VI
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The high concentration of poverty in the U.S. has been a significant problem since the turn of the twentieth century. A high concentration of people in urban areas without decent social, economic, and political means to improve their quality of life has created a myriad of problems for urbanized regions to confront and stigmatizes the individuals living in high poverty areas. The federal government has instituted a number of housing programs over the past century in an attempt to find a fix. These proposed solutions include urban renewal strategies, war worker housing programs, the Section 8 Certificate, project-based and tenant-based voucher programs (known today as the Housing Choice Voucher Program), and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Housing Opportunities for People Everywhere (HOPE VI) competitive grant program established in 1992. The purpose of this thesis is to investigate the impact of the housing programs that were intended to deconcentrate poverty in American cities and to assess the results of these efforts. This thesis considers the role U.S. housing policies play in concentrating and deconcentrating poverty, both historically and today, especially in the design of mixed-income developments funded by programs like HOPE VI. Specifically, this investigation considers the HOPE VI strategies implemented in an effort to revitalize communities formerly occupied by public housing residents. The overarching purpose of this thesis is to identify the best practices used by urban designers, planners, and architects that have resulted in the successful implementation of housing and neighborhood revitalization programs that deconcentrate poverty while relieving the stigma associated with living in public housing and high poverty concentrated areas. Lastly, my recommendation is that the mixed-income and mixed-use revitalization efforts and similar upcoming housing policies and plans, such as the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI) should be further studied. While continuing to address this country's low-income and affordable housing crises, it is vital for the future of U.S. housing policy and crucial to the design of society's urban fabric that there is a better understanding of design implications. Thoughtful and informed solutions should ensure stigma reduction and guarantee that those who require subsidized housing are seen as equal parties.
- Urban planning