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Research in this section focuses attention on the structure of and access to housing opportunities created by the intersection of housing with other metropolitan and regional factors.


Recent Housing Research


Research Item Gentrification and Schools: Challenges, Opportunities and Policy Options
The rapid gentrification occurring in major cities may have a significant impact on California and the distribution of wealth and opportunity for its families, similar to the vast suburbanization that occurred during the baby boom era. The White flight from central city neighborhoods has far-reaching consequences, particularly in regard to school segregation, which became an often-intractable problem. However, there is substantial and growing evidence of the enduring benefits for children who attend diverse schools. This study aims to explore whether the return of White and middle-class families to gentrified areas in Los Angeles, Oakland and San Diego has the potential to help desegregate the schools or if it merely rearranges the geography of segregation for students of color, reinforcing racial inequality.
Research Item School Integration in Gentrifying Neighborhoods: Evidence from New York City
In gentrifying areas of New York City, this research finds that a small but growing segment of middle-class, mostly White families is choosing to enroll their children in their neighborhood public elementary schools, thus increasing the diversity in those schools. Because residential and school segregation across the nation have traditionally had a symbiotic relationship where an increase in one leads to an increase in the other, the demographic phenomenon associated with gentrification where neighborhoods become more diverse has the potential to alleviate persistent school segregation, a major cause of educational inequity.
Research Item New York State’s Extreme School Segregation: Inequality, Inaction and a Damaged Future
New York has the most segregated schools in the country: in 2009, black and Latino students in the state had the highest concentration in intensely-segregated public schools (less than 10% white enrollment), the lowest exposure to white students, and the most uneven distribution with white students across schools. Heavily impacting these state rankings is New York City, home to the largest and one of the most segregated public school systems in the nation.
Research Item The Resegregation of Suburban Schools: A Hidden Crisis in American Education
Erica Frankenberg is an assistant professor in the department of education policy studies in the College of Education at the Pennsylvania State University. Gary Orfield is a professor of education, law, political science and urban planning, and codirector of the Civil Rights Project at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Research Item The Opportunity Illusion: Subsidized Housing and Failing Schools in California
The nation’s largest low income housing production program, the awkwardly named Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), is providing billions of dollars for building homes across the country. It has been the only significant source of funds for building housing for poor families since the l980s. Yet few people know of its existence, fewer understand its complex mechanisms, and there has been virtually no information to answer critical questions about it. What we do know is that LIHTC is a costly program producing much needed affordable housing in one of the nation’s most expensive housing markets, where millions of people cannot afford to pay the cost of adequate housing. Who is it helping? Is it giving the children in these homes a better chance in life? Is it serving all groups in our society fairly? Is it opening up housing across the region’s color lines or is it investing in segregation? These are vital questions to ask, especially now with the collapse of the housing market and the financing freeze stalling new projects. Broadly speaking, is the public investment paying off for those it is supposed to help?
Research Item New Faces, Old Patterns? Segregation in the Multiracial South
If desegregation plans were still in effect we would expect that as the share of whites in a state declined, white students would tend to be in schools that, on average, had an increased share of black students. In several states, however, even though the percentage of white students has declined significantly, the level of white contact with blacks actually fell.
Research Item The Imprint of Preferences and Racial Attitudes in the 1990s: A Window Into Contemporary Residential Segregation Patterns in the Greater Boston Area
If we truly desire to keep integration on the upswing and to hasten segregation’s descent, we must continue to effectively harness and improve the resources and tools at our disposal—including social science research.
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