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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1151801
 
 

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A Sociolegal History of Public Housing Reform in Chicago


Lisa T. Alexander


University of Wisconsin Law School


Univ. of Wisconsin Law School Working Paper No. 1061
Journal of Affordable Housing, Vol. 17, Nos. 1-2, Fall 2007/Winter 2008

Abstract:     
This essay summarizes and compares Alexander Polikoff's Waiting for Gautreaux: A Story of Segregation, Housing, and the Black Ghetto and Mary Pattillo's Black on the Block: The Politics of Race and Class in the City to convey the contributions and limitations of each book. Both works provide a rich sociolegal history of public housing reform in Chicago and illustrate the challenges Chicago has faced in implementing recent HOPE VI public housing reforms. I compare Polikoff's forty-year battle to desegregate public housing in Chicago with Pattillo's insightful observations of class dynamics between the new middle-class African-American power brokers of housing reform and public housing residents. Through this comparison, I seek to show that Polikoff's long-term prescriptions for public housing reform are based upon a conception of the inner city that may no longer be entirely accurate. This comparison also conveys the social complexity inherent in HOPE VI reform efforts, a complexity often overlooked in the prevailing policy and academic debates.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 23

Keywords: Public Housing Reform, Urban Redevelopment, Segregation, HOPE VI, Law and Public Policy. Polikoff, Pattillo, and Sociolegal History

JEL Classification: K-30, D63, J78

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Date posted: June 26, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Alexander, Lisa T., A Sociolegal History of Public Housing Reform in Chicago. Univ. of Wisconsin Law School Working Paper No. 1061; Journal of Affordable Housing, Vol. 17, Nos. 1-2, Fall 2007/Winter 2008 . Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1151801

Contact Information

Lisa T. Alexander (Contact Author)
University of Wisconsin Law School ( email )
975 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706
United States
HOME PAGE: http://law.wisc.edu/profiles/index.php?iEmployeeID=81
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