Gentrification: The Class Conflict Over Urban Space Moves into the Courts

40 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2015

Date Written: February 3, 1981


Gentrification of inner-cities has resulted in a class conflict over urban space. An issue in the federal courts is whether the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) can build, sponsor, or subsidize low income housing projects within or near revitalized neighborhoods. In Stryker’s Bay Neighborhood Council v. Karlen, the United States Supreme Court held that HUD’s decision-making process relating to the placement of low income housing is beyond judicial review. This Article reviews recent litigation in Philadelphia, Chicago and Boston in light of Stryker’s Bay, and concludes that in order to protect federal efforts to maintain the integrated character of inner-city neighborhoods, HUD must amend its regulations to deal with the reality of gentrification. HUD should define gentrified areas and recognize that such areas are ideal for integrated housing, so that the federal courts do not have to step in, resulting in delay.

Keywords: Urban, Gentrification, Housing, Inner-city, Low-income housing

JEL Classification: R11

Suggested Citation

McDougall, Harold A., Gentrification: The Class Conflict Over Urban Space Moves into the Courts (February 3, 1981). Fordham Urban Law Journal, Vol. 10, No. 2, 1981; Howard Law Research Paper No. 15-4. Available at SSRN:

Harold A. McDougall (Contact Author)

Howard University School of Law ( email )

2900 Van Ness Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20008
United States

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics