The Federal Housing Policy Dilemma for Older Communities

Often the biggest challenge for older cities and close-in suburbs is not a lack of affordable housing but a need to grow, hold, and attract middle-income households and to foster mixed-income neighborhoods. This creates a policy dilemma: While federal policymakers target limited federal housing assistance to persons with the greatest needs, doing so can create concentrations of poverty within already challenged cities and suburbs. This approach also can set limits that hinder efforts to create the middle-income and mixed-income areas needed for revitalization in older communities.

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