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The goal of Cityscape is to bring high-quality original research on housing and community development issues to scholars, government officials, and practitioners. Cityscape is open to all relevant disciplines, including architecture, consumer research, demography, economics, engineering, ethnography, finance, geography, law, planning, political science, public policy, regional science, sociology, statistics, and urban studies.

Cityscape is published three times a year by the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

  • The Fair Housing Act at 50
  • Volume 21 Number 1
  • Managing Editor: Mark D. Shroder
  • Associate Editor: Michelle P. Matuga

Are Location Affordability and Fair Housing on a Collision Course? Race, Transportation Costs, and the Siting of Subsidized Housing

Vincent J. Reina
University of Pennsylvania

Jake Wegmann
University of Texas at Austin

Erick Guerra
University of Pennsylvania

In this article, we explore whether efforts to incorporate location affordability, which account for housing and transportation costs, in the siting of subsidized housing present potential conflicts with the Fair Housing Act goals. To do so, we look at housing and transportation costs and the siting of subsidized housing through the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program by race across the country and then by the 25 largest metropolitan statistical areas. We find that areas with lower housing and transportation costs tend to be more highly minority, and units developed through the LIHTC program are often sited in these neighborhoods. We conclude by suggesting ways that location affordability can be incorporated in the siting of subsidized housing so that it does not have a disparate impact, and highlight that siting decisions should also account for the positive impact that LIHTC properties can have on low-income neighborhoods.

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