Skip to main content

Cityscape: Volume 16 Number 3 | Article 4


American Neighborhoods: Inclusion and Exclusion

Volume 16, Number 3

Mark D. Shroder
Michelle P. Matuga

Race, Segregation, and Choice: Race and Ethnicity in Choice Neighborhoods Initiative Applicant Neighborhoods, 2010–2012

Matthew F. Gebhardt
Portland State University


During the past two decades, concern about spatial concentrations of poverty and disadvantage has become an ascendant scholarly and policy issue, and research on the effect of neighborhoods on individual and family life chances has grown substantially. The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (hereafter, Choice), introduced in 2009, is a new federal program designed to address concentrated poverty. Choice, which is functionally the successor to the Housing Opportunities for People Everywhere, or HOPE VI, Program, provides competitive grants to fund redevelopment and revitalization in neighborhoods that have concentrations of poverty and publicly subsidized housing, with the goal of transforming them into neighborhoods of choice, thereby improving neighborhood outcomes. For the types of neighborhoods being targeted, little information beyond their having high rates of poverty is so far available. Drawing from the results of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-funded research on the characteristics of Choice Planning Grant applicants, this article presents findings related to race and ethnicity in these targeted neighborhoods. The findings show that Choice Planning Grant applicant neighborhoods are highly segregated by race and ethnicity and that this segregation is linked to differences in educational attainment, labor force participation, unemployment rates, and income levels. These demographics suggest that Choice, like its predecessor, is likely to have a disproportionate effect on minority racial and ethnic groups.

Previous Article   |   Next Article


image of city buildings