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Public Housing That Works, The Transformation of America's Public Housing



Release Date: 
May 1996 (47 pages)
Posted Date:   
May 1, 1996



The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is working to transform public housing by replacing the worst public housing, turning around troubled public housing authorities, infusing public housing with positive incentives, and imposing tough expectations. Public housing serves approximately 1.3 million of the nation's most vulnerable households, but it has some fundamental problems: it concentrates the very poor and is itself concentrated high- poverty neighborhoods; market discipline does not apply to public housing; and Federal micro management aggravates its problems. By the end of 1996, the Clinton Administration will have demolished nearly 30,000 of the most obsolete and irreparable public housing units in order to shift to smaller, more human-scale communities. The new model is to move away from the physical, economic, and social isolation and reconnect residents with the larger community. Management rules have been changed to allow greater flexibility and income mixing, to build innovative partnerships, and focus on results with accountability. The intent is to infuse positive incentives for public housing residents to encourage work and to impose tougher expectations regarding drugs and crime. Thus transformed, public housing continues to have an important role to play in supplying affordable housing.

Illustrated with photographs and examples.