Aging Suburbs and Black Homeownership

George Sternlieb, Robert W. Lake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

The 30 years since rapid post-World War II suburban residential development began have seen an in creasing diversification in the characteristics of the suburbs. The principal dimensions of diversification include the age of housing, age of the population, and distance from the central city. Since suburbanization proceeded outward from the central city, the signs of this aging process are most pronounced in the inner suburbs, with densities and an aging population. As first-round suburbanites progress through the life cycle, their housing preferences can be expected to change, resulting in a large supply of older housing on the market. The primary source of demand for these units in the inner suburbs appears to be the upwardly mobile black middle class seeking to leave the central city. While black suburbanization is in creasing in some localities, however, black demand appears to be below the level expected based on income. In suburban home purchase, the availability of equity associated with previ ous homeownership may be a better index of buying power than current income. Historical limitations on black home ownership thus continue to limit black suburban home purchases. Public policy initiatives are needed to counteract these trends, facilitate middle class black migration, and contribute to the viability of the inner suburbs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-117
Number of pages13
JournalThe Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Volume422
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1975

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)

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