Housing the Poor in a Postshelter Society

George Sternlieb, James W. Hughes

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3 Scopus citations


The United States has completed a vast three-decade-long sweep of unprecedented housing achievement. While a relatively small proportion of record production levels was targeted directly to America's poverty population, the latter's housing condition improved markedly as a result of the much-maligned filtering process. But this success will face very serious inhibitors in the future. The breakdown of the traditional political housing alliance, the stagnation of real median family incomes, the growing number of persons under the poverty level, and a housing finance system subject to full market forces and credit competition—for the first time since the New Deal—characterize the early 1980s. Within this context, housing for the middle class is an issue of much more political potency than the housing needs of the poor. But without the reformation of a broad-based housing constituency, one of the great achievements of the last generation—the improvement in the shelter provisions of the poor—must quickly abort.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-122
Number of pages14
JournalThe Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1983

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)


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