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Housing Perspectives

Research, trends, and perspective from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies

New Book Asks: What It Would Take to Foster Communities of Inclusion in an Era of Inequality?

More than 50 years after the passage of the Fair Housing Act, what would it take to meaningfully reduce residential segregation and/or to mitigate its negative consequences in the United States?

In a new JCHS book, A Shared Future: Fostering Communities of Inclusion in an Era of Inequality, over two dozen leading scholars, policymakers, and practitioners take stock of the changing patterns of residential segregation and propose concrete steps that could achieve significant improvements in those patterns over the next 10 to 15 years.

In each chapter, authors focus on one of seven interrelated questions:

  • What are the objectives and rationale for action to foster more inclusive communities?
  • What would it take to promote residential choices that result in greater integration?
  • What would it take to make new and remake old neighborhoods so that regions move decisively toward integration?
  • What would it take for the HUD Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule to meaningfully increase inclusion?
  • What would it take for housing subsidies to overcome affordability barriers to inclusion in all neighborhoods?
  • What would it take for cities experiencing gentrification to foster inclusion rather than replacement?
  • What would it take to foster residential outcomes to support school integration, and vice versa?

We hope that the essays, which were presented at symposium we hosted last year, will raise questions, spur discussions, and ultimately contribute to forward progress on these important and challenging questions.

The book is available on Amazon, and downloadable PDFs (of both the book and individual chapters) are available on our website.

Additionally, the Joint Center will host a book release event, featuring four of the contributing authors, on Thursday, November 1 at the Harvard Kennedy School. Chris Herbert, our managing director, who also co-authored a chapter of the book, will moderate a conversation with Dolores Acevedo-Garcia (Brandeis University), Malo Hutson (Columbia University), and Katherine O’Regan (New York University). The event is free and open to the public.