The Impact of Housing on Community: A Review of Scholarly Theories and Empirical Research

Alexander von Hoffman, Eric Belsky, Kwan Lee

W06-1: This paper reviews the ways in which housing markets shape initial neighborhood conditions and drive changes in these conditions over time. In addition, it examines the impacts of the operation of housing markets on communities and individuals. Lastly, it considers the public policy responses to results of the operations of the housing market. This summary is organized around five important impacts of housing markets on community character: 1) residential segregation by race and income; 2) neighborhood change leading especially to urban decline and distressed neighborhoods; 3) uneven quality of public services across jurisdictions; 4) uneven access to opportunities by community; and 5) socioeconomic distress associated with distressed neighborhoods of concentrated poverty‚Ķ