The Renaissance Comes to the Projects: Public Housing, Urban Redevelopment, and Racial Inequality in Baltimore

Peter Rosenblatt, Johns Hopkins University

The federal Housing Opportunities for People Everywhere (HOPE VI) program, which tears down public housing projects and rebuilds mixed income communities in their place, may represent a reversal of the historic pattern of denying investment in black neighborhoods and placing housing for the poor within them. Yet implementing the program required the displacement of hundreds of families, many whom were unable to return. Critics charge that HOPE VI may reshuffle poor minority populations to new ghettos and increase urban inequalities. This paper uses mortgage investment data to understand how neighborhoods have improved as a result of HOPE VI,and also to explore neighborhood outcomes for displaced families. It focuses on Baltimore, which is the first city in the country to use HOPE VI funds to demolish all of its high rise housing projects.

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Presented in Session 99: Neighborhoods, Poverty, and Inequality