Editors’ Introduction

Authored by: Katrin B. Anacker , Mai Thi Nguyen , David P. Varady

The Routledge Handbook of Housing Policy and Planning

Print publication date:  July  2019
Online publication date:  July  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138188433
eBook ISBN: 9781315642338
Adobe ISBN:


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Housing may be understood in many ways. For a homeowner, a home may be a permanent place characterized by stability and a high quality of life; for a renter, an apartment may be a temporary place characterized by household challenges (Edin and Shaefer 2015). For some homeowners, housing may be a solid foundation for building long-term wealth—for others, it may mean foreclosure, eviction, moving in with family or friends, and difficulties rebuilding one’s credit history (Bernanke 2015; Dayen 2016; Graham 2017; Immergluck 2015; Martin and Niedt 2015; see also the chapters authored by Carolina Reid, and by Erin Graves, Ana Patricia Muñoz, Darrick Hamilton, William Darity, and Yunju Nam). Neighborhoods and cities may also be understood in multiple ways. Some neighborhoods have a well-constructed and well-maintained housing stock, resulting in property value appreciation and a high quality of life, while other neighborhoods are characterized by vacancies, vandalism, and crime (see also the chapters authored by Andrew J. Greenlee, Alan Mallach, and Kirk McClure). Some cities have booming local economies, resulting in high revenues yet housing affordability challenges, while other cities have depressed economies, resulting in public service challenges (Kinder 2016). Thus, some societies have a large proportion of the housing stock that is safe, affordable, and attractive, while others face many housing challenges (Desmond 2016; see also the chapters authored by Miriam Zuk, Reinhout Kleinhans, and Wouter van Gent, Willem Boterman, and Myrte Hoekstra). In summary, housing can be seen through many lenses.

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