Adobe Stock/Stuart Miles Stuart Miles

A suposedly new approach to low-income housing tried during the 1990s and early 2000s was destined to fail, a new report suggests. The Charlotte Post reports:

Low-cost, single-family neighborhoods built over the last 20 years were supposed to give lower-income residents a shot at the American dream.

It hasn’t turned out that way.

Research by Janni Sorensen, a UNC Charlotte professor, and Melissa Currie of Texas A&M University found the so-called affordable housing subdivision boom from the late 1990s to the Great Recession of 2007 did not improve life for lower-income households. They characterize the neighborhoods and government policies that allowed them as “repackaged urban renewal” – often built without adequate planning near negative assets, such as former industrial sites, or environmental contamination.

Sorensen, who works with homeowners’ groups in West Charlotte, and before that in East St. Louis, Illinois, has seen the impact of substandard planning on communities. Most of the damage has been done in predominantly black new developments like Windy Ridge in West Charlotte, which were hit by large-scale foreclosures during the Great Recession and have yet to fully recover.

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