High Costs and Segregation in Subsidized Housing Policy

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This article examines the public policies determining the distribution of subsidized housing in the Twin Cities metropolitan area of Minnesota, the resulting distribution of subsidized housing, and the comparative costs associated with building in the region's central cities or in suburbs. The analysis concludes that current policies are clearly not meeting the region's responsibility to affirmatively further fair housing. The metropolitan area abandoned its role as a national leader in this area decades ago. The result is an affordable housing system that concentrates subsidized housing in the region's poorest and most segregated neighborhoods. This increases the concentration of poverty in the two central cities, in the region's most racially diverse neighborhoods, and in the attendance areas of predominantly nonwhite schools. In the long run, this hurts the regional economy and exacerbates the racial gaps in income, employment, and student performance that plague the Twin Cities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)574-607
Number of pages34
JournalHousing Policy Debate
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 3 2015


  • community development
  • low-income housing
  • minorities
  • suburban


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