Current federal housing policy and the planning approaches of many local governments focus on the dispersal of subsidized families. There have been, in fact, two generations of dispersal policy. The first, occurring in the late 1960s through the mid-1970s, was part of the fair housing movement that was aimed at addressing issues of racial discrimination and suburban exclusionism in housing, and the second, dating from the early 1990s, is focused on deconcentrating poverty in American cities. Both generations of dispersal efforts, regardless of their differing justifications, use roughly the same policy strategies. This article reviews the policy history of housing dispersal and offers a schematic interpretation of different programmatic approaches.
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