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Housing Policy: An Introduction Paperback – 2 May 2002

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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 4 edition (2 May 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415252148
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415252140
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 2.6 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 697,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

'A few distinguished names have written books on housing policy that have remained in print over this twenty year period - Paul Balchin's is one of them....This format and style make for a very lucid structure that , in turn, makes the book accessible to the targeted student reader. the reader will find it easy to navigate a passage through the book to find the themes and issues that interest them.' - Mary Griffiths (University of Central England) - Housing Studies Vol.17 - 6/02

About the Author

Paul Balchin is Reader in Urban Economics and Maureen Rhoden is Senior Lecturer in Housing Studies, both at the University of Greenwhich.

Inside This Book

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The supply of new and renovated housing is inextricably linked to the level of housing investment. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JacksterD on 25 July 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm doing an undergraduate degree in Public Policy and this book is a fantastic go-to guide on housing in the UK. I found it more useful than the recommended textbook for my course's housing module, and I'm currently finding it very useful to reference in my dissertation. Despite being fairly old it's still very relevant, I just wish an updated edition would be released!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 13 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Overall....Nicely Done 13 Nov. 2006
By Fred McGhee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're searching for an introductory one-volume treatment of this subject that is also well written and researched, you'd be hard-pressed to top this book. That's not to say that I don't have quibbles; the book could have contained more critical insight and still would have worked fine as an introductory level text.

For example both the Low Income Housing Tax Credit and the public housing chapters (chapters 5 and 6) seem to take the inherent value of "deconcentration" and "mixed income" at face value, at a time when both notions are finally beginning to receive long overdue critical attention from social scientists (besides William Julius Wilson), not just planners, pundits, and politicians. It turns out that these notions are highly problematic in their actual application. As Edward Goetz and others have pointed out about the HOPE VI program for instance, "the program is not so much about improving the conditions for previous residents as it is about reclaiming urban neighborhoods for middle- income families." This is a stronger statement than Schwartz makes on p. 118 of the book where he observes instead that the program "does not necessarily improve the lives of all the residents of the original public housing."

It is also neither fair nor balanced for Schwartz to neglect to mention that the 1937 U.S. Housing Act, as one of its many compromises, ITSELF required segregated housing projects (in the book he suggests that segregated public housing was more of a local phenomenon). He also overemphasizes the role of elected officials in Black neighborhoods who he says did not want integrated housing because it would have affected their political base. Does he mean to honestly suggest that the black desire to hold on to what limited political power it possessed during the Jim Crow 1930's is somehow to blame as much for segregated public housing in America as the actions of people such as Rep. Henry Steagall (the House sponsor of the bill) of Alabama? Schwartz's simple and direct discussion of racism in the FHA earlier in the book is better and more honest.

Then there's the simple but honest critical question that Schwartz doesn't really tackle: at a time of record profits in the secondary mortgage market (discussed in pages 56-62), how is it that housing affordability problems continue to exist and in some cases even worsen in city after American city?

On the plus side, the fair housing chapter (chapter 11) is excellent, as is the "stubborn facts of housing policy" section of the last chapter. Also, Schwartz's summary of HUD's programs for the homeless and disabled is one of the most concise I have read.

In the end my nitpicks do not detract from the fact that Schwartz has written the most accessible and comprehensive introductory text on American housing policy out there. By explaining the often byzantine laws and rules governing housing finance, he has performed a much-needed public service. And by clarifying why housing matters (and will continue to matter) in the way that he does, he is positively contributing to a growing and much needed debate.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Most complete book on the subject. 11 May 2006
By Susan Jacobs - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Professor Schwartz has written simply the most complete book on public housing available today. It's easy to follow, and covers every aspect of the public policy and finance behind the shaping of our urban landscape. This is not only an excellent classroom text, but useful for anyone interested in learning more about the growth -- and possible decay -- of our great American cities.
Without a doubt the best possible introduction to housing policy 13 April 2014
By Anne W. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Alex Schwartz's Housing Policy in the United States is without a doubt the best possible introduction to housing policy. I have used the current edition (2nd) and the previous edition in teaching graduate seminars, but it is accessible enough to be useful in an upper-division undergraduate course or for practitioners, elected officials, or others who simply want to know more about U.S. housing policy.
Great book 28 May 2013
By E. Cohen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book for a course on real estate development. It was very helpful, especially for its discussions of federal affordable housing programs such as Low Income Housing Tax Credits and HOPE VI. Well written, clear, and a great reference material for real estate developers and urban planners working in the housing policy sector.
Fantastic Resource 31 Oct. 2012
By Daniel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Schwartz's "Housing Policy in the United States" is a wonderful resource, providing useful data and analysis on a broad range of housing issues. This was my textbook for a course on the intersection of urban housing policy and law - couldn't have asked for a better text.
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