Mapping public housing: The case of New York city

Elvin Wyly, James DeFilippis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


In American popular discourse and policy debates, " public housing" conjures images of " the projects" -dysfunctional neighborhood imprints of a discredited welfare state. Yet this image, so important in justifying deconcentration, is a dangerous caricature of the diverse places where low-income public housing residents live, and it ignores a much larger public housing program-the $100 billion-plus annual mortgage interest tax concessions to (mostly) wealthy homeowners. In this article, we measure three spatial aspects of assisted housing, poverty, and wealth in New York City. First, local indicators of spatial association document a contingent link between assistance and poverty: vouchers are not consistently associated with poverty deconcentration. Second, spatial regressions confirm this result after controlling for racial segregation and spatial autocorrelation. Third, factor analyses and cluster classifications reveal a rich, complex neighborhood topography of poverty, wealth, and housing subsidy that defies the simplistic stereotypes of policy and popular discourse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-86
Number of pages26
JournalCity and Community
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urban Studies


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