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Center for Policy Studies
Public Affairs Discussion Group

Integrating the Inner City

Mark Joseph, Ph.D. - Associate Professor at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University and Director of the National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities, with Taryn Gress MSSA, Project Manager and Emily K. Miller MSSA, Project Coordinator
Friday November 20, 2015
12:30-1:30 p.m.

*** Alternate Location: Mandel Community Studies Center Room 115, 11402 Bellflower Road ***
Case Western Reserve University
This program is co-sponsored by the Schubert Center for Child Studies and the National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities

A Friday Public Affairs Lunch Discussion to Introduce a New Book, Integrating the Inner City: The Promise and Perils of Mixed-Income Public Housing Transformation, by Robert J. Chaskin and Mark L. Joseph

Dear Colleagues:

Inadequate housing is a blight on both its residents and the communities where it exists. The terms "tenement" and "slum" suggest the connection among poverty, misery, and dilapidated housing stock. The Federal Housing Act of 1937 built on examples from New York and a few other cities in creating federal support both for constructing (hopefully) better housing and to help tenants pay the rent. Since 1937, government housing programs have morphed into many different forms, but housing policy has always faced at least three basic controversies: the cost, who will be in the subsidized units, and where they will be. The result, due to both good and bad intentions, has normally been that housing projects were concentrated in poor communities, filled with poor people, and so "the slums" were replaced by "the projects," without much improvement.

Over the past two decades, however, a new kind of "Mixed-Income" housing project has been developed. One of the goals is to create housing that attracts middle-class residents because of its proximity to newly-desirable urban centers, but reserves a substantial portion of the units for the poor. Only part of the housing, then, is meant to be subsidized. Special services are to be made available to the lower-income residents to improve their well-being and self-sufficiency. Youth who are removed from low-income neighborhoods might benefit from a safer and healthier environment and from replacing negative local examples with more positive ones. If interactions are designed or managed well, children in poorer families will learn from growing up in a more diverse environment.

The vision is very attractive, and has spread widely across the United States and even Canada. But how well is it working? What have we learned? Those are the questions posed by Robert J. Chaskin and Mark L. Joseph's new book, Integrating the Inner City: The Promise and Perils of Mixed-Income Public Housing Transformation. The book builds on the work of the National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities, which is located at MSASS. Professor Joseph, Project Manager Taryn Gress and Project Coordinator Emily K. Miller will present some of the book's findings. Our gathering will serve also as a "book launch" for this important new study, and so is co-sponsored by the National Initiative and by the Schubert Center for Child Studies. That means probably some more people than usual - but also more food!

All best regards,
Joe White
Luxenberg Family Professor of Public Policy and Director, Center for Policy Studies

About Our Guests

Mark Joseph, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University, Director of the National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities and a Faculty Associate at the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development. Prior to joining the Mandel School faculty, he had a post-doctoral scholarship at the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. He received his Ph.D. from the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. Professor Joseph was formerly a Principal with Community Development Associates, a consulting firm based in New York and Chicago, which provides strategic planning and research support to community-based initiatives around the country. He also worked for several years at the Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago on research on comprehensive community based initiatives. His general research interests are urban poverty and community development. His current research focuses on mixed-income development as a strategy for addressing urban poverty, with particular attention to transforming public housing developments. His undergraduate degree is from Harvard College and he was a Visiting Scholar at Oxford University. He is the Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Center for the Study of Social Policy and a member of the Advisory Board of the Cityscape journal published by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Before joining the National Initiative Taryn Gress, Project Manager, worked on development and poverty issues in the Cleveland area with The Civic Commons and Slavic Village Development, and earned her MSSA from the Mandel School. Project Coordinator Emily K. Miller, has been part of the project since earning her MSSA from the Mandel School.

Where We Meet

For this week's meeting we take advantage of the superb facilities at the Mandel Community Studies Center, 11402 Bellflower Road. That is on the south side of Bellflower, between Hessler Ct. and East 115th St. On other occasions we normally gather in the Dampeer Room of the Kelvin Smith Library.

Parking Possibilities

A variety of public parking options are within walking distance of the Mandel Center. Fortunate people may find street parking on Bellflower. The Ford Garage, on the west side of Ford Dr. between Mayfield and Bellflower, is about a block and a half away. Another option is the lot behind the north side of the Uptown development, so behind Constantino's and Barnes and Noble. It can be entered from East 115th or from Ford.

Friday Lunch Upcoming Topics and Speakers:

November 27: Thanksgiving Break

December 4: Making Clean Energy Work. With Walter Money, Whole House Energy Solutions.

December 11 - January 8: Holidays Break Our Discussions Will Resume on January 15, 2016.

Spring semester topics will include China's one-child policy, What to expect from the Republican Convention coming to town, and Mandatory arbitration clauses in consumer and labor contracts.

Please contact if you would like to suggest speakers and topics.

Visit the Public Affairs Discussion Group Web Site.

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