Location A Bigger Influence Than Race For Children In Public Housing

By: Gene Demby, NPR

Published: May 9, 2017

Do black and white children who live in assisted or subsidized housing experience different life outcomes?

That question was at the center of a new study by Sandra Newman and C. Scott Holupka, two researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. They combed through federal data on households in public housing or those that received housing vouchers from the 1970s through the first decade of the 2000s.

What the pair found was neither straightforward nor surprising. When it came to life outcomes, living in assisted housing didn’t predict significant differences in how children turned out because of their race, a big change from decades past. They also found that black and white people living in subsidized housing in the first decade of the aughts were living in homes of comparable quality, which was not true in the past.

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