Yonah Freemark

Local power and the location of subsidized renters in comparative perspective: Public support for low- and moderate-income households in the United States, France, and the United Kingdom

Article information

Yonah Freemark and Justin Steil (2021). “Local power and the location of subsidized renters in comparative perspective: Public support for low- and moderate-income households in the United States, France, and the United Kingdom.Housing Studies. Online pre-print.

DOI: 10.1080/02673037.2021.1910628

Download PDF

Journal website: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02673037.2021.1910628

Blog post at Urban Institute on the article: https://www.urban.org/urban-wire/lessons-overseas-could-improve-uss-affordability-crisis

Abstract

Affordable housing access is far more concentrated in U.S. regions than in French or U.K. ones.

In the context of worsening housing affordability for low- and moderate-income households, we assemble data from metropolitan areas in the United States, France, and the United Kingdom to analyse regional differences in the level and distribution of nationally supported affordable-housing units and renters with tenant-based housing benefits. We examine the location of subsidized renters comparatively, exploring how varying power arrangements between national and local governments over land-use and housing policy shape options for low-income renters. We find that U.S. metropolitan areas are unique in the extent to which many municipalities exclude subsidized renters altogether; subsidized housing is disproportionately situated in areas with historically limited access to resources. The number of municipalities within metropolitan areas does not appear to impact the location of subsidized units, but the ability of localities to exclude is associated with their distribution.