Providing affordable housing has always been a difficult problem for both planners and policy makers. Even though only a third of Americans do not own homes, they should be given the opportunity to pursue housing if they want to. Many programs in the past have only concentrated the poor in certain areas. When this concentration of low-income housing occurs, the area becomes more susceptible to crime, drugs, vandalism, and gang-related problems.This problem of concentration was evident in The Yonkers Housing Case. Where the concentration of public housing in the southwestern corner of the city caused a wide spread controversy throughout the state. Because of the problems of previous public housing projects I was really glad when I heard about HOPE VI.
HOPE VI is a plan by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. It is meant to revitalize the worst public housing projects in the United States into mixed-income developments. Creating affordable housing within mixed income developments addresses the problems of concentration and segregation of the poor. New urbanism heavily influences HOPE VI. Communities that are created by the program are dense, pedestrian-friendly, and transit-accessible. They are almost always town homes that are right up against the street. Here are some pictures of communities that were created by HOPE VI.
By looking at these communities you can see the aspects of new urban design within them. Houses that are located within a HOPE VI community are less susceptible to crime, drugs, vandalism, and gang-related problems. By integrating people of different ethnicity and socio-economic status a diverse community is formed. More opportunities are available for the poor who live in these communities. They have better access to jobs as well as a safe place to come to at night. The way that these houses are made available to low income people is through housing vouchers. These vouchers are from the government and they are used to make payments on a house. I believe programs like HOPE VI are the public housing solutions for the future.