Plans and policies to combat or mitigate gentrification typically pursue affordable housing production and preservation as the primary mechanism to avoid displacement. However, it is unclear whether affordable housing financing mechanisms function as designed in weak market cities. As such, we question whether the housing-only approach is a complete one and whether increased transportation investments in redeveloping neighborhoods in shrinking cities can be leveraged to improve the lives of the poor. Our results suggest that funding for subsidized housing does not produce units affordable to the poor in declining cities, limiting the efficacy of a housing-only approach. Furthermore, we find that transportation costs make up a larger proportion of household budgets among families living in declining neighborhoods. These results suggest that transportation improvements—particularly those aimed at bicycling and pedestrian accessibility—may be the most efficient approach to mitigating displacement and improving quality of life for low-income households in shrinking cities.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/joanna-ganning/16/