Moving to Opportunity The Story of an American Experiment to Fight Ghetto Poverty

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-03-31
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Moving to Opportunity tackles one of America's most enduring dilemmas: the great, unresolved question of how to overcome persistent ghetto poverty. Launched in 1994, the MTO program took a largely untested approach: helping families move from high-poverty, inner-city public housing to low-poverty neighborhoods, some in the suburbs. The book's innovative methodology emphasizes the voices and choices of the program's participants but also rigorously analyzes the changing structures of regional opportunity and constraint that shaped the fortunes of those who "signed up." It shines a light on the hopes, surprises, achievements, and limitations of a major social experiment. As the authors make clear, for all its ambition, MTO is a uniquely American experiment, and this book brings home its powerful lessons for policymakers and advocates, scholars, students, journalists, and all who share a deep concern for opportunity and inequality in our country.

Author Biography

Xavier de Souza Briggs is Associate Director of the Office of Management and Budget in The White House and Associate Professor of Sociology and Urban Planning (on leave) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A sociologist by training, his award-winning research focuses on leadership and democratic institutions, inequality, and racial and ethnic diversity in cities. A former faculty member at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, his books include The Geography of Opportunity (Brookings, 2005) and Democracy as Problem Solving (MIT Press, 2008). He is founder and director of The Community Problem-Solving Project @ MIT and Working Smarter in Community Development, two popular and innovative online resources for people and institutions worldwide. He is a member of the Aspen Institute's Roundtable on Community Change and other advisory groups, and his views have appeared in the New York Times, Salon.com, National Public Radio, Boston Globe, and other major media.
Susan J. Popkin is a senior fellow in the Urban Institute's Center on Metropolitan Housing and Communities. She is a nationally recognized expert on assisted housing, mobility, and the "hard to house." Dr. Popkin is the lead author of The Hidden War: Crime and the Tragedy of Public Housing in Chicago, has written numerous papers and book chapters on housing and poverty-related issues, and is co-author of the recent book, Public Housing and The Legacy of Segregation. Dr. Popkin received her Ph.D. in Human Development and Social Policy from Northwestern University and previously was a researcher at Abt Associates Inc. and the University of Illinois Chicago.
John Goering received his doctorate in demography and sociology from Brown University. He then designed, obtained funding for, and conducted research while a member of the faculty of several universities, lectured in both the US and Europe on this research, published over sixty articles and book-length studies, and helped manage a large evaluation office at a major Federal agency. At the Office of Policy Development and Research at US HUD, he directed evaluation and research on a variety of neighborhood change and civil rights issues. From 1997 through Spring 1999, he served on the staff of the White House Initiative on Race. He joined the faculty of the School of Public Affairs at Baruch College of the City University of New York as Professor in 1999. He was elected to the Doctoral faculty at the Graduate Center of CUNY in 2000.

Table of Contents

Places and Livesp. 3
Ghetto Poverty Before and After Katrinap. 25
Great Expectations and Muddling Through: Designing and Launching the Experimentp. 44
The Unequal Geography of Opportunityp. 67
Moving to Securityp. 86
When Your Neighborhood Is Not Your Communityp. 109
Struggling to Stay Out of High-Poverty Neighborhoods: Finding Good Housingp. 135
Finding Good Schoolsp. 170
Finding Workp. 192
Lessonsp. 223
Appendix: Studying Moving to Opportunityp. 239
Notesp. 253
Works Citedp. 269
Indexp. 291
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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