Recent Trends in Housing Conditions Among the Urban Poor

29 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2004 Last revised: 23 May 2021

See all articles by Rebecca M. Blank

Rebecca M. Blank

U.S. Department of Commerce

Harvey S. Rosen

Princeton University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: March 1989

Abstract

In this paper we examine the trends in housing conditions among the urban poor over the last decade, relate these trends to the economic environments of the cities, and compare the poor to other income groups. We find that there has been a substantial decrease in "housing independence" -- among the poor, the percentage of family heads who live with their parents has risen, and the percentage of family heads who are also household heads has fallen. In addition, the incidence of homeownership among the poor has decreased, and the incidence of multiple-family-unit households has increased. These same trends also show up among higher-income families, although they are typically smaller in magnitude. This paper provides little evidence for the popular hypothesis that changes in housing attributes over the last decade are predominantly related to changes in housing markets. Including a variety of economic variables does little to explain the trends in housing circumstances of different income groups.

Suggested Citation

Blank, Rebecca M. and Rosen, Harvey S., Recent Trends in Housing Conditions Among the Urban Poor (March 1989). NBER Working Paper No. w2886, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=457566

Rebecca M. Blank (Contact Author)

U.S. Department of Commerce ( email )

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Harvey S. Rosen

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