joseph

Mark L. Joseph, PhD

Director, National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities
Faculty Associate, Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development
Associate Professor

Post-Doctoral Scholar, The University of Chicago

Ph.D., The University of Chicago
M.A., The University of Chicago,
Visiting Scholar, Oxford University
B.A., Harvard University

Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel
School of Applied Social Sciences
Case Western Reserve University
10900 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44106-7164
mark.joseph@case.edu
216-368-3426

About

Mark Joseph is an Associate Professor at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University, Director of the National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities and a Faculty Associate at the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development. His general research interests are urban poverty and community development. His current research focuses on mixed-income development as a strategy for addressing urban poverty, with particular attention to transforming public housing developments.  He is the co-author of Integrating the Inner City: The Promise and Perils of Mixed-Income Public Housing Transformation.

 

Read full biographical sketch.

Course List

SASS 411: Nonprofit Leadership Dialogues 
SASS 470: Social Policy
SASS 569: Planning and Implementing Social Change

Mixed-Income Research

Creating mixed-income communities has become one popular policy response to the social isolation and economic and public sector disinvestment that characterize high-poverty neighborhoods in most urban areas. The objective is to attract residents with higher incomes while maintaining affordable and public housing for lower income residents. It is hoped that, through this strategy, housing developments and perhaps entire neighborhoods can be created that provide strong networks to employment and other resources beyond the neighborhood, more effective demand for high quality amenities and public services, and positive role models for youth.

Read more about Mixed-Income Research

The National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities

at the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development

nimc4The National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities (NIMC) is a new resource for research and information about mixed-income communities.
Learn more

Affiliations

  • Association for Community Organization and Social Administration
  • Council on Social Work Education
  • Urban Affairs Association
  • Society for Social Work Research
  • Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management


Recent Publications

Joseph, M. L. (2013). Is mixed-income development an antidote to urban poverty? In Mueller, E. & Tighe, R. (Eds.),  The affordable housing reader.  New York, NY: Routledge.  Reprint.

Joseph, M. L. (2013). Mixed-income symposium summary and response: Implications for antipoverty policy. Cityscape,  15 (2), 215-221.

Chaskin, R. J., Sichling, F. & Joseph, M.L. (2013). Youth in mixed-income communities: Context, dynamics, and response. CITIES. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.cities.2013.03.009.

Chaskin, R. J., & Joseph, M. L. (2012). “Positive” gentrification, social inclusion, and the “right to the city” in mixed-income communities: Uses and expectations of space and place. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. On-lline advance publicationDOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01158.x

McCormick, N., Joseph, M.L. & Chaskin, R.J. (2012) The new stigma of relocated public housing residents: Challenges to social identity in mixed-income developments. City and Community. On-line advance publication DOI: 10.1177/1078087412450151

Chaskin, R.J., Khare, A.T., & Joseph, M.L. (2012).  Participation, deliberation, and decision-making:  The dynamics of inclusion and exclusion in mixed-income developments.  Urban Affairs Review,  48(6), 863-906.

Joseph, M. L., & Chaskin, R. J. (2012). Mixed-income developments and low rates of return: Insights from relocated public housing residents in Chicago. Housing Policy Debate, 22 (3),377-406.

Chaskin, R. J., Joseph, M. L., Voelker, S., & Dworsky, A. (2012). Public housing transformation and resident relocation: Comparing destinations and household characteristics in Chicago. Cityscape, 14 (1),183-214

Joseph, M. L. (2011). Reinventing older communities through mixed-income development: What are we learning from Chicago’s public housing transformation? In H. B. Newberger, E.L. Birch, & S. M. Wachter (Eds.), Neighborhood and life changes: How place matters in modern America (pp. 122–139). Philadelphia, PA: Penn Institute for Urban Research.

Chaskin, R. J., & Joseph, M. L. (2011). Relational expectations and emerging reality: The nature of social interaction in mixed-income developments. Journal of Urban Affairs, 32, 209–237.

Joseph, M. L. (2010). Beyond “initiatives” for comprehensive community change: Is there a better way to seek impact and sustainability? In A. C. Kubisch, P. Auspos, P. Brown, & T. Dewar (Eds.), Voices from the field (Vol. III, pp. 154–162), Washington, DC:  The Aspen Institute.

Joseph, M. L. (2010). Creating mixed-income developments in Chicago: Developer and service provider perspectives. Housing Policy Debate, 20(1), 91–118.

Joseph, M. L. (2010), Understanding the economic costs of incarceration for African American males. In W. E. Johnson, Jr., (Ed.), Social work with African-American males: Health, mental health, and policy. New York, NY:  Oxford University Press.

Chaskin, R.J., & Joseph, M. L. (2010). Building “community” in mixed-income developments: Assumptions, approaches, and early experiences. Urban Affairs Review, 45, 299–335.

Chupp, M. G., & Joseph M. L. (2010). Getting the most out of service learning: Maximizing student, university and community impact. Journal of Community Practice, 18,190–212.

Joseph, M. L., &. Chaskin, R.J. (2010). Living in a mixed-income development: Resident perceptions of the benefits and disadvantages at two developments in Chicago. Urban Studies, 47, 2347–2366.

Smith, R. E., Kingsley, G. T., Cunningham, M. K., Popkin, S. J., Dumlao, K., Ellen, I. J., Joseph, M. L., &  McKoy, D. (2010). Monitoring success in choice neighborhoods: A proposed approach to performance measurement. Washington, DC: The Urban Institute.

Joseph, M. L., & Feldman, J. (2009). Creating and sustaining successful mixed-income communities: Conceptualizing the role of schools. Education & Urban Society. 41, 623–652.

Recent Presentations

Joseph, M.L. (March, 2013). Dynamics of Mixed-Income Communities. Office of Policy Development and Research Quarterly Housing Update, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Washington, D.C.

Fischer, R. L., Joseph, M. J., & Chupp, M. C. (October, 2012). Evaluation and learning in community change: Insights from a mixed-methods study of a mixed-income community in Akron. The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences Research & Training Methods Colloquium, Cleveland, OH.

Joseph, M. L. (September, 2012). Mixed-Income development as a neoliberal policy experiment: New challenges to cross-sector collaboration.  Presentation at the After the Crisis Housing Policy Conference, New York City, New York.

Creating mixed-income communities has become one popular policy response to the social isolation and economic and public sector disinvestment that characterize high-poverty neighborhoods in most urban areas. The objective is to attract residents with higher incomes while maintaining affordable and public housing for lower income residents. It is hoped that, through this strategy, housing developments and perhaps entire neighborhoods can be created that provide strong networks to employment and other resources beyond the neighborhood, more effective demand for high quality amenities and public services, and positive role models for youth. Mixed-Income Development in Chicago: Case Studies

Description:
We know very little about the impact on residents of living in a mixed-income development, or of how they differ from public housing residents living in other housing circumstances. This research projects focuses on investigating the strategies and effectiveness of strategies used to build community in mixed-income developments, residents’ experiences in a mixed income development, and the impact of mixed-income developments on residents’ lives.

Research Grants:
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Annie E. Casey Foundation
Ford Foundation/Heartland Alliance

Research Briefs:
Building Community in Mixed-Income Developments

Living in a Mixed-Income Development: Resident Perceptions of Benefits and Disadvantages

The Nature of Social Interaction in Mixed-Income Developments

Whose Space? Whose Rules? Social Challenges in Mixed-Income Developments

Chicago’s Public Housing Transformation: What happened to the Residents?

Why Do So Few Residents Return to Mixed-Income Developments? Insights into Resident Decision-Making

Jazz on the Boulevard Case Study

Description:
This research project is a long-term case study of Jazz on the Boulevard, one of the first planned mixed-income developments being created as part of the CHA ‘s 1999 Plan for Transformation. In-depth, qualitative interviews of residents, service providers and developers, and a comparison group of individuals describe what motivated residents to choose to live in a mixed-income development, their perception of the neighborhood ‘s role in their lives, how the development effects social capital, networks, and social organizations, and what roles various members of the community play.

Research Grants:
Rockefeller Foundation
Case Western Research University

Research Highlights:
Highlight 1: Movers versus non-movers: Who are they?
Highlight 2: The resident population at Jazz
Highlight 3: Understanding the choice to live at Jazz
Highlight 4: Resident perspectives on mixed-income development
Highlight 5: Early resident experiences: General satisfaction
Highlight 6: Early social relations at Jazz

Joseph, Mark.  Early Resident Experiences at a New Mixed-Income Development in Chicago.  Journal of Urban Affairs. 30:3, 229-257. Find it here

Mixed-Income Development in Chicago: Developer and Service Provider Perspectives

Description:
This research project is an investigation into possibilities and challenges faced by development teams in transforming public housing into mixed-income development communities.

Research Grants:
Rockefeller Foundation

Joseph, Mark L. Forthcoming.  Creating Mixed-Income Developments in Chicago: Developer and Service Provider Perspectives.  Housing Policy Debate. Available here **

Faith-Based Mentoring Demonstration Evaluation

Description:
The Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development selected the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) as one of the three sites nationally to implement a mentoring demonstration program. The goal of this program is to test a means of providing additional support for public housing residents who have been relocated as part of a HOPE VI redevelopment by partnering residents with mentors who are recruited through faith-based and community-based organizations. This study seeks to determine the effectiveness of the program, explore experiences of participants, and the perspectives of mentors and staff members of participating institutions.

Research grants:
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development/Chicago Housing Authority

** Author Posting. (c) Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 2010. This is the author’s version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University for personal use, not for redistribution.  
The definitive version was published in Housing Policy Debate, Volume 20 Issue 1, January 2010.   Find it here 


These research briefs were produced as a part of the Mixed-Income Development Study in collaboration with the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration.

Building Community in Mixed-Income Developments
The creation of mixed-income developments, with housing for residents of a variety of social and economic backgrounds, is central to the “Plan for Transformation” of public housing in Chicago. One view of mixed-income developments is that they are about  more than building quality housing: they are about rebuilding urban neighborhoods. This goal is often talked about in terms of “building community.” But how is this task being defined, and what are reasonable expectations for building community in mixed-income developments?

Full Brief

Summary of Findings

Living in a Mixed-Income Development: Resident Perceptions of Benefits and Disadvantages 
This brief focuses on early resident experiences in two mixed-income development, Oakwood Shores and Westhaven Park, which are part of the City of Chicago’s “Plan for Transformation.” We investigate how different residents–relocated public housing renters, two affordable and market-rate renters, and affordable and market-rate owners– perceive the early benefits and disadvantages of living in a mixed-income development. Respondents’ reflections about their early experiences in the new mixed-income developments focus on the following four areas:

  • Physical environment and quality of life
  • Emotional health and stress
  • Social relations among residents
  • Financial implications

Full Brief

Summary of Findings

The Nature of Social Interaction in Mixed-Income Developments 
This brief focuses on early social relations in two mixed-income developments, Oakwood Shores and Westhaven Park, that are part of the City of Chicago’s “Plan for Transformation.” We investigate how different residents–relocated public housing residents, two affordable and market-rate renters, and affordable and market-rate owners– describe and assess their social interactions with their neighbors. We first discuss three main types of interaction among residents:

  • Casual relations among neighbors
  • “Instrumental” exchanges of information or favors
  • Negative interactions

We then explore how these interactions compare to where residents used to live. Finally, we analyze barriers and challenges to interaction.

Full Brief

Summary of Findings

Whose Space? Whose Rules? Social Challenges in Mixed-Income Developments 
This brief focuses in particular on the challenges raised in negotiating the uses and expectations of space in three mixed-income developments that are a part of Chicago’s Plan for Transformation. We explore residents’ perspectives on crime, safety, and disorder in the three developments, the kinds of behavioral expectations and cultural assumptions that lie behind these perspectives, and the ways in which formal rules, enforcement, and perceptions of fairness impact dynamics around these issues.

Full Brief

Summary of Findings

Chicago’s Public Housing Transformation: What Happened to the Residents? 
Twelve years after the start of the Chicago Housing Authority’s Plan for Transformation, more than 16,000 families have been relocated into a variety of housing contexts with the stated goals of reducing concentrated poverty, revitalizing neighborhoods, and improving well-being, but questions remain about what has happened to the residents. Where did families end up? Are different types of households moving to different housing contexts? Does family well-being differ based on housing type? This brief explores these issues.

Full Brief

Summary of Findings

Why Do So Few Residents Return to Mixed-Income Developments? Insights into Resident Decision-Making? 
In this brief, we explore the factors that influenced relocated public housing residents’ decisions to return or not return to a mixed-income development. Through interviews with relocated public housing residents of three mixed-income developments in Chicago- Jazz on the Boulevard, Oakwood Shores, and Westhaven Park- as well as a group of residents who chose not to return, we find that the following issues significantly influenced resident decision-making:

  • Attachment to place and people
  • Time pressures and other constraints
  • Anticipated benefits from the mixed-income environment
  • Trade-offs and risks associated with moves to mixed-income development

Full Brief

Summary of Findings

Participation and Decision-Making in Mixed-Income Developments: Who Has a Say?
A major policy focus over the past two decades has been support for housing policies designed to deconcentrate poverty, remake public housing, and promote the development of mixed-income communities in place of the most deteriorated and problematic public housing developments. Part of the argument for these policies concerns the promise of inclusion and the benefits that should accrue to low-income, relocated public housing residents by integrating them into safe, well-functioning, and better connected neighborhoods. This brief focuses on one aspect of inclusion: low-income residents’ participation in the deliberative and decision-making processes that shape the nature of community life in mixed-income developments (for example, with regard to design, amenities, eligibility requirements, service provision, resource allocation, norms of behavior, and rules).

Mixed Income Development

Chaskin, R., Khare, A. and Mark L. Joseph. 2012. Participation, Deliberation, and Decision-Making: The Dynamics of Inclusion and Exclusion in Mixed-Income Developments. Urban Affairs Review. 48:5. Find it here

Chaskin, R., Joseph, M.L., Voelker, S., and Amy Dworsky. 2012. Public Housing Transformation and Resident Relocation: Comparing Destinations and Household Characteristics in Chicago. Cityscape. 14:1. Available here

Joseph, Mark L. 2011. Reinventing Older Communities Through Mixed-Income Development: What Are We Learning from Chicago’s Public Housing Transformation?  In H. B. Newberger, E.L. Birch, & S. M.  Wachter (Eds.), Neighborhood and life changes: How place matters in modern America (pp. 122-139). Philadelphia, PA: Penn Institute for Urban Research.

Chaskin, Robert J., and Mark L. Joseph. 2011. Social Interaction in Mixed-Income Developments: Relational Expectations and Emerging Reality. Journal of Urban Affairs. 00:0, 1-29. Available here

Smith, Robin E., G. Thomas Kingsly, Mary K. Cunningham, Susan J. Popkin, Kassie Dumlao, Ingrid Gould Ellen, Mark Joseph, and Deborah McKoy. 2010. Monitoring Success in Choice Neighborhoods: A Proposed Approach to Performance Measurement. The Urban Institute. Available here  and Find it here

Joseph, Mark L. and Robert J. Chaskin. 2010. Living in a Mixed-Income Development: Resident Perceptions of the Benefits and Disadvantages of Two Development in Chicago. Urban Studies. 47:11. Find it here

Joseph, Mark. 2010.  Creating Mixed-Income Developments in Chicago: Developer and Service Provider Perspectives.  Housing Policy Debate.  Available here**

Chaskin, Robert J. and Mark L. Joseph.  2010.  Building “Community” in Mixed-Income Developments: Assumptions, Approaches, and Early Experiences. Urban Affairs Review. 45, 299-335. Available FREE here

de Souza Briggs, Xavier, Greg Duncan, Katherine Edin, Mark Joseph, Robert D. Mare, John Mollenkopf, et al. 2009. Research Design for the Study of Mixed-Income Housing. UC Los Angeles: California Center for Population Research. Find it here     

Joseph, Mark and Jessica Feldman. 2009. Creating and Sustaining Successful Mixed-Income Communities: Conceptualizing the Role of Schools. Education and Urban Society. 41:6, 623-652. Find it here

Joseph, Mark. In press. Reinventing Older Communities Through Mixed-Income Development: What Are We Learning From Chicago’s Public Housing Transformation?  In Susan Wachter et. al. ed. Reinventing Older Communities: How Does Place Matter? University of Pennsylvania.

Joseph, Mark. 2008.  Early Resident Experiences at a New Mixed-Income Development in Chicago.  Journal of Urban Affairs.  30:3, 229-257.  Find it here

Joseph, Mark L., Robert J. Chaskin and Henry S. Webber. 2007.  The Theoretical Basis for Addressing Poverty Through Mixed-Income Development.  Urban Affairs Review. 42:3, 369-409.  Find it here

Joseph, Mark. 2006.  Is Mixed-Income Development an Antidote to Urban Poverty?  Housing Policy Debate. 17:2, 209-234.  Find it here

Comprehensive Community Development

Joseph, Mark and Renae Ogletree. 1998. Community Organizing and Comprehensive Community Initiatives. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, 25:1, 71-80.   Find it here

Chaskin, Robert J., Mark L. Joseph and Selma Chipenda-Dansokho. 1997. Implementing Comprehensive Community Development: Possibilities and Limitations. Social Work, 42:5, 435-444.  Reprinted in Patricia Ewalt, Edith M. Freeman, and Dennis L. Poole, eds, 1998. Community Building: Renewal, Well-Being, and Shared Responsibility. Washington, D.C.: National Association of Social Work Press.   Find it here

Kubisch, Anne, Prue Brown, Robert Chaskin, Janice Hirota, Mark Joseph, Harold Richman and Michelle Roberts. 1997. Voices from the Field: Learning from Comprehensive Community Initiatives. Washington, D.C.: The Aspen Institute.   Find it here

Prisoner Reentry

Joseph, Mark.  In press.  Understanding the Economic Costs of Incarceration for African American Males.  In Waldo Johnson, Jr. ed. Social Work and Social Welfare Responses to African American Males.  Oxford University Press.

Joseph, Mark. 2003. The Impact of Arrests on Earnings: Evidence from the National Youth Survey.  Chicago Policy Review, 7:1, 47-6.

** Author Posting. (c) Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 2010. This is the author’s version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University for personal use, not for redistribution.
The definitive version was published in Housing Policy Debate, Volume 20 Issue 1, January 2010. Find it here  


Wall Street Journal Online San Francisco Bay Area edition:
Key Goal Delayed at Hunters View New Units Will Be Ready Soon but Initial Ones Won’t Be Sold at Market Rates, Setting Back Plan for Mixed-Income Community (2012)

Insight Labs:
Make Mistakes Ahead of Time (2012)

Salon:
Chicago’s Housing Experiment (2012)

PD&R Edge:
Well-Being of Relocated Subsidized Households in Chicago (2012)

Case Western Reserve University News Feature:
East Cleveland Service-Learning Experience Offers Educational, Community Lessons (2011)

The University of Chicago Magazine:
Mixed Results: SSA researcher Robert Chaskin talks to new residents of mixed-income communities (2010)

The New York Times: 
A Wish for More Community in Mixed-Income Units (2010)

CBC Radio One:
Learning from Mixed Income Housing Projects in the States (2010)

Insight and Action: Faculty Research and Training Initiatives
Study of mixed-income developments in Chicago offers insights for future anti-poverty initiatives (2010)

Chicago WBEZ Radio:
Mixed Results on Mixed-Income Chicago Public Housing (2009)

The Hamilton Spectator:
Mixed housing: Concept becoming more popular in the hope it will prevent ghettos (2009)

MultiFamily Executive:
Behind the Facade (2009)

Case Western Reserve University News Feature:
The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School Assistant Professor Testifies on Public Housing Research (2009)
[View video of testimony
here ; Mark Joseph feature begins at 46:26]
[View prepared written testimony
here ]

Chicago Tribune:
CHA Mixed-Income Building has Class Clash (2009)

Chicago WBEZ Radio:
Social Tensions Rise at Chicago Housing Authority Mixed-Income Development (2009)

University of Chicago News Feature:
A New Home: Building Community in Chicago’s New Mixed-Income Public Housing (2009)

Hyde Park Herald:
An Uneasy Mix: U. of C. researchers look at CHA’s mixed-income communities (2009)

Chicago WBEZ Radio:
Public Housing Residents Learn the Rules for Mixed Income (2008)

Case Western Reserve University Video Feature:
Around Campus (2008)
[Mark Joseph feature begins at 6:04]

American Radioworks:
After the Projects: The Uncertain Future of Public Housing (2008)

Case Western News Feature:
Urban Affairs Award for Mixed-Income Research Paper (2008)

Case Western Research Brochure:
Mixed-Income and Community Development at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School (2007)

Dean’s Announcement of Appointment (2006)

Mark Joseph in the News:


Centennial Salon at Upcycle Parts Shop on January 28

Jan 25 2016

Upcycle Part Shop imageAlumna Devon Fegen-Herdman, MSSA 2005, is hosting a Centennial Salon at the Cleveland start-up she co-founded, Upcycle Parts Shop, on Thursday, January 28, at 6:30 p.m. Associate Professor Mark Joseph, co-author of the new book Integrating the Inner City: The Promise and Perils of Mixed-Income Public Housing Transformation, will be there to discuss “Effective Neighboring: A Key to Successful Diverse Neighborhoods.”

The event is free and open to all alumni and friends. To attend, RSVP to Marianne Lax at Marianne.Lax@case.edu or 216.368.1832.

Centennial Salons are informal yet informative events discussions that bring together alumni and friends. This salon, which offers 1 CEU, is also an opportunity to learn how Upcycle Parts Shop makes more art and less waste, plus attendees will have the opportunity to create their own art using upcycled materials ($5 material cost payable at the event).


Can San Francisco Get Mixed-Income Public Housing Redevelopment Right?

Dec 18 2015

Shelterforce HOPE SFNew article in Shelterforce “Can San Francisco Get Mixed-Income Public Housing Redevelopment Right?” by NIMC’s Mark Joseph and co-authors Nancy Latham, Rachel G. Kleit and Steven LaFrance discusses how the HOPE SF program is aiming to explicitly avoid many of the problems mixed-income public housing redevelopments have faced, to create a truly inclusive process. As the affordable housing crisis and issues of social and racial inequality once again gain national attention across the United States, the HOPE SF housing redevelopment initiative represents a unique effort to ensure that the poorest residents of San Francisco are not excluded from the benefits of that city’s economic growth and vitality.

HOPE SF, designed and launched as a locally-funded initiative after San Francisco failed to secure HOPE VI funding, tackles individual-level, development-level, and neighborhood-level transformation simultaneously, which subsequently landed the project a $30 million Choice Neighborhoods Initiative implementation grant and two $300,000 planning grants.

Though mixed-income development has become a favored public housing transformation approach in the United States (as it has in Canada, Western Europe, and Australia), there has been strong criticism of the policy as well.Criticism generally focuses on the reduction in the number of available public housing units, the displacement of public housing residents, and the use of valuable public land for market-driven real estate projects.

The goal of avoiding the exclusionary pitfalls of other mixed-income efforts has intentionally guided design and implementation of HOPE SF. The vision for HOPE SF is thriving neighborhoods that keep their original residents, offer them a genuine opportunity for social mobility, and create a cohesive community among those at different income levels.

Read more about the HOPE SF initiative in the article here.


New Book Co-Authored by Mark Joseph Examines Mixed-Income Housing

Nov 12 2015

josephThe mixed success of Chicago’s foray into mixed-income development is detailed in the new book Integrating the Inner City: The Promise and Perils of Mixed-Income Public Housing Transformation (344 pages, University of Chicago Press), co-written by Associate Professor Mark L. Joseph, founding director of the National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities at the Mandel School.

In the most thorough examination of mixed-income public housing redevelopment to date, Dr. Joseph and his co-author, University of Chicago’s Robert J. Chaskin, PhD, draw on five years of field research, in-depth interviews, and volumes of data to demonstrate that while considerable progress has been made in transforming the complexes physically, the integrationist goals of the policy have not been met. They provide a highly textured investigation into what it takes to design, finance, build, and populate a mixed-income development, and they illuminate the many challenges and limitations of the policy as a solution to urban poverty.

“Meticulously researched, accessibly written, and powerfully argued, this book should guide public housing policy and our approach to racial and class integration for decades to come,” said Mary Pattillo, the Harold Washington Professor of Sociology and African American Studies at Northwestern University and author of Black on the Block: The Politics of Race and Class in the City.

Integrating the Inner City cover photo

About the book

A $3.2 billion (and counting) transformation of Chicago’s notorious high-rise public housing has dramatically changed the urban landscape there, attracting affluent residents to segregated areas and catalyzing revitalization in long-marginalized neighborhoods. But far fewer low-income Chicagoans at the heart of the city’s initiative—replacing deteriorating public housing with high-quality mixed-income communities—have been helped than intended when the ambitious plan was launched 15 years ago.

In fact, mixed-income development—an anti-poverty strategy to build diverse communities of market-rate renters, owners and public housing residents—has often created a sense of isolation for poor residents within their own communities. So far, the approach has helped few improve their social and economic standing.

“As an anti-poverty strategy, policy was ahead of knowledge,” said Joseph, who co-led a seven-year, in-depth study of three new mixed-income developments in Chicago. Researchers collected interviews with hundreds of mixed-income housing residents and numerous development professionals and observed more than 500 community meetings and events.

“We found some measures of success: The pizza guy will bring pizza to these neighborhoods now. Low-income families live in beautiful housing in safer and more stable areas,” Joseph said. “But as a platform to get out of poverty? Our analysis suggests that is not happening on the aggregate.”

Microcosm of urban America

In the late 1990’s, the Chicago Housing Authority’s “Plan for Transformation” was a response to the city’s “calamity” of public housing—“environments not fit for human living,” as Joseph said which devalued neighborhoods, concentrated poverty and deepened racial segregation.

When Chicago demolished and replaced public housing complexes with modern mixed-income units, residents of every stripe were drawn to convenient urban locations, appealing price points and attractive housing. No-go, economically unproductive areas became safer, more prosperous places where residents felt comfortable letting their children play outside for the first time, according to interviews conducted by Joseph and his team of researchers.

The benefits of living in these neighborhoods would set the stage for low-income residents to access better opportunities, according the Plan for Transformation, including proximity to more prosperous neighbors.

While these assumptions drove the multi-billion-dollar effort in Chicago, Joseph and researchers found scant evidence they have yet integrated the poor more fully into mainstream society.

For one, property managers were ill-equipped and unwilling to handle conflicts and culture clashes—or tackle the delicate task of creating a community among their diverse range of residents. In some cases, complexes even had two sets of rules; lower-income residents were not allowed to grill or have pets, while condo owners could do both.

As a result, lower-income residents reported feeling stigmatized and alienated by their middle- and high-income neighbors.

“Whatever people carried in terms of stigma or discomfort became intensified in close quarters,” Joseph said. “Hearing each other through walls and sharing elevators and common space activated stereotypes of race, class and culture among all residents.

“These communities are a reflection of the broader project in America: How can we live together in a diverse society, across lines of difference? How do we live together when we’re uncomfortable with each other?”

Hope still for transformation

When the Plan for Transformation was in its early stages, more than 90 percent of public housing residents that would be relocated from the old developments by the strategy indicated a desire to retain their right to move back into the future mixed-income developments—yet only 8 to 10 percent actually have thus far.

The remaining 90 percent moved into private housing with vouchers, other public housing or elsewhere; these Chicagoans are still mostly poor and live in segregated, unsafe communities, Joseph’s research shows.

“Given how few of the original public housing residents moved into the new housing, and those that did are having these social challenges, it becomes a question of: Did it work as a strategy to lift people out of poverty?” Joseph said. “We have to conclude, no, at this stage.

“But we have many ideas about how to make it work better.”

The book, co-authored by Robert J. Chaskin, a professor at the University of Chicago, suggests mixed-income developments could be more effective at decreasing poverty if part of broader strategies that address workforce development and public education, as well as an approach to property management and community engagement that create a more even playing field.

Center turns research into action to improve future developments

In 2013, responding to increasing demands from policymakers, practitioners and other researchers, Joseph founded the National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities (nimc.case.edu) at the Mandel School to serve as a go-to resource for the field.

The applied research center provides information resources—such as a mixed-income database and library—and project consultation. Drawing lessons from Chicago and other United States cities, Joseph and colleagues are working with governments, private builders and citizens, including most recently in Washington, D.C., and Ferguson, Mo., to create future mixed-income developments more effective at fighting poverty.

“There’s great potential in mixed-income communities, and, frankly, we don’t have an alternative that seems more promising,” Joseph said. “The question now is: How can we better achieve what these efforts set out to do?”