Making the Comeback
This working paper was developed jointly by Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and Center for Community Progress.
In this paper I examine trends in Black middle neighborhoods in six legacy cities between 2000 and 2018 and identify strategies for their stabilization and revival. I find that both socio-economic and housing market conditions in those urban neighborhoods that were predominately Black and middle income in 2000 have declined sharply in the two decades since then compared to predominately white middle-income neighborhoods in the same cities. In addition to the accumulated effects of racially invidious policies and practices, these neighborhoods’ decline reflects the disparate effects of the foreclosure crisis and the Great Recession, but even more the shortfall of homebuyer demand relative to supply since then, which has led to a loss of homeowners, property deterioration and abandonment. I analyze the reasons for that shortfall and present a multifaceted framework for stabilization and revival of these neighborhoods which is grounded in the goals of strengthening quality of life and rebuilding housing markets, in order to both draw new homebuyers and motivate existing residents to remain.