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Public Housing

  • By: Joseph Godlewski
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Broadly defined, public or subsidized housing is a federally funded effort to provide basic shelter and amenities for disadvantaged members of the population. It is a direct form of state intervention in which government housing authorities maintain property ownership and lease dwelling units to tenants at rates lower than the local private housing market.

In the United States, public housing grew out of public works programs initiated during the Great Depression as a way to strengthen the economy. In 1937, the Housing Act was established to clear rapidly expanding slums and stimulate the construction industry. As part of Lyndon Johnson's Great Society legislation, the Department of Housing and Urban Development was created in 1965 as a cabinet-level agency to execute housing policy. Public housing was “established ...

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