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The urban character is shaped through its residential neighborhoods, some of which have been intact for centuries. Scholars and public policy officials recognize housing as a critical element of community development. Thus, efforts to rejuvenate communities within metropolitan areas are often accompanied by a strategy to rejuvenate housing as well. Because of the multidimensional nature of housing, it is both an important element of an urban area's macrolevel character and a primary determinant of individual living experiences through its interaction with the physical and natural environment. In addition, social policy is often concerned with issues of homeownership, commonly seen in cities' attempts to move families and households along a continuum of housing, in hopes of improving both consumer welfare and socially desirable outcomes. Improving social ...

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