50th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Sustainable Regional Growth and Development in the Creative Knowledge Economy", 19-23 August 2010, Jönköping, Sweden
Housing policy, intended to enable the American Dream of owning one's home, has been ongoing for several decades. Evaluation of its effects is most often at a highly generalized scale; for example, the degree to which minorities nationwide have increased in their rate, or level, of home ownership. Instead, this paper employs a lens that focuses on more local manifestations - initially in terms of differences between US Metropolitan Statistical Areas, followed by a focus on neighborhood-type areas within Columbus and Lima Ohio, distinctly different MSAs in terms of population size, economic base, socio-economic vigor, etc. Regarding metropolitan areas, the primary concern is home ownership change from 1990-2000 and, so far as possible, through 2008 - for Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and Minorities overall. Similar patterns of change are noted; urban areas are grouped on this basis; and a set of independent variables related to change are identified. This leads further to identifying MSA outliers which are, systematically, either under- or over-predicted; then focusing on the characteristics that relate to the distinctiveness of these places. Within Columbus and Lima, one concern is the patterning of home ownership change in terms of prevailing neighborhood characteristics, location, and increased or decreased intermixing among racial/ethnic groups. More primary, however, is the link between the opportunity offered by affordable housing and related policies versus the burden of subprime lending - for example, is there evidence that racial/ethnic gains through affordability are disproportionally taken away by subprime lending and related crises. Data is primarily drawn from the US Census of Population, American Community Survey, HMDA (Home Mortgage Disclosure Act), archival resources, and key informant interviews. A theme throughout is the ways in which apparently aspatial policies, targeted on minorities and home ownership, differentially impact urban areas and locales within an urban area - opposite to the uniformity implied by the policy(ies) and reporting of its impacts.