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do place based strategies improve residents’ lives?
A debate has emerged over the merits of mobility vs. a place based approach to affordable housing, with HUD coming out in favor of a balanced approach that both promotes access to other communities through mobility while simultaneously ensuring that residents who remain in neighborhoods experiencing distress and concentrated poverty benefit from investments that improve their housing and increase their access to opportunity. While proponents of a strict mobility approach often point to studies illustrating the ways in which low-income families benefit from relocating to so called “communities of opportunity,” few studies have examined if a place based approach improves low-income families’ lives. PD&R should conduct a longitudinal study on whether – and how – a place based approach improves people’s lives.
The cooperative movement is growing quickly from the establishment of worker owned cooperative businesses to Cooperatively owned housing and is building community ownership and wealth and serving to reduce social and economic inequality - HUD could have significant impact by connecting and partnering with the many local and regional grassroots groups advancing the cooperative model, such as the following:

Cities, Inequality and the Common Good

"As investors move to buy up foreclosed homes and so-called "vacant lots" on which community gardens sit, to displace many longstanding businesses and cultural institutions, local residents and activists propose instead to take some of these properties out of the real estate market altogether. To do so, they are creating limited-equity cooperative housing, real estate investment cooperatives, and other mechanisms to stabilize neighborhoods and to preserve long-term affordable residential, commercial and artistic spaces."

This Group Wants to Help Lower Rents by Buying Real Estate as a Collective
Thank you for contributing to this important discussion. We have noted your comment and it will be shared within the Department as discussions continue regarding future research directions. Please continue to share your insights.
Blair Russell, HUD PD&R

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