URSI 100--Introduction to the City

Housing in the City

Census definition of “overcrowding”

Housing as a right vs. private property

“Social housing”

“Neighborhood effect” on housing value

Character of “slumlords”

Effect of social & economic forces on physical condition of housing




“Level debt” instrument

Effect of interest rates on homeownership

Ratio of income to monthly mortgage payment

Required downpayment vs. mortgage insurance

Average residential lending terms prior to 1930

“Balloon” payment

Role of federal government in mortgage market

--FHA insurance

--VA insurance

--secondary mortgages (FMNA & GNMA)

Tax deductions for homeowners


Planned communities (Reston, Columbia, Milton Keynes, Greenbelt MD)

Effect of housing type decision on local community

1. Federal Policies

--1937 Housing Act—subsidized both capital and operating costs of local housing authorities (Pruitt-Igoe; Cabrini Green)

--1949 Housing Act—Urban Renewal (both housing and economic development; cleared blighted downtowns, but demolished more housing than it built

--1974 Housing & Community Development Act—Model Cities (urban development block grants, local participation, “urban homesteading”)

2. Housing Segregation

--1968 Civil Rights Act & housing segregation

>racial streering

>”terms & conditions”



--1978 Community Reinvestment Act—banks must reinvest in communities which provide their assets

--Persistence of segregation

>income disparity

>tipping point (“white flight”)

>discrimination in sales & renting

>discrimination in mortgage lending


--Nonprofits & housing

>Nehemiah project

>Habitat for Humanity

Based on LEVY, J.M. 2000. Urban America: Processes & Problems. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.


2003 A.J.Filipovitch
Revised 1 January 06