From Despair to Hope

Hope VI and the New Promise of Public Housing in America's Cities

Henry G. Cisneros,

From Despair to Hope: Hope VI and the New Promise of Public Housing in America's Cities
 
 
As pressing economic and quality of life issues heighten calls for increased federal engagement in America’s cities, this new book offers cause for optimism and lessons for policy innovators. From Despair to Hope documents the evolution of HOPE VI, one of the most ambitious urban redevelopment initiatives in the past half century and a true federal-urban partnership. Henry Cisneros and Lora Engdahl collaborate with public and private sector leaders who were on the scene in the early 1990s, when a national commission determined that something had to be done about intolerable conditions in the nation’s worst public housing projects and their impact on surrounding neighborhoods and cities at large. These eyewitnesses from policymaking, housing development, and architecture reveal how a program conceived to address a specific problem triggered a revolution in the entire public housing system and solidified a set of principles that still guide urban policy today. Leading housing policy experts explore what HOPE VI accomplished as it replaced severely distressed public housing with mixed-income communities. They also discuss where the program fell short. Chapters exploring the fate of residents, neighborhoods, cities, and public housing systems are heavily illustrated with charts and photographs. This instructive study of empirically grounded and outcome-driven policymaking will continue the national conversation on poverty, race, and opportunity.


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