Get access

Attracting Middle-Income Families in the Hope VI
Public Housing Revitalization Program


* David P. Varady, School of Planning, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221. E-mail: or Jeffrey A. Raffel, School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716. E-mail:


Abstract: While the growing literature on HOPE VI emphasizes the presumed benefits of income mixing these benefits are most likely to occur if middle-income families with children are drawn to these sites. But is this feasible? Our comparative case study analysis of four HOPE VI sites in Cincinnati, Louisville, Baltimore, and Washington, DC, suggests that it will be difficult to achieve the mixing of lower- and middle-income families with children. None of the four developments explicitly sought middle-income families with children as part of their marketing. Louisville's HOPE VI site was the only one involving close collaboration between the school district, the housing authority, and city government from the beginning of the HOPE VI process. Moreover, the Louisville site was the only one successful in attracting middle-income (and not simply subsidized moderate-income) families with children. Strategies for making inner-city HOPE VI sites more attractive for middle-income families are discussed.