Producing and Preserving Affordable Housing in Shrinking Cities: Challenges and Opportunities

Brown Bag Seminar on Urban Affairs and Planning
Professor Rosie Tilghe, Ph.D.
12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 28, 2016
Posvar Hall, 3911

The national conversation about housing affordability has not sufficiently addressed the unique needs of shrinking, or “Legacy” cities. Federal programs to combat the affordable housing challenge in the US are designed primarily to produce new housing at an affordable price. These programs have been designed to address severe affordability crises in high-growth, strong-market cities such as Boston, San Francisco, and New York. In Legacy Cities - cities that have lost population and jobs year after year since their peak in the mid-20th Century - the problem is different. Where strong-market cities require subsidies aimed at low and moderate-income households, Legacy Cities like Cleveland, Buffalo, and St. Louis have adequate supply at those affordability levels. Thus, the challenge in Legacy Cities is not necessarily one of affordability, but one of housing quality and preservation of affordability. As land banks and city agencies in declining urban areas use targeted demolition to reduce vacancy and abandonment, low-income households find the supply of quality affordable housing dwindling. This presentation explores the policy and planning tools available to “shrinking” cities as well as some creative solutions to their unique housing challenges.

J. Rosie Tighe is an assistant professor in the department of Urban Studies in the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University. She was previously an assistant professor in the department of Geography and Planning at Appalachian State University. She holds a PhD in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master's Degree in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University. She has published research on affordable housing, gentrification, segregation, “shrinking” cities, as well as co-edited The Affordable Housing Reader. Dr. Tighe’s work focuses on issues related to affordable housing, social justice, and equitable development, and attempts to achieve two main goals:  1. To bridge the gap between academic research and practice through sound research methods and data analysis techniques; and 2. To promote a greater emphasis on and understand of racial and class equity among researchers, policy-makers, and planners. 

Please note the new location of the seminars this year: 3911 Posvar Hall, next to the Hillman Library on the Schenley oval in the center of campus. On street metered parking is available, a metered parking lot is at Semple and Bouquet streets. Other parking is available at Soldiers and Sailors and the Carnegie. We will be back at UCSUR once the nearby construction is completed.


Graduate School of Public and International Affairs
3601 Wesley W. Posvar Hall, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260