Date of Original Version



Working Paper

Abstract or Table of Contents

Over the past decade, shifts in subsidized and affordable housing policy have led to a greater role for market dynamics and individual choice on the part of program participants and their new neighbors, and a greater awareness of the importance of neighborhood on family outcomes. Given these trends, there is an opportunity for innovative prescriptive planning models to assist in the design of policy related to regional housing mobility. The goal of this paper is to identify, and answer, some housing policy analytic questions with these models.

The fundamental question motivating this paper is the following: over the long run, can middle-class neighborhoods absorb the numbers of low-income families who might take advantage of an expanded housing mobility policy without leading to neighborhood decline through outmigration of affluent families? Fundamental to this inquiry is the notion that a community’s “carrying capacity” is central to housing and community development planning and that parsimonious models based on the principles of dynamic control can help policymakers identify policy directions that are sensitive to the current state of the community.

Answers to these strategic questions provide motivation for two complementary prescriptive planning models that can provide specific short-term policy guidance to affordable and assisted housing practitioners and researchers.