The newly released book No Simple Solutions: Transforming Public Housing in Chicago, written by Urban Institute senior fellow Susan J. Popkin, tells the story of how an ambitious—and risky—social experiment affected the lives of very low income, African American residents who suffered through the worst days of crime, decay, and rampant mismanagement of the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA). The CHA’s story offers important lessons for cities still grappling with the legacy of racial segregation and failed federal housing policies.
Following a short reading by Popkin, a panel discussion will draw on themes from Chicago’s experience and tie them to a broader conversation on neighborhood revitalization policies. Urban Institute scholar Rolf Pendall will speak about the implications of federal place-based initiatives that strive to address systematic inequalities that have created distressed neighborhoods. The panel will also address the challenges of ensuring these efforts improve the life chances of residents in these distressed communities.
- Ron Ashford, director, Public Housing Supportive Services, US Department of Housing and Urban Development
- Mary Brown, executive director, DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative
- Rolf Pendall, codirector, Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center, Urban Institute
- Susan J. Popkin, senior fellow, Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center, Urban Institute
- Margery Austin Turner, senior vice president for program planning and management, Urban Institute