In January 2009, the Urban Institute and the Institute of Community Cohesion, in the United Kingdom, published a joint report analyzing differences in housing and community revitalization policy between the United Kingdom and the United States. The 12-month study on which the report is based focused specifically on subsidized housing policy, comparing three British redevelopment projects, all part of the New Deal for Communities program, and four American HOPE VI public housing redevelopments.
The study settles on four key differences between the British and American community regeneration efforts. First, American public housing developments are much more segregated by race and income than British public sector housing; this may be a result of the relative lack of diversity in the U.K. Second, British housing policy has explicit goals to create racially as well as economically mixed neighborhoods while U.S. policy shies away from policy language dealing with race. Third, while the U.K. provides extensive public support, the United States encourages the private sector to play a greater role. Related to this, the United Kingdom has a larger welfare state and so-called social housing is considered a right, not something that should be affected by screening criteria. Finally, the U.K. and the U.S. differ on subsidized housing’s purpose, with the U.K. focused on long-term residency and community development and the U.S. focusing on the individual and moving people out of public housing and into market-rate housing.
In the United Kingdom, the researchers visited Aston Pride in Birmingham, Wood End in Coventry, and Clapham Park Homes in South London. In the United States, they visited Capitol Gateway in Washington, DC; East Baltimore Development Initiative; Wentworth Gardens Homes and Oakwood Shores in Chicago; and New Columbia in Portland.
The report, Community Revitalization in the United States and the United Kingdom, can be found here: http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/411826_community_revitalization_US_UK.pdf.