Housing America in the 1980s

Housing America in the 1980s

John S. Adams
Copyright Date: 1987
Published by: Russell Sage Foundation
Pages: 400
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7758/9781610440004
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  • Book Info
    Housing America in the 1980s
    Book Description:

    Housing provides shelter, in a variety of forms, but it is also resonant with meaning on many other levels--as a financial asset, a status symbol, an expression of private aspirations and identities, a means of inclusion or exclusion, and finally as a battleground for social change.John Adams' impressive new study explores this complex topic in all its dimensions. Using census data and other housing surveys, Adams describes the recent history of housing in America; the nature of housing supply and demand; patterns of housing use; and selected housing policy questions. Adams supplements this national and regional analysis with a remarkable set of small-area analyses, revealing how neighborhood settings affect housing use and how market forces and other trends interact to shape a neighborhood. These analyses focus on a sample of over fifty urbanized areas, including the nation's three largest cities (New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago). Special two-color maps illustrate the dynamics of housing use in each of these communities.Clearly and insightfully, this volume paints a unique picture of the American "housing landscape," a landscape that reflects and regulates significant aspects of our national life.

    A Volume in the Russell Sage Foundation Census Series

    eISBN: 978-1-61044-000-4
    Subjects: Population Studies, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Foreword
    (pp. vii-x)
    Charles F. Westoff

    Housing America in the 1980sis one of an ambitious series of volumes aimed at converting the vast statistical yield of the 1980 census into authoritative analyses of major changes and trends in American life. This series, “The Population of the United States in the 1980s,” represents an important episode in social science research and revives a long tradition of independent census analysis. First in 1930, and then again in 1950 and 1960, teams of social scientists worked with the U.S. Bureau of the Census to investigate significant social, economic, and demographic developments revealed by the decennial censuses. These census...

  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
    John S. Adams
  4. Table of Contents
    (pp. xiii-xiii)
  5. List of Tables
    (pp. xiv-xvi)
  6. List of Figures
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  7. 1 HOUSING, PEOPLE, AND SETTLEMENT IN THE UNITED STATES
    (pp. 1-16)

    This book describes and analyzes the housing portion of the U.S. settlement landscape during the early 1980s. The facilities that we as a nation construct to carry out our daily production and consumption of goods and services are dominant elements in the settlement patterns that portray how we live, at the same time that they regulate the way we live.¹

    Like our language, our weather, our food, and other features of everyday life and experience, housing is such a fundamental, pervasive yet diverse element of the American scene that it is hard to discuss it in a systematic and comprehensive...

  8. 2 HOUSING AND SOCIETY: GOALS, POLICIES, AND MEASUREMENT
    (pp. 17-36)

    Housing and society are best understood when examined together. Society creates housing and then uses it in ways that subdivide and segregate some elements of society while uniting others. Public policy intervenes to remedy abuses and deficiencies, but society responds with initiatives that include new construction, migration, and abandonment of unwanted units. Society acts to create housing landscapes and then reacts to their creation.¹

    The decennial census of housing measures in detail the nation’s housing stock and patterns of housing use. For the years between censuses the nation’s social scientists, planners, and policy analysts rely mainly on the Census Bureau’s...

  9. 3 HOUSING STOCK LOCATION AND COMPOSITION
    (pp. 37-56)

    The 1980 Census of Population and Housing counted 226.5 million persons and 88.4 million housing units during the April 1 enumeration.¹ The Annual (now American) Housing Survey conducted on a sample basis later in the same year estimated the total U.S. housing inventory as 88.2 million units. The difference between the two totals highlights the difficulty in producing an accurate count. Enumeration methods and imperfections, sampling variability, plus new construction, demolition, and modification of housing units by consolidation and by subdivision between the census and survey dates all contribute to the difference.²

    There were 29 million housing units in the...

  10. 4 THE SOURCES OF FLUX IN HOUSING DEMAND AND USE
    (pp. 57-88)

    At census time in April 1980, when almost two thirds of American households owned their own housing, the nation appeared to be entering an era that would see an overhauling of the financial apparatus that had helped shape its social and political fabric since the Great Depression of the 1930s.¹ In the half century following 1930 the United States moved from a nation of renters to a nation of owners, living in housing envied by the world. But the share of households that owned their homes seemed to peak around 1980 as a result of an implicit public policy shift...

  11. 5 THE USE OF NATIONAL AND REGIONAL HOUSING STOCKS
    (pp. 89-124)

    Virtually every American household has a place to live, and almost every housing unit in the United States is in use by one or more households. What patterns are formed when households match themselves with available housing? On the demand side are households of varying tastes, needs, and ability to pay. On the supply side is the stock of housing units. The housing market in each locale continuously mediates the forces of housing supply and the elements of demand in that locale. As the market clears, the stage is set for diverse patterns of housing use.¹

    In this chapter we...

  12. 6 THE USE OF HOUSING INSIDE URBAN AREAS
    (pp. 125-270)

    It is customary and convenient to consider the dynamic U.S. national housing stock as a whole and to examine how various subgroups of the nation’s households make use of their share of the stock. But this macro approach to the study of housing use patterns cannot illuminate the social and physical attributes of neighborhood settings in the household’s choice and use of housing. Nor can it consider in informative ways the geographic structure of housing market forces and trends that control demand, supply, real estate values, and ultimately the fate of each urban neighborhood within each metropolitan housing market and...

  13. 7 CONTINUING HOUSING ISSUES AND PUBLIC POLICY RESPONSES
    (pp. 271-284)

    The preceding chapters discussed the private and public meanings of housing in the United States—shelter against the elements; a storage place for possessions; a private refuge from the world; a form of savings; an inflation hedge; a status symbol; a ticket into a school district and a set of community services; a tax base for local governments; a source of livelihood for developers, builders, financiers, insurers, furnishers, agents, building trades workers, materials suppliers; and on and on. Attention focused mainly on the role of housing in society, on the housing stock and how it changes, on the demand for...

  14. APPENDIX 1
    (pp. 285-286)
  15. APPENDIX 2: DEFINITIONS AND EXPLANATIONS OF SUBJECT CHARACTERISTICS
    (pp. 287-296)
  16. APPENDIX 3: PUBLIC USE MICRODATA SAMPLES
    (pp. 297-298)
  17. APPENDIX 4: FACSIMILE OF 1980 CENSUS FORMS
    (pp. 299-304)
  18. APPENDIX 5: GENERAL ENUMERATION PROCEDURES AND DATA ACCURACY
    (pp. 305-308)
  19. Bibliography
    (pp. 309-312)
  20. Name Index
    (pp. 313-316)
  21. Subject Index
    (pp. 317-328)