Comments on Jeff R. Crump’s ‘The end of public housing as we know it: public housing policy, labor regulation and the US city’


Jeff Crump’s discussion of housing policy in the United States is highly polemic but not very analytic or informative. Crump argues that federal housing policy is attempting to move people out of public housing and into the private housing market and the lowwage labor force. However, he fails to support his argument with credible evidence. My comments point out the most egregious of Crump’s claims. I start with Crump’s most extreme contentions that housing policy is coercing public housing residents into the low‐wage labor force. I then question his dismissive attitude toward the problems confronted by residents of distressed public housing and policies designed to help low‐income families move out of impoverished neighborhoods. I subsequently show how Crump exaggerates the extent to which federal housing policy is clearing central cities of subsidized low‐income housing. I conclude with a few words on the serious issues that a more informed critique of US housing policy could have raised.