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Housing Careers of Very Low Income Persons.

Goetz, Edward G., Kimberly Skobba, and Cynthia Yuen.

A “housing career” can be thought of in much the same way as an employ­ment career. In an employment career, as a person accumulates knowledge and skills, he or she will leave behind shorter term and lower paying jobs for ever-more stable and rewarding positions. In a housing career, it is similarly expected that early instability and perhaps lower quality accommodations will give way over time to longer term and more secure tenancies. For very low income people, however, both employment and housing careers take on a different look. Moves are frequent, and they remain frequent throughout a career. Moves are less likely to result in improved condi­tions, and they are frequently forced. Although studies of employment careers of the poor are fairly common, rela­tively little research has been conducted on the housing careers of low-income individuals. In an effort to learn more about how to assist low-income families in achieving residential stability and security, the authors undertook a research project to examine the housing careers of very low income households in the Twin Cities. This article describes the results of their interviews about the housing patterns and experiences of a sample of very low income residents of the Twin Cities, and provides perspective on the social-services policy implications of their findings.

CURA Reporter
Publication date: 
Minneapolis: Center for Urban and Regional Affairs, University of Minnesota.
The research upon which this article is based was supported by a grant from the McKnight Foundation.
40 (3-4): 3-11
Online availability
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CURA call number: 
Reporter 40 (3-4)

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