Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Spring 2015

Abstract

Traditional public housing is dwindling. Federal policy has increasingly encouraged privatization, shifting stewardship of public housing out of the hands of government and into the hands of private, for-profit companies. Privatization in this context has both benefits and risks. A particularly compelling area of study is the attempt by lawmakers to conscript private contractors into serving public policy goals. Private landlords are obligated not merely to provide housing, but to conduct themselves in ways that promote the interests of vulnerable people. The case of public housing suggests that legislative mandates and contractual obligations are not enough to assure this outcome, and must be accompanied by a commitment to vigorous monitoring and enforcement.

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