Public radio from Western Michigan University 102.1 NPR News | 89.9 Classical WMUK
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Interviews with news makers and discussion of topics important to Southwest Michigan. Subscribe to the podcast through Apple itunes and Google. Segments of interview are heard in WestSouthwest Brief during Morning Edition and All Things Considered

WSW: One Way To Improve Public Housing - "Bring Back The Bureaucrats"

Wikimedia Commons
U.S. Geological Survey

Western Michigan University Political Science Professor Susan Hoffman says public housing has a reputation problem. But she says it’s still an important tool for providing housing for low-income people.

Hoffman says public housing was poorly managed and sometimes that was combined with political corruption. But she says there have been success stories. She says those usually include professional management, active involvement from the residents and bi-partisan politics. Hoffman says New York City has one of the best public housing systems, in part because it was developed in a vibrant two-party system.

Hoffman says problems persist because there is a large gap between number of people who are low income and the housing available. Hoffman says people in public housing are very low income, just under 40% are adults with children in their homes, a third are elderly, 18-20% are disabled. She says a small percentage are single adults.

Hoffman says most public housing authorities have small staffs and don’t have enough resources. Hoffman says “bring back the bureaucrats” to help provide enough housing to low-income residents.

Image from Wikimedia Commons

Gordon Evans became WMUK's Content Director in 2019 after more than 20 years as an anchor, host and reporter. A 1990 graduate of Michigan State, he began work at WMUK in 1996.
Related Content