Mount Laurel Attests to the Benefits of Integrating Suburbia

Despite their fears, the well-off residents of Mount Laurel have been unaffected by the “fair share” of affordable housing mandated by the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark battle over the socioeconomic integration of suburbia.

"SUBURBIA beckons many poor and working-class families with the promise of better schools, access to non-dead-end jobs and sanctuary from the looming threat of urban violence," writes David L. Kirp, professor at the University of California, Berkeley. "But many suburbanites balk at the prospect of affordable housing in their midst."

"Are the fears supported by facts? A comprehensive new analysis of what has transpired in Mount Laurel, N.J., since 140 units of affordable housing were built in that verdant suburb in 2000, answers with a resounding 'no.'"

Kirp discusses the findings of “Climbing Mount Laurel," a new book co-written by Princeton sociologist Douglas S. Massey and several colleagues, which "concludes that this affordable housing has had zero impact on the affluent residents of that community — crime rates, property values and taxes have moved in step with nearby suburbs — while the lives of the poor and working-class families who moved there have been transformed."

Full Story: Here Comes the Neighborhood

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