Study: Inherent Flaws in Community Development Responses to Foreclosure Crisis

A new study by Laura Wolf-Powers at the University of Pennsylvania finds inherent conflict in the three varieties of response by community development practitioners to the foreclosure crisis.

The study, "Understanding community development in a 'theory of action' framework: Norms, markets, justice," "proposes that the theories of action motivating neighbourhood regeneration policy were in conflict, and that this conflict constrained practitioners and policy-makers from delivering a greater measure of relief to affected neighbourhoods and households," according to an article introducing the study by Science Daily. The study was published in the Planning Theory & Practice journal.

Regarding those three responses, or "theories of action" as they're described by the study:

"The first, based on the idea that the residents of distressed neighbourhoods suffer from a lack of social capital, reflects the hypothesis that the activation of positive network ties and the reinstatement of desirable social norms are the keys to economic revitalization. The second; people must more actively engage the private sector and embrace market-led regeneration in order to thrive. The third theory rests on the principle that the condition most troublingly absent from struggling neighbourhoods is a concern with equitable outcomes, as well as lack of influence on the mechanisms of policy-making."

Full Story: Did community development practitioners offer enough relief to neighborhoods affected by U.S. housing crisis?

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