The Suburban Racial Dilemma

Housing and Neighborhoods

W. Dennis Keating
Book Cover

PB: $32.95
EAN: 978-1-56639-148-1
Publication: Apr 94

HC: $80.50
EAN: 978-1-56639-147-4
Publication: Apr 94

Ebook: $32.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-0539-5

288 pages
6 x 9
20 tables, 3 figs.

An examination of the dilemmas of integrating America's suburbs

Read an excerpt from Chapter 1 (pdf).


Whether through affirmative housing policies or mandatory legislation, there have been numerous efforts to integrate America's neighborhoods, especially the historically white, affluent suburbs. Though much of suburbia has rejected such measures out of a fear of losing their communities to an influx of low-income, inner-city, and primarily African American residents, several metropolitan areas have been successful in creating greater racial diversity. W. Dennis Keating documents the desirability, feasibility, and legality of implementing housing diversity policies in the suburbs.

At the heart of this book is the troubling dilemma that the private housing market will inevitably resist race-conscious policies that can be effective only if embraced and supported by individual home buyers and renters, politicians, realtors, financial institutions, and insurers. In the Cleveland, Ohio, metropolitan area, pro-integrative policies have resulted in some examples of long-term racial diversity, particularly in Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights.

Keating compares Cleveland's suburbs to suburbs around the country that have both failed and succeeded in reducing housing discrimination. While there have been occasional fair housing victories over the last three decades, Keating's analysis points toward strategies for greater progress in the future.


"(Keating) chronicles efforts to break down suburban racial barriers in housing throughout the United States.... Keating's data also point up our urgent need to focus public policy on depopulated and increasingly impoverished and homogeneous urban centers. As he convincingly demonstrates, private and government attempts at suburban integration, as well as special urban integrationist projects, have achieved spotty results at best." —Publishers Weekly

"With case studies of local governments and nonprofits striving to lead the examined life and shape a robust, racially inclusive destiny, Keating illuminates the issues of race and residence. Anyone who is concerned about understanding these issues will benefit from reading his book."Shelterforce Online

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Maps

Part I: Racial Divisiveness and Policy Alternatives
1. Race, Housing, and Neighborhoods in the Metropolitan United States
2. The Open Housing Movement: Metropolitan Dispersion Strategies

Part II: Housing, Race, and Neighborhoods in Metropolitan Cleveland
3. Cleveland: A Racially Polarized City
4. Suburban Cleveland: Case Studies of Suburbs and Fair Housing Organizations
5. East Cleveland: Black Suburbanization, White Flight, and Rapid Resegregation
6. Shaker Heights: Integration Maintenance in a Once Exclusionary, Planned Suburb
7. Cleveland Heights: The Struggle for Long-term Stable Racial Diversity
8. Parma: Court-Ordered Racial Integration
9. Euclid: A Suburban City in the Path of White Flight
10. Six Cleveland Fair Housing Organizations

Part III: Fair Housing : Policies, Programs, Legality, and Prospects
11. Open Housing Policies and Programs
12. The Legal Status of Race-Conscious, Pro-Integrative Housing Policies and Programs
13. Toward Greater Racial Diversity in the Suburbs


About the Author(s)

Formerly a staff attorney at the National Housing Law Project, University of California at Berkeley, W. Dennis Keating is Professor of Law and Urban Planning and Associate Dean of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University. He is co-author of Housing and Community Development: Cases and Materials.


In the Series

  • Conflicts in Urban and Regional Development edited by John R. Logan and Todd Swanstrom

    Conflicts in Urban and Regional Development, edited by John R. Logan and Todd Swanstrom, includes books on urban policy and issues of city and regional planning, accounts of the political economy of individual cities, and books that compare policies across cities and countries.