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Abstract

Housing segregation and integration are areas of great concern to all citizens. Public policy in the past favored segregation, and while formal policy now favors integration, relatively little is done to implement this policy.

Social science data in the area of residential integration have often been used to foster the status quo by misinterpretation or selective use. This paper reviews some of these data and suggests some principles for practitioners who wish to enhance the potential for integration.

A comprehensive view of a neighborhood should be taken rather than examining only racial factors. Families choose to enter or leave a neighborhood for a variety of reasons - relative number of whites or Blacks is only one factor in their choice. Other market forces enter the picture also. Seeing potential or existing residents as consumers dealing with the neighborhood as a "total package" is more helpful than dealing only with racial aspects.

It would appear that at least some consumers are looking for a sense of community in the neighborhood they choose; and, if enough residents are seeking this, a stronger sense of community can, in fact, be created.

Local organizations can enhance the possibilities of maintaining integration in a neighborhood. Definition of integrated neighborhoods and a review of the process within them are presented to aid understanding.

Overall policy needs to support housing integration are identified together with principles that would be useful for local community practitioners who are interested in fostering and maintaining integration.

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