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Abstract

For the past decade or so, public housing policies have focused on moving residents from concentrated housing developments into newly designed mixed-income developments or, through housing choice vouchers, into neighborhoods with lower concentrations of poor. These newer programs are driven by research that suggests public housing residents will have greater opportunity for financial self-sufficiency and, although not openly discussed, will better appreciate the importance of work when they live among higher income working residents. Using panel data collected from public housing residents relocated following the closure of a public housing development, this study explores the relationship between individual characteristics, neighborhood characteristics, and work attitudes, aspirations, and actions. The findings reveal that public housing residents are no different from the non-poor in their attitudes about work, but that when residents move into high income neighborhoods, their dreams ofsatisfying careers become more solid

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