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Abstract

The participation of consumers, especially those from the deprived segments of society, in administrative decision-making, poses some perplexing dilemmas for public officials. Can the demands for participation be reconciled with the exigencies of administrative efficiency and effective service delivery. Our study focuses on consumer participation in public housing, an institution that today serves three million of the most deprived groups in society. The data used in the study came from a national sample of housing projects and was collected in 1978 by IWD's division of Policy Studies. It was used to test the hypothesis that tenant participation would explain part of the variance in our dependent variable, the quantity and quality of housing services and resources. The findings are consistent with existing research that postulates that by granting the poor increased participation in the decisions of agencies that allocate goods and services, their access to such services was increased. The findings also make clear that tenant organizations lack the power to alter the provision of local government neighborhood services outside the projects.

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