Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of race as a factor in the perpetuation of inadequate housing in the United States. The idea is not that race causes poor housing conditions, but rather, that housing units occupied by Black households are less likely to be repaired than those occupied by white households. Literature suggests that several institutionalized factors may place unit repair beyond the ability of the renting or owning household. Using data collected through the American Housing Survey (AHS), perpetuation of inadequate housing was measured from 1987 to 1991. The research investigated 2,139 units that were defined as inadequate in 1987 and evaluated their condition in 1991. Several independent variables, in addition to race, were included in a multivariate analysis as control variables to assess the impact of race in the perpetuation of inadequate housing. The disproportionate representation of Black households associated with poor housing quality supports the examination of race as a key independent variable. The research found support for the hypothesis that inadequate housing units in 1987 that were occupied by Black households in 1987 and also in 1991 were more likely to be inadequate in 1991 than those occupied by White households in both time periods. Inadequate units in 1987 occupied by Black households had proportionally more deficient conditions and more severe conditions than inadequate units occupied by White households. The level of inadequacy of a unit in 1987 also contributed to the continuance of inadequacy in 1991; units with higher levels of deficiencies were less likely to be repaired.

The research was supported in part by a HUD Dissertation Grant.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access