Date of Conferral
Public Policy and Administration
Dr. Gary Kelsey
Government social interventions hold considerable power over what choices and opportunities impoverished households have available to escape the oppressive socioeconomic trappings of poverty. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) is one such program. While there are many positive mission statements of social governance, this study focused on the regressive potential for oppressive institutional policies and practices. Theoretical frameworks guiding the study were Pierce’s 1979 model of oppression and Crenshaw’s 1989 intersectionality theory. The quantitative design’s hypothesis and research question focused on whether significant relationships exist between LIHTC project placement and highest concentrations of six commonly recognized socioeconomically oppressive conditions, each separately defined by U.S. Census demographics and American Housing Survey (AHS) structured-interview data. Mann-Whitney U tests showed non-significant differences between the two source dataset’s separate identification of socioeconomically oppressive conditions across Minnesota’s Twin City metropolitan area. Spearman’s rho and Cohen’s standard show similarly significant results from both pairings of AHS and Census data with the LIHTC project database. Results support conclusions that LIHTC project placement most often maintains external socioeconomic oppressors in the lives of program residents. Implications for positive social change hinge on the realization that social interventions may not be entirely anti-oppressive. In such cases, these conclusions should lead policymakers to change or replace programs so that interventions are not an accessory to the subjugation of service users to oppressive circumstances.