Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Mark Gordon


Public housing policy continues to exacerbate the concentration of poverty for low

income household adults (LIHA), preventing their mobility to achieve or sustain

affordable housing in low-poverty affluent neighborhoods. Successful design and

implementation of public housing policy for LIHA has been elusive for policymakers

seeking to address socioeconomic self-sufficiency problems in the United States.

Wilson’s spatial mismatch theory on social transformation of the inner city was the

theoretical framework for this study. This qualitative study utilized policy analysis and

key interviews to explore the importance of public policy design and implementation in

how the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) program influenced expected outcome for LIHA

achieving socioeconomic self-sufficiency. Using a snowball sampling strategy, 4 in-depth

semistructured interviews were conducted. The research questions addressed what

policymakers learned from Mt. Laurel and Gautreaux programs outcomes. In addition to

interviews, the study used questions that explored public housing policy affecting LIHA

mobility choices. Data were managed by NVivo 12 Pro. The study found that additional

research is needed on LIHA characteristic make-up and socioeconomic self-sufficiency to

sustain affordable housing in affluent low-poverty neighborhoods. Evidence suggested

MTO goals were not met. The study analysis suggests policymakers’ focus should be on

LIHA characteristic make-up, employment, income, and adult education that leads to job

skill training, which can lead to positive outcomes for LIHA and their surrounding