Creating a place to call home: Administrators' and women homeowners' perspectives on an urban home-ownership program

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Sciences


Marjorie DeVault


urban communities, home ownership, Urban planning, Area planning & development, Geography

Subject Categories

Urban Studies and Planning


This qualitative feminist case study examines the goals and perspectives of administrators and female participants in an urban public/private housing partnership. Such programs embody a long-standing belief in the American Dream, connecting homeownership with the creation of good citizens. An historical overview of housing policy gives the reader a context for the issues addressed and raises questions about this connection suggesting that a "sense of place" may be as important as home ownership per se. The program studied includes scattered site, public housing, and a community land trust model. Interviews with administrators suggest that their goals typically focus on rebuilding the neighborhood in terms of housing stock. The interviews with seven women, who own homes through the program, reveal that they are concerned with both physical housing and also building a sense of community in their neighborhoods. From their perspectives the most successful model is the community land trust. The study concludes with a more detailed examination of the philosophy and practice of community land trusts, and suggests that this model might provide the basis for a feminist housing policy, built on attention to the participants', in this case the women's, needs and insights.


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