Spotlights

Professor Len Albright

Read Professor Albright’s newly published book.

Climbing Mount Laurel:
The Struggle for Affordable Housing and Social Mobility in an American Suburb

Douglas S. Massey, Len Albright, Rebecca Casciano, Elizabeth Derickson & David N. Kinsey

Climbing Mount Laurel, co-authored by Prof. Albright with colleagues at Princeton University, was recently published by Princeton University Press (July 2013). The book undertakes a systematic evaluation of the Ethel Lawrence Homes–a subsidized low-income housing development produced as a result of the Mount Laurel decision in New Jersey. Under the New Jersey State Constitution, municipalities are required to use their zoning authority to create realistic opportunities for a fair share of affordable housing for low- and moderate-income households. Mount Laurel was the town at the center of the court decisions. As a result, Mount Laurel has become synonymous with the debate over affordable housing policy designed to create economically integrated communities. What was the impact of the Mount Laurel decision on those most affected by it? What does the case tell us about economic inequality?

The book assess the consequences for the surrounding neighborhoods and their inhabitants, the township of Mount Laurel, and the residents of the Ethel Lawrence Homes. The analysis reveals neighborhood effects–the notion that neighborhoods can shape the life trajectories of their inhabitants. The book dialogues with previous research on the Federal Moving to Opportunity Program, Gautreaux Project, and other housing based affirmative integration policies. For more information on the book, see here: http://press.princeton.edu/titles/10024.html.