Shifting Margins of Housing Status in Los Angeles

Jennifer Wolch, Wei Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Changes in housing circumstances over the 1980s were more dramatic in Los Angeles than nationwide. Reductions in housing autonomy were larger, as were diversity gaps in crowding, affordability gaps between owners and renters, and generation gaps in home ownership. Margins of the housing status distribution also changed more sharply. The precariously housed expanded at double the national rate and their housing problems worsened; the generously housed fell overall but the most affluent further improved their housing situation. Young people, female-headed households, and African-Americans were at higher risk of becoming precariously housed than their counterparts nationwide; the prospect of enjoying generous housing circumstances fell faster for Asians and established immigrants; and precarious housing rates were four times higher than the nation characterized inner city communities by 1990. Findings underscore regional variability in housing circumstances, and suggest growing needs for household assistance. Welfare reform, however, is likely to intensify housing problems and precipitate rising rates of homelessness in Los Angeles and other American cities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-330
Number of pages22
JournalSocial Science Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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