Books & Chapters Inclusive Housing Livable Lives Thriving Communities

Segregation: A Threat to Americans’ Shared Goals

The introductory chapter situates current housing segregation within historical context. We begin with a comparison of the current moment to the circumstances preceding the signing of the 1968 Fair Housing Act. We then present a snapshot of demographic continuity and change since the 1960s, including a description of patterns of segregation along lines of race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. Next, we present our argument for why all residents of the United States should care about housing segregation: Segregation fundamentally impedes our shared economic prosperity, the fabric of our democracy, and the self-defining notion of equality of opportunity. We close by previewing the subsequent chapters of this volume, which pose frameworks for understanding the problem of segregation as well as a collection of proposed policy solutions.


Metzger, M. W.,  &  Webber, H. S. (2018). Segregation: A threat to Americans’ shared goals. In M. W. Metzger  &  H. S. Webber (Eds.), Facing segregation: Housing policy solutions for a stronger society (pp. 3–14). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.