Margery Turner

Margery Austin Turner is is Senior Vice President for Program Planning and Management at the Urban Institute, where she leads efforts to frame and conduct a forward-looking agenda of policy research. A nationally recognized expert on urban policy and neighborhood issues, Ms. Turner has analyzed issues of residential location, racial and ethnic discrimination and its contribution to neighborhood segregation and inequality, and the role of housing policies in promoting residential mobility and location choice. Among her recent publications is Public Housing and the Legacy of Segregation (2009). Ms. Turner served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research at the Department of Housing and Urban Development from 1993 through 1996, focusing HUD's research agenda on the problems of racial discrimination, concentrated poverty, and economic opportunity in America's metropolitan areas. During her tenure, HUD's research office launched three major social science demonstration projects to test different strategies for helping families from distressed inner-city neighborhoods gain access to opportunities through employment and education.


Stuck in Place: A new book well worth reading

By Margery Turner  ::  July 8th, 2013

  If you care about the persistence of racial inequality in our country—or about the intersections between poverty and place—you should read Patrick Sharkey’s new book, Stuck in Place: Urban Neighborhoods and the End of Progress toward Racial Equality. I think this book merits a place on the shelf next to Denton and Massey’s American […]

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Poverty, race, and place: Map your metro

By Margery Turner and Graham MacDonald  ::  June 21st, 2013

Two new books—Alan Berube and Elizabeth Kneebone’s Confronting Suburban Poverty in America and Patrick Sharkey’s Stuck in Place—have gotten people talking about poverty, race, and place. Berube and Kneebone explore the recent growth in suburban poverty, while Sharkey sheds new light on the devastating, long-term effects of concentrated poverty for African Americans. Together, these books […]

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Catching housing discrimination in the act: The power of paired testing

By Margery Turner  ::  June 17th, 2013

Tuesday, Secretary Donovan announced the findings from HUD’s latest paired-testing study of discrimination against minority homeseekers. The Urban Institute conducted the study, the third national paired-testing study we’ve done for HUD. Although the most blatant forms of housing discrimination have declined since the first national paired-testing study in 1977, we found that minority homeseekers are […]

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Housing discrimination today and the persistence of residential segregation

By Margery Turner  ::  June 12th, 2013

  Yesterday, my blog post summarized findings from the latest paired-testing study of discrimination against minority homeseekers. In a nutshell: the most blatant forms of housing discrimination have declined since the first national paired-testing study in 1977, but minority homeseekers are still told about and shown fewer homes and apartments than equally qualified whites. For […]

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A glass half full? Discrimination against minority homeseekers

By Margery Turner  ::  June 11th, 2013

Yesterday, Secretary Donovan announced the findings from HUD’s latest paired-testing study of discrimination against minority homeseekers. An Urban Institute team conducted the study, the third national paired-testing study we’ve completed for HUD (see video). What did we find? When well-qualified minority homeseekers contact housing providers to inquire about recently advertised housing units, they generally are just as […]

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In the conversation about poverty: don't forget about deep and persistent poverty

By Laudan Aron and Margery Turner  ::  June 6th, 2013

    About 15 percent of Americans are living in poverty and many more experience one or more spells of poverty over the course of a year. Thanks to Alan Berube and Elizabeth Kneebone’s new book, Confronting Suburban Poverty in America, people are talking about this bleak reality and what to do about it. Over […]

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Suburban poverty: let's keep talking about it

By Margery Turner  ::  May 30th, 2013

Kudos to Alan Berube and Elizabeth Kneebone for igniting a new national conversation about poverty and place. Their book, Confronting Suburban Poverty in America, highlights the fact that more poor people now live in America’s suburbs than in central cities. This comes as a surprise to many and shatters old assumptions about who should care […]

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Lessons Learned from the Making Connections Initiative

By Margery Turner  ::  May 14th, 2013

    The Annie E. Casey Foundation has just released a very frank and thoughtful summary of lessons learned from its Making Connections Initiative, which focused funding and technical assistance on poor neighborhoods in 10 cities with the goal of improving outcomes for both people and places. One of the things I like best about […]

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Are housing vouchers good for my neighborhood?

By Margery Turner  ::  May 9th, 2013

    Last week, my blog post explored the role investor-buyers play—for good or ill—in recovering housing markets like my Prince George’s County neighborhood. What about housing vouchers, aka Section 8 housing? I’ve studied the performance of the federal Housing Choice Voucher program for years but was still a little surprised to see a sign […]

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