Margery Turner

Margery Austin Turner 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.


Marching from Neighborhoods of Distress to Neighborhoods of Opportunity

By Margery Turner  ::  August 8th, 2013

    “[Negro Americans] must march from the rat-infested, overcrowded ghettos to decent, wholesome, unrestricted, residential areas dispersed throughout our cities… They must march from the play areas and crowded and unsafe streets to the newly open areas in the parks and recreational centers.” - Whitney Young, 1963 Beginning with the Great Migration of blacks from […]

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It Takes a Portfolio of Tools to Make Evidence-Based Policy

By Margery Turner  ::  August 5th, 2013

Last week, the White House issued new guidance encouraging federal agencies to draw on evidence in their budget proposals. The new guidelines make it clear that requests backed by evidence and committed to innovation have a better chance of being fully funded. It almost goes without saying today that policymaking should be evidence based. Scarce […]

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The March on Washington and the work of the Urban Institute

By Margery Turner and Matthew Rogers  ::  August 1st, 2013

    August 28 marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, best remembered for Martin Luther King’s visionary speech anticipating the day when Americans “will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” But the March on Washington was not only a demonstration for civil […]

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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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