Urban Studies 600 Capstone


Race and Poverty Deconcentration in Metropolitan Milwaukee Housing Plans


Jordan Villegas

Document Type

Capstone Project

Publication Date



This case study analyzes and compares regional housing plans to determine their recognition of and goals to address race and poverty concentration in metropolitan Milwaukee. Milwaukee’s greatest challenges are its hypersegregation and lack of opportunity, especially for the city’s African American community. Housing plans have the potential to deconcentrate race and poverty. Historic, explicit housing discrimination, its lingering effects, along with lackluster housing and transportation efforts makes housing segregation a regional issue. To effectively address this regional issue, a regional approach is necessary. How are metropolitan Milwaukee counties addressing race and poverty deconcentration through housing plans? While race and income segregation is easily observed in metropolitan Milwaukee and locally produced studies and suggestions of a regional housing plans to deconcentrate race and poverty go back decades, there is no study that compares current metropolitan housing plans on a county level. Housing elements of Comprehensive Plans from the metropolitan area are compared to determine levels of recognition of these issues and plans to address them. This study finds that Milwaukee both recognizes and sets actionable goals for a regional effort to deconcentrate race and poverty while the surrounding metropolitan counties show little to no recognition of the problems in their housing plans.