Gautreaux mothers and their children: An update

Stefanie Deluca, Greg J. Duncan, Micere Keels, Ruby M. Mendenhall

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The Gautreaux program was one of the first major residential mobility programs in the United States, providing low-income black families from public housing with opportunities to relocate to more affluent white neighborhoods in the Chicago suburbs and in other city neighborhoods. This paper reviews the most recent research on the Gautreaux families, which uses long-term administrative data to examine the effects of placement neighborhoods on the economic and social outcomes of mothers and children. We find that both Gautreaux mothers and their now-grown children were remarkably successful at maintaining the affluence and safety of their placement neighborhoods. As to the long-run economic independence of the mothers themselves, however, the new research fails to confirm the suburban advantages found in past Gautreaux research, although it does show that these outcomes were worst in the most racially segregated placement neighborhoods. With regard to the criminal records of Gautreaux children, it is found that suburban placement helped boys but not girls. Based on these results, we review possible new directions for successful mobility programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-25
Number of pages19
JournalHousing Policy Debate
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010


  • Families
  • Mobility programs
  • Neighborhoods
  • Policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Urban Studies
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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