Vulnerable people, precarious housing, and regional resilience: An exploratory analysis

Rolf Pendall, Brett Theodos, Kaitlin Franks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article has two purposes. First, it explores the ideas of vulnerability, precariousness, and resilience as they apply to people, housing, neighborhoods, and metropolitan areas. People might be more vulnerable to shocks or strains, we propose, if they are members of racial/ethnic minorities, recent immigrants, non-high school graduates, are children or over 75 years old, disabled, recent veterans, living in poverty, or living in single-parent households. Housing may be more precarious, we propose, when it is rented, multi-family, manufactured, crowded, or subject to overpayment. The article goes on to document the relationships between potential personal or household vulnerability and potentially precarious housing conditions. Microdata from the 2005-2007 American Community Survey suggest that an important minority of people have multiple vulnerabilities; these vulnerabilities associate with residence in precarious housing. We suggest that policy be directed toward precarious situations most likely to afflict the most vulnerable populations, especially single-parent households and immigrants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-296
Number of pages26
JournalHousing Policy Debate
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Data
  • Demographics
  • Housing
  • Populations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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