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Abstract

How is the public-private organizational field of affordable housing finance impacting the organizations producing housing in urban neighborhoods? Drawing on interview data from 20 stakeholders involved in the Chicago affordable housing development process, this article contributes to literatures of housing policy and urban sociology. First, mapping out the process of affordable housing development, I show how organizations do not fit into dominant theoretical models present in urban planning, sociological, and housing policy literature. Specifically, I show how these models adopt units of analysis that miss crucial field effects of organizations on one another. Second, I emphasize that treating organizations as productive of social relations is essential to understanding the outcomes of affordable housing projects. By this I mean how organizations are beholden to one another in different ways, depending on legal structure, size, and financing pattern. A heterogeneity of organizational relations helps account for project siting patterns of affordable housing as well as the composition of the organizational field.

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