The segregation of these people is a concern, as residents in low-income concentrations have higher levels of unemployment, their job networks are limited, and their neighbourhoods are plagued by poor healthcare and schools.4 Mixed communities are created in a variety of ways, through the evolution of older housing areas, as a by-production of mainstream housing development, by the overall masterplanning of new areas, and by intentionally altering existing areas whose origins were social renting'.5
When discussing mixed communities and their efficacy in the improvement of living standards of low-income families, key issues that social scientists review are related to community satisfaction. Mixed neighbourhoods ideally will be agreeable to both subsidised low-income families and the higher income families that pay full market price. It has been shown throughout the literature that despite the labelling of 'mixed community', the prime factor in desirability of housing is the housing unit itself, including design, spaciousness, cleanliness, and location.
Low-income households are particularly benefited in relocation to mixed housing communities because of the improved cleanliness, safety, and general wellbeing of the neighbourhood. Oftentimes, residential areas of low-income concentrations do not have fully functional amenities, are neglected in service standards and resource allocation.67 In fact, in a study using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NAHNES), Kumanyika and Grier (2006) linked childhood obesity prevalence to low-income housing.8 There is an absence of higher-end amenities and services, like hospitals and clinics. Lack of recreational opportunities for both children and adults, are characteristic of low-income areas.
Contrary to desired outcomes of mixed communities, little evidence has shown that low-income persons in better-off areas climb the social ladder in terms of job opportunities or increased salary.9 However, due to the disconnect from their previous residential areas, it can be said that poverty, unemployment, and drop-outs, are less likely to be perpetuated.1011
In a 2005 study conducted by the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C. on England communities, researchers found a favourable ambience between neighbours of different income brackets in mixed communities. One tenant said, "I personally would not think that anybody was very different whether they are renting their house off the council or buying, and I really don't know why there is this great big emphasis."12 But before it be concluded that mixed communities interact so well as to improve social networks, it should be clarified that in two separate research studies,13 mixed communities interacted well and were civil, but "mostly co-existed as neighbours rather than friends"14. That is to say, they were polite to each other, but did not mix in the same social circles.
A certain difficulty for mixed communities and housing