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Data Insights into Race, Class, Segregation and Housing Dr. Karyn Lacy #DDRE7

Join us Thursday, August 13 at 9 am PDT for the YouTube Premier of this episode of the Data Driven Real Estate Podcast and chat along with the PropertyRadar team:

Get your questions answered on the upcoming show by posting your questions in our community:

On a recent CalMatters Podcast, we were inspired by an interview with Dr. Karyn Lacy, a sociologist with the University of Michigan. She eloquently shared the history of the suburbs and how they evolved after WWII. It was SO good, we wanted more. She’s the ultimate example of data-driven pro that took two years of her life studying back middle-class families in the Washington DC area for her book, Blue-Chip Black. We learn how she approached her research, where she found the data, data that was and was not available, and the techniques she employed to write an incredibly interesting book on race, class, and the middle class. We learn about the federal government’s role in segregation as well as local examples of discrimination via developers, agents, lenders, city governments, and banks.

Pre-Show Research


  • BA in Urban Studies and Black Studies (1987), MA in African-American Studies (1991) and Sociology (1993) from Temple University, and the PhD in Sociology (2000) from Harvard University (dissertation topic: “The Suburbanization of Middle-Class Blacks”) - please share your path and passion in these areas of study.
  • What does being a data-driven pro mean in academia?
  • How did you approach the research? Did you start with a gut feeling? A curiosity? How did you even know where to start?
  • Blue-Chip BlackRace, Class, and Status in the New Black Middle Class - Can you share some of the insights?
  • Did the data exist? Where did you find it? What was your approach?
  • What kinds of information ended up being the most important?
  • What did you learn? What should we know?
  • What surprised you?
  • Who worked with you on this project? Did you data prove someone was wrong?
  • The suburbs have an interesting history. Can you share when and where “affordable” housing began and the story of the suburbs?
  • When did the federal government start playing a role in housing? How so?
  • Why does America suck at affordable housing?
  • Federal vs municipality role in housing today. What’s the same and what has changed?
  • Housing is a complex and nuanced issue. What don’t most people understand about the role housing plays in everything from health to wealth?
  • Does homeownership matter? What data should we be looking at to know if it is or is not?
  • We’ve seen location of choice change recently from suburbs to urban environments over the past decade from many demographics. Can we talk about how neighborhoods and choice has evolved?
  • What are some of the driving factors of why people choose to live where they do?
  • Is there talk in academia as to how Covid will shape location preference in the years ahead?
  • What data should we be looking at for the affordable housing movement?
  • Many states like California continue to have issues with affordable housing in areas you think it would be an easy sell. Yet bill like SB 50 can’t seem to pass which would put denser housing along transportation corridors.
  • Integration vs Gentrification? Can we define the terms?
  • Affordable housing in suburbs vs urban. Nuance and difference. From the 1950s Chicago and New York high rise housing to the recent accessory dwelling units…is there a right-sized approach to affordable housing?
  • What are the barriers to success on the affordable housing front?
  • Let’s talk crappy housing. HUDs mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. Is “quality” getting in the way of “quantity”? Is our definition of quality stopping us from creating what we need?
  • We have listeners from all over the US in various real estate industries, how do we know our local communities are on track? What data should we be looking at?
  • What’s next in your research?
  • If money and time were no object, what other research would you tackle?

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Hi PropertyRadar, I recently discovered the PropertyRadar community and podcasts and I like it! good job, I started listening last week to the podcasts and I’m almost up to date!
I have a nerdy question on this podcast, sorry if it is not very topic related, Sean mentioned he likes to read science fiction and being that Sean is mentioning and talking about some of his reads, Can you please let me know what is the second book Sean mentioned?, the first was Snowcrash by Neal Stephenson (reserved in libby already), but I cant understand the second one.
Maybe some other recommendations would be cool…
sorry for getting off topic!
PS. Several years ago I listened (I usually listen to books) to all the Foundation series books in suggested chronological order…

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Hi Juan Carlos. Always good to see you. I will make sure Sean checks this out. I had no idea you were a scifi fan.

Great to hear from a fellow sci fi fan. Foundation is definitely another good one. I’m reading reading Dan Simmons Hyperion series right now.

In the podcast, I mentioned the book Snow Crash and “burbclave”, which is the one I think that might have been hard to understand. The second wasn’t another book, but is instead a concept from Snow Crash. See: for a good overview of burbclaves. :slight_smile:

perfect, thanks!! :+1:

wow with the Burbclaves,

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