A Theoretical Understanding of Housing and Homeless Policy: Pennsylvania and New York as Examples of Punctuated Equilibriums and Advocacy Coalitions

Student Author(s)

Caitlin Schwark

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Virginia Beard

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Homelessness and housing insecurity have gained increasing attention since the 1980s in the United States. The federal level policy responses to homelessness – from Homeless Persons’ Survival Act and the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act and current reauthorizations under the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act of 2009 – potentially reflect stasis of ideologies and thus policy responses with a few key punctuated changes in the U.S. housing policy framework. This research employs the lens of Punctuated Equilibrium Theory (PET) and Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) as theoretical vantage points through which to understand federal level US homelessness policy creation and how it is reflected at the state level as seen in New York and Pennsylvania.

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