Susan Saegert, PhD
Professor, Environmental Program, Psychology Department, Graduate Center of City University of New York
New York, NY
Susan’s research concerns the relationships among real estate development, community development and social and human development. Her perspective on community development is reflected in the 2nd Edition of The Community Development Reader edited with James DeFilippis (Routledge 2012). Susan’s interest in alternative housing ownership forms grew out of studies of the distressed, landlord abandoned buildings that filled New York City from the 1970s into the 1990s. Using ethnographic and large sample survey research, she found that the limited equity cooperatives developed through the Alternative Management Program in New York provided not only good, crime free housing, but opportunities for learning, civic participation, and collective governance. Residents became leaders within their buildings and in their communities. Tenure was secured at a reasonable cost for very low income people. These findings contrast sharply with her studies of low income homeowners facing foreclosure. Now Susan studies and supports all forms of shared equity homeownership, especially collectively governed forms.