Princeton University Library Catalog

East LA’s “Beverly Hills:” Neighborhood Realities and Developers’ Fantasies in Tierra De Luz, Boyle Heights

Gramajo, Marlin [Browse]
Senior thesis
Fernandez-Kelly, Patricia [Browse]
Princeton University. Department of Sociology [Browse]
Class year:
96 pages
Summary note:
What role do residents and developers have in the construction of community narratives? How do residents influence the places they inhabit? How can public-private housing projects inform the US housing problem? The purpose of my research is to understand how residents and private developers in the US think about state-subsidized housing, and in turn how this affects residents’ living conditions. I conduct a case study on Tierra De Luz, a housing project created by the US government and the for-profit McDade Smith Lopez (MSL). My methodological approach is qualitative---long interviews. To answer the question I analyze 40 resident interviews and 4 interviews with representatives of the for-profit company. I also look at the history of public housing and its racialization, and analyze extensively HOPE VI a housing project initiative by the US government. I found that, MSL representatives pushed the narrative of creating neighborhoods of opportunity for underserved populations. The residents of Tierra De Luz, mainly Latin American immigrants and US born Latinxs, are able to create their own space by utilizing their stories to actively create and add to the space they inhabit. The residents proved to be active agents in the creation of their community, which interrupts the narrative of marginal people solely standing as pawns in the shadow of macrostructures.