First Advisor

Gerard C.S. Mildner

Term of Graduation

Spring 2001

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Urban Studies


Urban Studies




Low-income housing -- United States, Tax credits -- United States, Real property and taxation -- United States, Housing policy -- United States



Physical Description

1 online resource (vi, 218 pages)


The goals of policy analysis include understanding the objectives of public policies, ascertaining how to structure policies to influence behaviors and fulfill stated policy objectives, and creating improved policy-making processes. Identifying underlying values that influence the behaviors and attitudes of policy makers and stakeholders is crucial to fully understanding public policies, and analysis procedures that seek to explore values should be operationalized within policy-making processes.

The intent of this study is to explore the potential for infusing value considerations in the policy assessment process by analyzing the federal low-income housing policy known as the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit [the Credit]. The Credit has evolved since its inception to become the primary means through which low-income rental housing is developed or preserved by the federal government, and the program enjoys popularity among a variety of bi-partisan actors. The Credit reflects several deep core values held within the American political culture, incorporates values that are widely accepted within the nation's political economy, and exemplifies policy learning—both during the initial creation of the program and its subsequent evolution.

Focusing on the constructs of political culture, political economy, and policy learning, the case study process was intended to facilitate the operationalization of the Advocacy Coalition Framework, a model of analysis created by Paul A. Sabatier and Hank C. Jenkins-Smith. The Credit case study was completed primarily by employing policy history techniques, the findings from which were corroborated by survey research. The study incorporated three phases: historical analysis, stakeholder survey analysis, and paradigm analysis.

The case narrative explores beliefs, values, and norms that influenced decision-making during the evolution of the Credit program, considers actors and attributes of the policy subsystem, and identifies advocacy coalitions. The policy analysis process completed is incorporated into a new policy-planning tool, the Coalition Maximization Model. The Coalition Maximization Model creates a means through which to apply the Advocacy Coalition Framework's theoretical constructs during the policy-making process, and the model's descriptive and prescriptive capacity should be further tested by applying it to other social policy concerns, such as child care, job training, or health care.


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