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Brian J. McCabe

Provost's Distinguished Associate Professor, Georgetown University

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About Brian

McCabe's research focuses on several urban policy issues, including low-income housing assistance, municipal campaign finance, and historic preservation in American cities. He has written extensively on housing and homeownership policies in his first book, No Place Like Home: Wealth, Community, and the Politics of Homeownership. McCabe is currently working on two large, multi-year projects. The first is an evaluation of Seattle's recent public campaign financing program, the Democracy Voucher program; the second is an analysis of the way local housing authorities distribute vouchers through the Housing Choice Voucher program, McCabe has spent the spring 2018 semester as a Visiting Scholar at the University of Washington.


In the News

McCabe has written several blog posts on affordable housing topics, including AMI, LIHTC, public housing, etc. by Brian J. McCabe to Greater Greater Washington.
Opinion: "The Area Median Income (AMI), explained," Brian J. McCabe, Greater Greater Washington, September 1, 2016.
Guest on NPR's Here & Now, May 23, 2016.


"Evictions: The Comparative Analysis Problem" (with Kyle Nelson, Eva Rosen, and Phillip Garboden). Housing Policy Debate (2021).

Draws on fieldwork and administrative records from Baltimore, Maryland; Dallas, Texas; Los Angeles, California; and Washington, DC— to identify how procedural and legal contexts differ by place, and the ways that these processes shape both eviction’s institutional life and its underlying social meanings. Identifies how the problem of eviction is no longer hidden in the housing literature, the explosion of eviction research has introduced a comparative analysis problem.

"Does Preservation Accelerate Neighborhood Change? Examining the Impact of Historic Preservation in New York City" (with Ingrid Gould Ellen). Journal of the American Planning Association 82, no. 2 (2016): 134-146.

Examines the impact of historic preservation on patterns of neighborhood change in New York City.

"No Place Like Home: Wealth, Community, and the Politics of Homeownership" (Oxford University Press, 2016).

Challenges long-standing notions about the civic benefits of homeownership. Argues that homeowners, in an effort to protect their property values, often engage in the communities in ways that reinforce patterns of economic and racial segregation.

"Are Homeowners Better Citizens? Homeownership and Community Participation in the United States" Social Forces 91, no. 3 (2013): 929-954.

Examines whether homeowners engage more actively in local politics than renters.

"High-Dollar Donors and Donor-Rich Neighborhoods: Representational Distortion in Financing a Municipal Election in Seattle" (with Jen A. Heerwig). Urban Affairs Review (2017).

Examines patterns of representational distortions in financing the 2013 municipal election in Seattle. Finds that campaigns are overwhelmingly funded by wealthy donors in a small subset of Seattle neighborhoods.