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Rachel Garshick Kleit, PhD

  • Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, City and Regional Planning Section

Rachel Kleit is Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs in the College of Engineering. Previously, she served as Head of the City and Regional Planning Section at the Knowlton School. Before coming to Ohio State, she was an associate professor in the Evans School of Public Affairs and an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Urban Design and Planning at the University of Washington. She received a Bachelor of Arts, with Highest Honors, cum laude, from Brandeis University, a Master of Arts in Urban and Environmental Policy from Tufts University, and a PhD in city and regional planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Kleit’s research interests include housing mobility and location choice, affordable housing policy, housing as a poverty alleviation strategy, equity impacts of economic development, urban and regional disparity.  She teaches courses on affordable housing policy, metropolitan policy, social equity, and advanced planning theory. Kleit is an occasional guest on WOSU’s On the Record, engaging in discussions around economic inequality in Columbus and the city's recent Smart City Challenge win.

Kleit is the recipient of the 1998 Young Scholar Award from the Urban Affairs Association and Sage Publications, and the 1999 Best Student Paper Award in Housing and Community Development from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning and the Fannie Mae Foundation. She is also a recipient of a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Urban Scholar Postdoctoral Fellowship to support research on the New Holly HOPE VI site in Seattle.


CRPLAN 4780H: Undergraduate Research Methods 
CRPLAN 5400: Planning for Housing 

Recent Work

"Why Do Housing Mobility Programs Fail in Moving Households to Better Neighborhoods?"

Housing instability, residential mobility, and neighborhood quality interact to reproduce low-quality neighborhood quality for low-income people when they move.  We explain three dimensions of housing mobility: (a) the reasons for a move, including a variety of push and pull factors; (b) mobility outcomes in terms of whether moves result in residing in a better or worse neighborhood than that of the prior residence; and, especially important for low-income households, (c) the degree to which the current move and past experiences of moving have been discretionary or forced.

In short, housing instability is a cumulative. This synthetic model of housing instability's impact on mobility outcomes suggests that the more instability a household has experienced, the less likely moves to good neighborhoods are to occur, or, if they do occur, to be long lasting. Policy implementation may underestimate the interaction between cumulative housing instability and residential mobility in housing mobility policies. Thus, these interactions have implications for mobility policies, pointing toward a path for future research that inform policies to move low-income households toward both greater housing stability and better neighborhood outcomes.

Selected Publications

Kleit, Rachel Garshick, Kang, Seungbeom, Scally, Corianne Payton. 2016. Why Do Housing Mobility Programs Fail in Moving Households to Better Neighborhoods? Housing Policy Debate 26(1): 188-209.


Kleit, Rachel Garshick, Page, Stephen B. 2015. The Changing Role of Public Housing Authorities in the Affordable Housing Delivery System. Housing Studies 30(4):621-644. 


Kleit, R.G. & Foster, T.B. (2014) (published on line prior to publication). The Changing Relationship between Housing and Inequality, 1980-2010. Housing Policy Debate.


Kleit, R. G., & Carnegie, N. B. (2011). Integrated or isolated? The impact of public housing redevelopment on social network homophily. Social Networks, 33(2), 152-165.


Kleit, R. G., & Galvez, M. (2011). The location choices of public housing residents displaced by redevelopment: market constraints, personal preferences, or social information? Journal of Urban Affairs, 33(4), 375-407.


Kleit, R. G., & Page, S. B. (2008). Public Housing Authorities Under Devolution. Journal of the American Planning Association, 74(1), 34-44.


Manzo, L. C., Kleit, R. G., & Couch, D. (2008). "Moving three times is like having your house on fire once": The experience of place and impending displacement among public housing residents. Urban Studies, 45(9), 1855-1878.