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With the largest per capita public housing stock in the United States, Pittsburgh has been wrestling with policy reforms throughout the 1990s. The federal Hope VI program was instituted by the Clinton administration in an effort to revamp the nation’s public housing system. Though the program’s intentions are admirable, the results in Pittsburgh have been injurious. Long-term residents have lost the only place they knew as home, families stay in shelters until appropriate units become available, and Hope VI diverts funds from restoration projects to meet the Housing Authority’s political agenda. Given this volatile situation in the “Iron City”, I have investigated the ways in which gender and “race” affect the local public housing landscape. This thesis explores challenges for women in Pittsburgh’s public housing communities such as residential segregation, economic restructuring, and welfare-to-work programs. My findings reveal that certain demographic groups clearly have not benefited from the so-called booming economy of the late 1990s. This conclusion suggests policy recommendations — such as enactment of living wage legislation -- with which these women may pull themselves out of poverty.