Molly Metzger

Senior Lecturer, Brown School

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Molly W. Metzger serves as chair for the Domestic Social and Economic Development concentration within the Master of Social Work program. She is also a faculty director at the Center for Social Development, and a faculty fellow at the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement.

Metzger’s research focuses on local, state and federal housing policies, examining how these policies often reproduce patterns of segregation. She strives to build and share research with a host of community partners, in order to move housing policy toward the goals of racial equity and economic justice.

Metzger’s major projects have included a community-based participatory research project on public housing preservation in Chicago, a national analysis of the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program, and a collaboration with the St. Louis Housing Authority, in which she and her team interviewed Section 8 renters about their housing preferences. She lives in the Tower Grove East neighborhood of south St. Louis and is an active board member at the Metro St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council.

In the media


It’s time to dismantle TIFs as tool of segregation

It’s time to dismantle TIFs as tool of segregation

We have gotten skilled in this region at dropping the term “racial equity” when politically expedient. It is time to back that language up with some action on tax incentives. The growing number of St. Louisans who care about racial equity can tell the difference between empty rhetoric and tangible results.
Incentive reform key to racial equity in America’s cities

Incentive reform key to racial equity in America’s cities

Tax increment financing (TIF) and other development incentives have become American cities’ primary means of encouraging local economic development. A new study by the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis finds that TIF incentives could promote racial equity by using greater transparency and more equitable targeting of the locations where tax incentives are used.


Facing Segregation

Facing Segregation

Housing Policy Solutions for a Stronger Society

Evidence for the negative effects of segregation and concentrated poverty in America’s cities now exists in abundance; poor and underrepresented communities in segregated urban housing markets suffer diminished outcomes in education, economic mobility, political participation, and physical and psychological health. Though many of the aggravating factors underlying this inequity have persisted or even grown worse […]