Kleit, Rachel


Rachel Garshick Kleit, PhD, is Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs in the College of Engineering and Professor of City and Regional Planning (CRP) in the Knowlton School of Architecture, both at the Ohio State University (OSU). As of August 2021, she is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Planning Literature.  Dr. Kleit holds a Bachelor of Arts, with Highest Honors in History, cum laude, from Brandeis University (1987), an MA in Urban and Environmental Policy from Tufts University (1993), and a PhD in City and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1999).  From 2012-2018 she was the Section Head of the City and Regional Planning in the Knowlton School. Prior to coming to OSU, Dr. Kleit was on the faculty for 13 years at the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington.  


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Dr. Kleit's research focuses on affordable housing and social inequality.  She has interests in the social impacts of housing, housing mobility and instability, public housing authorities as developers, fair housing, and fair access to credit.

Specifically, she has written on the social network impacts of mixed-income housing, the influence of public housing redevelopment on the lives of original residents, the combination of social services and housing, and housing mobility and instability.  This work led to her most recent project on understanding the factors causing some public housing authorities to build or own units that are not part of the public assisted housing stock. She has also published research on the equity impacts of economic development and workforce policies on poverty and inequality, as well as on the changing relationship between housing and inequality since the US mortgage crisis. She has published widely in scholarly journals, including Housing Policy DebateJournal of the American Planning AssociationJournal of Regional ScienceJournal of Urban AffairsSocial Networks, and Urban Studies.  

In addition, Dr. Kleit has built on this research to co-found Move to PROSPER, a privately funded housing mobility pilot that uses life coaching, peer relationships, life skill development, and rental support to support single mothers with children in moving to safe neighborhoods with good schools for 3 years. Dr. Kleit currently serves as chair of the steering committee.

See Dr. Kleit talk about the program here.

You can read more about her here.

In July 2023, Dr. Kleit was recognized among Women of Influence in Columbus Business First.  

In October 2023, Dr. Kleit was recognized among 18 Difference Makers in Columbus Jewish News.