Affordable Housing, Community Development, Reports and Publications

Studies: Affordable Housing Programs Don’t Cause Crime Increases


U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development HOPE VI housing developments and housing choice vouchers don’t cause increases in crime, according to two recently released studies.

In the first study, "Memphis Murder Mystery Revisited: Do Housing Voucher Households Cause Crime?" New York University’s Furman Center tracked voucher holders in 10 U.S. cities and looked at their impact on neighborhood crime. The study found no association between the arrival of voucher holders into a neighborhood and the incidence of crime one year later. However, the study did find a pattern of voucher holders moving to neighborhoods with pre-existing elevated or rising crime levels, which they described as an area for future research.

In the second study, "Movin' Out: Crime Displacement and HUD’s HOPE VI Initiative," the Urban Institute looked at HOPE VI development projects in Washington, D.C. and Milwaukee and evaluated address-level police data during four stages of redevelopment. They found minimal evidence of crime displacement in adjacent neighborhoods to the HOPE VI developments. In Milwaukee, they found a reduction in the frequency of crime over time, though the positive impact took several years to be realized. Similar reductions occurred in Washington, D.C., with crime falling faster during the early stages of development.

To Learn More:
Murder Mystery Revisited: Do Housing Voucher Households Cause Crime?
Movin’ Out: Crime Displacement and HUD’s HOPE VI Initiative


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