Public Housing Redevelopment: Impacts On Neighbourhood Quality And Residents’ Economic Stability And Social Capital
Free (open access)
527 - 536
A. M. Curley
Efforts to redevelop urban neighbourhoods suffering from severe concentrations of poor people and minorities have been underway in many US and European cities for over a decade. HOPE VI is one initiative that is redeveloping US public housing projects into new mixed-income communities. It is thought that the combination of relocation and redevelopment will lead to improvements in poor people’s lives. This paper contributes evidence from a longitudinal study that followed residents from one HOPE VI site over four years during which they were relocated out of (and sometimes back into) their original community. Analyses of multiple waves of surveys and in-depth interviews with residents, along with Census and administrative data, revealed the effects of relocation on neighbourhood quality, economic stability, and social capital. Overall, relocation to private market housing with portable vouchers and relocation back into the new mixed-income community led to dramatic improvements in neighbourhood quality for many residents but decreased economic stability for many. In contrast, those who relocated to other public housing neighbourhoods made no gains in neighbourhood quality, but they did not suffer in terms of economic stability. As for social capital, most residents had very little interaction with their new neighbours, and relocation to mixed neighbourhoods did not lead to the formation of better job networks. The findings suggest that redevelopment initiatives like HOPE VI can impart major changes in poor people’s lives, but these changes are not as uniform or predictive as policymakers might expect. Keywords: public housing, urban poverty, neighbourhood quality, urban redevelopment, HOPE VI, relocation, economic stability, social capital.
public housing, urban poverty, neighbourhood quality, urban redevelopment, HOPE VI, relocation, economic stability, social capital.