Crime, Public Housing Voucher Relocations Linked in Chicago


Crime was worse in neighborhoods where former Chicago Housing Authority residents used vouchers to move into private apartments, says a new study reported by the Chicago Sun-Times. From 2000 to 2008, violent crime was 21 percent higher in neighborhoods with high concentrations of voucher-holding former CHA residents — when compared to similar neighborhoods without them, the Washington-based Urban Institute found. Property crime also would have been lower without relocated residents in those neighborhoods, the study said.

Violent crime dropped about 26 percent across the city over the same time period, according to the Chicago Police Department. The Urban Institute attributed about 1 percent of the decrease to the 1999 plan to knock down Cabrini-Green and other notorious housing complexes. “We are estimating crime went down less in neighborhoods where the 'relocatees' moved,” said Susan Popkin, an author of the study. In the past, the housing authority said there was no evidence of a link between crime and the relocation of public housing residents

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