Message from PD&R Leadership:
Changing the Built Environment to Combat Violent Crime
In the Leadership Message, deputy assistant secretary for PD&R’s Office of Research, Evaluation, and Monitoring Calvin Johnson discusses the efforts of a department-wide HUD working group to assess current efforts to combat violence in and around HUD-assisted properties. A growing body of research on crime prevention through environmental design underscores a unique role for HUD in combining people-based approaches, such as community violence interventions, with place-based efforts centered on improvements to the physical environment. Specifically, improving — or “greening” — vacant lots has been associated with reduced perceptions of crime among nearby residents while improving mental health measures.
Mixed Income Artist Community Serves Downtown Baltimore
Opened in 2021, Four Ten Lofts in downtown Baltimore offers a mix of permanent supportive housing, affordable artist housing, and market-rate apartments totaling 76 units. The two-building complex has a courtyard, lounge, and several studios designed for the diversity of artist residents, including a sound room and spray paint booth. A nonprofit organization also provides case managers and social workers for residents transitioning out of homelessness. In addition to providing housing for artists and other Marylanders, the development brings activity to one of the city’s state-designated arts and entertainment districts.
Uptake and Impact of Emergency Rental Assistance Among HUD-Assisted Households
The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program is a first-of-its-kind program that has provided a historic amount of assistance that enabled vulnerable households to make rent and remain housed. State, local, territory, and Tribal ERA grantees have expended over $33 billion and made over 7 million unique household payments as of the end of July 2022; grantees have spent over $500 million in ERA funds on housing stability services, such as eviction diversion and right-to-counsel programs. During and after ERA program rollout, self-reported housing insecurity decreased for HUD-assisted households and HUD-assisted tenants self-reported higher rates of ERA application and receipt when compared to low-income renters generally.
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