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Cityscape: Volume 15 Number 3 | Article 1


The goal of Cityscape is to bring high-quality original research on housing and community development issues to scholars, government officials, and practitioners. Cityscape is open to all relevant disciplines, including architecture, consumer research, demography, economics, engineering, ethnography, finance, geography, law, planning, political science, public policy, regional science, sociology, statistics, and urban studies.

Cityscape is published three times a year by the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Rental Assistance and Crime

Volume 15, Number 3

Mark D. Shroder

Michelle P. Matuga

Public Housing Transformation and Crime: Are Relocatees More Likely To Be Offenders or Victims?

Christopher Hayes
Graham MacDonald
Susan Popkin
Leah Hendey
Allison Stolte

Urban Institute


Our previous research about the effect of public housing transformation on crime patterns in the neighborhoods receiving households that moved with vouchers from public housing was based on modeling the relationships among the measurable factors in all neighborhoods. Our model indicated an increase in crime rates is associated with relocated voucher holders under certain conditions, but this finding does not give us any information about the nature of the effect. Critics of relocation are concerned that offenders are moving into the neighborhoods using vouchers, but voucher holders may also be more likely to be victims in their new neighborhoods. Developing sound policy on the basis of our research clearly requires a better understanding of why crime and relocation appear to be connected. This project conducted an intensive case study of crime in a few census tracts in a single year to find out if, in those neighborhoods, voucher holders relocated from public housing have a specific connection to arrests or incident reports and, if so, whether we can draw any conclusions about how relocatees affect crime.

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