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Movin' Out: Crime Displacement and HUD's HOPE VI Initiative

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2011
96 pages
This report presents the methodology and findings of an evaluation of the impact on crime of the closing, renovation, and subsequent re-opening of selected public housing developments under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD's) HOPE VI initiative.

The evaluation found a clear indication in all three of the study sites that crime declined at some point during re-development and that re-development affected crime in surrounding areas in some way, usually by decreasing it. The effects in the buffers (the areas searched for displacement or diffusion of benefits) varied, but for the most part a diffusion of benefits occurred from the target sites outward. No site was found to have a return to pre-intervention crime levels following the intervention period, either in the target site or in buffer areas. Declines in crime thus lasted at least as long as the study period, which was generally 1 to 2 years after the intervention period. The study also compared different methods for studying crime displacement. The point pattern analysis had limited use in the current context, but it would have been more useful if a specific crime type was studied rather than broad classes of crime (property or personal crime). The Weighted Displacement Quotient (WDQ) method of analysis was best suited for the study because it is intuitive, easy to calculate, and does not require a long series of data. It is appropriate for use in examining the possible effects of an intervention to determine whether more sophisticated analyses are required. The study concludes that housing authorities that undertake such large-scale public housing redevelopment efforts as are common under HOPE VI will likely achieve a diffusion of benefits to buffer areas. Extensive tables and figures and a 54-item bibliography

Date Published: August 1, 2011