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Do Housing Choice Voucher Households Cause Crime?

Furman Center for Real Estate & Urban Policy, 2011

This article explores the potential correlation between Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers and neighborhood crime. The study was designed to test a 2011 Wall Street Journal assertion that Section 8 rental subsidies have "long helped ruin neighborhoods." The authors analyze crime data from 10 U.S. cities, including New York. They also analyze data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on the use of Housing Choice Vouchers in those cities. The authors conclude that there is "little evidence to support the hypothesis offered by [Wall Street Journal writers] Hanna Rosin and James Bovard that vouchers invite or create crime."

The report was written by Ingrid Gould Ellen, Michael C. Lens and Katherine O'Regan under the full title, "American Murder Mystery Revisited: Do Housing Choice Voucher Households Cause Crime?"

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Research category: Neighborhood Impact