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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
The Impact of Assisted Housing Developments on Concentrated Poverty
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The common wisdom is that assisted housing developments have both a direct and an indirect impact on concentrated poverty. The indirect effects are based on the notion that the negative stereotypes associated with such developments spill over into the surrouding neighborhoods, causing people who can leave to do so or avoid the neighborhood and leaving behind only the more disadvantaged segments of society. An increase in concentrated povery in the neighborhood surrounding the development results. Prior studies, relying on aggregated data, are consistent with this thesis. The overwhelming majority of the statistical models in my study, however, found these relationships to be spurious. Once individual and macrolevel characteristics were controlled for, the relationships disappeared.

These findings imply that assist housing developments will not typically contribute to concentration of poverty in surrounding neighborhoods and suggest that much of the negative reaction for assisted housing developments is unwarranted. (Author)
Housing Policy Debate