Monday, October 24, 2011

Evaluating HOPE VI

The local newspaper in Pittsburgh ran an article this weekend evaluating the city's experience with the HOPE VI housing program:

"Mixed income" has been the mantra in public housing for nearly two decades, since the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development started paying local housing authorities to get rid of dense, run-down, crime-plagued "projects." In most cases, far more homes were torn down than built. That means thousands of poor families once boarded by the authority have had to find other arrangements, often with the aid of Section 8 rental vouchers. In the Hill District, for instance, Allequippa Terrace went from 1,749 apartments occupied entirely by poor families paying subsidized rents to 718 homes at rechristened Oak Hill, including 243 households paying market rents.

One thing that always shocks me is how little data exists on what happens to the public housing residents that get displaced under programs like HOPE VI.  Where do they go?  Do their lives get better? Or worse? 

Steve Clowney

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