Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Housing: Just One Piece of the Puzzle

Stressful housing environments have the potential to negatively impact resident’s health long after they have moved to better housing. HOPE VI was developed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to revitalize public housing communities and improve resident’s quality of life. The Chicago Housing Authority, through a grant provided by HOPE VI in 1999, relocated residents from distressed communities in an attempt to provide improved housing in safer neighborhoods. In August, 2010, the Urban Institute released a series of research briefs exploring the outcomes of families affected by this relocation including, “The CHA's Plan for Transformation: How Have Resident's Fared?.”

By tracking 198 sample families, the study provides insight into the results of the Chicago Housing Authority’s efforts to transform dilapidated public housing into healthy communities beginning in October, 1999. The relocation has been viewed as successful as high rises were replaced by mixed-income communities. Today, the majority of the families that relocated in 1999 live in improved conditions. Nevertheless, poor health and low-employment rates continue to plague these residents. Although low-income residents live in somewhat safer neighborhoods, they do not have sufficient access to economic and educational resources. In order to foster economic success, the Chicago Housing Authority has created programs to connect residents to employment and educational opportunities.

For more information on Family Economic Success.

For a previous blog on HOPE VI revitalization programs.

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