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Low-income housing development and crime

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  • Freedman, Matthew
  • Owens, Emily G.

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of rental housing development subsidized by the federal government's Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program on local crime. Under the LIHTC program, certain high-poverty census tracts receive Qualified Census Tract (QCT) status, which affects the size of the tax credits developers receive for building low-income housing. Changes in federal rules determining QCT status generate quasi-experimental variation in the location of LIHTC projects. Exploiting this variation, we find that low-income housing development in the poorest neighborhoods brings with it significant reductions in violent crime that are measurable at the county level. There are no detectable effects on property crime.

Suggested Citation

  • Freedman, Matthew & Owens, Emily G., 2011. "Low-income housing development and crime," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2-3), pages 115-131, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:70:y:2011:i:2-3:p:115-131
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & José A. Scheinkman, 1996. "Crime and Social Interactions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 507-548.
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    5. Gregory S. Burge, 2011. "Do Tenants Capture the Benefits from the Low‐Income Housing Tax Credit Program?," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 39(1), pages 71-96, March.
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    11. Murray, Michael P, 1999. "Subsidized and Unsubsidized Housing Stocks 1935 to 1987: Crowding Out and Cointegration," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 107-124, January.
    12. Evans, William N. & Owens, Emily G., 2007. "COPS and crime," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1-2), pages 181-201, February.
    13. Bjerk, David, 2010. "Thieves, thugs, and neighborhood poverty," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 231-246, November.
    14. Eriksen, Michael D., 2009. "The market price of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 141-149, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Philippe, Arnaud, 2017. "Incarcerate one to calm the others? Spillover effects of incarceration among criminal groups: Job Market Paper," TSE Working Papers 17-840, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    2. Matthew Freedman, 2013. "Targeted Business Incentives and Local Labor Markets," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(2), pages 311-344.
    3. Philippe, Arnaud, 2017. "Incarcerate one to calm the others? Spillover effects of incarceration among criminal groups: Job Maket Paper," IAST Working Papers 17-70, Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse (IAST).
    4. Lang, Bree J., 2015. "Input distortions in the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit: Evidence from building size," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 119-128.
    5. Matthew Klesta & Frank Manzo & Francisca Richter & Mark S. Sniderman, 2013. "Low-income-rental-housing programs in the Fourth District," Working Paper 1311, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    6. Clifford, Robert & Jackson, Osborne, 2015. "Can subsidized housing help address homelessness in New England?," New England Public Policy Center Research Report 15-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    7. repec:eee:regeco:v:64:y:2017:i:c:p:68-80 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Spader, Jonathan & Schuetz, Jenny & Cortes, Alvaro, 2016. "Fewer vacants, fewer crimes? Impacts of neighborhood revitalization policies on crime," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 73-84.
    9. Freedman, Matthew, 2015. "Place-based programs and the geographic dispersion of employment," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 1-19.
    10. Freedman, Matthew, 2012. "Teaching new markets old tricks: The effects of subsidized investment on low-income neighborhoods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(11), pages 1000-1014.
    11. Jackson, Osborne & Kawano, Laura, 2015. "Do increases in subsidized housing reduce the incidence of homelessness?: evidence from the low-income housing tax credit," Working Papers 15-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    12. Olsen, Edgar O. & Zabel, Jeffrey E., 2015. "US Housing Policy," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Elsevier.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Low-income housing Crime Gentrification Tax credits;

    JEL classification:

    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets
    • R51 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Finance in Urban and Rural Economies

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