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Low-income housing development and crime

  • Freedman, Matthew
  • Owens, Emily G.

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.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 70 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 115-131

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Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:70:y:2011:i:2:p:115-131
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  1. Edward E. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1995. "Crime and Social Interactions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1738, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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  7. Sinai, Todd & Waldfogel, Joel, 2005. "Do low-income housing subsidies increase the occupied housing stock?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2137-2164, December.
  8. 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.
  9. Jeffrey R. Kling & Jens Ludwig, 2006. "Is Crime Contagious?," Working Papers 889, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
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  11. Evans, William N. & Owens, Emily G., 2007. "COPS and crime," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1-2), pages 181-201, February.
  12. Pope, Jaren C., 2008. "Fear of crime and housing prices: Household reactions to sex offender registries," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 601-614, November.
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  14. Eriksen, Michael D. & Rosenthal, Stuart S., 2010. "Crowd out effects of place-based subsidized rental housing: New evidence from the LIHTC program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(11-12), pages 953-966, December.
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