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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
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622905

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  1. Bjerk, David J., 2009. "Thieves, Thugs, and Neighborhood Poverty," IZA Discussion Papers 4470, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. 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.
  3. Jeffrey R. Kling & Jens Ludwig & Lawrence F. Katz, 2004. "Neighborhood Effects on Crime for Female and Male Youth: Evidence from a Randomized Housing Voucher Experiment," NBER Working Papers 10777, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. Baum-Snow, Nathaniel & Marion, Justin, 2009. "The effects of low income housing tax credit developments on neighborhoods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(5-6), pages 654-666, June.
  8. 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, 03.
  9. Jens Ludwig & Jeffrey R. Kling, 2007. "Is Crime Contagious?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50, pages 491-518.
  10. 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.
  11. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1995. "Crime and Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 5026, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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 107-24, January.
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