Moving Out and Going Down? A Review of Recent Evidence on Negative Spillover Effects of Housing Restructuring Programmes in the United States and the Netherlands
Comparing USA and Dutch experiences, this paper seeks to determine whether the demolition of public or social housing results in negative spillover effects, i.e. the shift of crime and other social problems to nearby neighbourhoods, as a result of residential relocation patterns. Notwithstanding fundamental contextual differences, existing research shows that many relocatees do recluster in low-income areas not much better than the public or social housing sites they moved from. Furthermore, USA and Dutch research highlights concern among public officials, politicians and community activists that this clustering is resulting in higher crime, increased neighbourhood dissatisfaction (among existing residents), more conflicts between residents, lower school test scores, etc. Few researchers have, however, been able to go beyond correlations and establish cause-effect relations between the in-movement of public/social housing relocatees and increased social problems. Attempts to identify a statistical threshold for clustering, beyond which negative effects occur, have not been successful. Nevertheless, existing evidence regarding negative spillover effects is compelling enough to warrant expanded and improved monitoring of both relocation and neighbourhood change patterns and to initiate programmes to address the concerns of residents in destination areas.
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Volume (Year): 11 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
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