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No Relationship Between Crime and Section 8 Vouchers, Reports Find

Two recent studies debunk the notion that Section 8 tenants bring crime with them. In fact, one study suggests that elevated levels of crime already are present when Section 8 tenants arrive in their new neighborhoods.

“Using neighborhood-level data on crime and voucher use in 10 cities, our study finds no evidence that an increase in households using vouchers results in increased crime in a neighborhood,” says the report, Investigating the Relationship Between Housing Voucher Use and Crime (2013) from the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy at the University of New York.

“Instead, we find that households with vouchers tend to settle into areas where crime is already high,” the authors write.

The study used multiple-regression analysis to compare crime rates with voucher movements in 10 major cities (Austin, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Indianapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Portland, Seattle, Washington D.C.). “Even in low-poverty neighborhoods, the research provides no evidence that the addition of households using vouchers has an effect upon crime,” the study says.

Read the full 5-page policy brief here:

Public Housing to Section 8: No Increase in Crime in Atlanta and Chicago

The Urban Institute also took a look last year at crime and vouchers in Atlanta and Chicago. They focused on the demolition of public housing in those cities over the past decade, and tried to determine whether the dispersal of public-housing tenants to outlying neighborhoods had a direct effect upon crime.

“The transformation efforts led to substantial decreases in crime in neighborhoods where the CGA and AHA demolished public housing communities,” according to Public Housing Transformation and Crime: Making the Case for Responsible Relocation (2012).

“This decline contributed to a small but significant net decrease in violent crime across all Chicago neighborhoods and a small decrease in violent crime and property crime in Atlanta neighborhoods,” the report says.

Crime decreased overall in Chicago and Atlanta during the transformation period, the study says. Again, relocated public-housing tenants tended to move to areas already experiencing elevated levels of crime.

“The tracts in both cities that experience the greatest impact on crime associated with relocated households are neighborhoods that were already vulnerable, with high rates of poverty and crime before the arrival of public housing relocation households,” the report says.

Read the entire 8-page report here:

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Renter’s Tip: Look For Units With High Walk Scores

Share on TumblrIt’s hard to overstate how important it is for your rental home to have a high Walk Score. A high Walk Score means public transportation, as well as local amenities, are readily available in the walkable local area. … Continue reading

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Welcome aboard, new GoSection8 local listings portals!

Share on TumblrWe’ve added 15 new partner portals since last summer! Our localized listing portals help housing authorities attract new landlords willing to accept housing choice vouchers. Each localized listing portal also contains a unique feature, the Affordability Search. Tenants … Continue reading

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HUD Awards Half-Million Dollars for Housing Mobility Effort

Share on TumblrThe Philadelphia (PA) Housing Authority has won a $500,000 community development grant to expand its housing mobility efforts. Partnering with the agency on the deal are Building One Pennsylvania and First Suburbs Project. According to information released by … Continue reading

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Low-income Folks To Suffer Most From Sequester

Share on TumblrCuts to discretionary government spending, called a “sequester,” are scheduled to take effect at midnight tonight. Low-income, elderly and disabled people who require government assistance are going to suffer. According to the White House: “The Department of Housing … Continue reading

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Make Sure You Check Your Transit Options Before Renting

Share on TumblrDid you know you can search for local transportation that’s close to each GoSection8 listing? You can use our Walk Score feature to find out where the bus stops are located, relative to the property, and whether any … Continue reading

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Meet The Newcomers: GoSection8 Has Bulked Up!

Share on grew its staff by nearly 50% last year, as the rental-listings business heated up and our housing authority customers got to know us better. We’ve added talent to our website support staff, beefed up our housing-authority team, … Continue reading

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Source of Income Discrimination: On Its Way Out?

Share on TumblrThe idea that Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) holders should not be discriminated against appears to be taking hold. In Oregon, the state Speaker of the House has introduced legislation ( that prohibits landlords from denying rentals specifically because … Continue reading

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2013 Fair Market Rents: Larger Units Experience Greater Increases

Share on TumblrFair Market Rents (FMRs) for 2013 are higher than 2012’s. How much higher depends upon the size of your unit, as well as your location. Four-bedroom units are getting an average 13% increase from last year, according to … Continue reading

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New Section 8 landlord? Check Your Lead-Paint Status

Share on TumblrIf you’re going to rent to Section 8 tenants, you’ll need to certify your unit’s lead-paint status. These days, there’s no getting around it. “If the HQS inspector sees cracking and peeling paint, the authority will make the … Continue reading

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