Measuring neighborhood change due to housing allowances

by Carol E. Hillestad, James L. McDowell

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This report examines the neighborhood effects of housing allowance programs in Brown County, Wisconsin, and South Bend, Indiana. The report examines the physical, economic, demographic, and attitudinal indicators that describe pre-program and post-program neighborhood conditions, and evaluates the program's role in stimulating neighborhood change. The authors found that although the program effectively met its primary objective--helping needy households obtain adequate housing--it neither stimulated physical or economic change nor altered patterns of racial segregation in any substantial way. However, residents of neighborhoods in which the programs were particularly active did perceive housing and neighborhood improvements; those perceptions might have forestalled further deterioration and might bring about neighborhood improvment in the future.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

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