NEIGHBORHOOD EFFECTS OF HOPE VI: EVIDENCE FROM BALTIMORE
In the early 1990s, the HOPE VI initiative emerged as a way to address the severe social and physical problems plaguing high-rise public housing. HOPE VI replaces the high-rises with low-rise, mixed income developments that include homeownership units. The New Urbanism and other theories underlying HOPE VI suggest that the new developments would be more resistant to the damaging pathologies that had become endemic to the high-rise communities. The purpose of this study was to explore whether the effects of five HOPE VI redevelopments in Baltimore extended to their immediate and surrounding neighborhoods--so called “spillover effects.” These sites are: (1) Pleasant View Gardens; (2) The Townes at the Terraces; (3) Heritage Crossing; (4) Broadway Overlook; and (5) Flag House Courts. Using a mixed-method design and both quantitative and qualitative data, we examined such potential spillover effects as the quality of the physical environment, economic activity, the social environment, crime rates, and image. For the two fully-constructed developments, we used a pre-post comparison, investigating these neighborhoods before, and after, the implementation of the HOPE VI program. For the other three neighborhoods that are in varying stages of completion, we examined both the effect that the transition period between demolition and rebuilding has had on the immediate and adjacent neighborhoods, and whether, in anticipation of HOPE VI funding, there have been any neighborhood effects motivated by the announcement of the funding. We also compared changes in HOPE VI neighborhoods to changes in the city of Baltimore as a whole, to account for external factors operating during the same time period as the HOPE VI program, such as changes in the economic climate and welfare reform.