Crime was worse in neighborhoods where former Chicago Housing Authority residents used vouchers to move into private apartments, a new study found.
From 2000 to 2008, violent crime was 21 percent higher in neighborhoods with high concentrations of voucher-holding former CHA residents — when compared to similar neighborhoods without them, the Washington-based Urban Institute found. Property crime also would have been lower without relocated residents in those neighborhoods, the study said.
Violent crime dropped about 26 percent across the city over the same time period, according to the Chicago Police Department. The Urban Institute attributed about 1 percent of the decrease to CHA’s 1999 plan to knock down Cabrini-Green and other notorious housing complexes.
And evidently, someone had been doing so really hard drugs over at the CHA:
- In the past, CHA said there was no evidence of a link between crime and the relocation of public housing residents. “Until this study, really, there hasn’t been any data that addresses this question,” CHA spokeswoman Kellie O’Connell-Miller said.
Data? Why waste money on a study when you had testimonials like this from the residents of the hardest hit areas?
Some communities are not very happy to have them. Chatham, where generations of African-American teachers, lawyers and other professionals have called home, has seen an influx of former CHA residents with vouchers — about 120 of them.
“It has been disastrous for Chatham,” said Keith Tate, president of Chatham-Avalon Park Community Association.
“Never did we see individuals sitting on their cars drinking 40-ounce bottles of beer.”