Neighborhoods of CHA Relocations Experienced Higher Crime Rates

Frank Main, Chicago Sun-Times, April 5, 2012

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.

“We are estimating crime went down less in neighborhoods where the ‘relocatees’ moved,” said Susan Popkin, an author of the study released Thursday.

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.

“It reiterates the importance to us to remain committed to responsible relocation strategies,” she said.

Popkin said CHA’s support for voucher holders has improved over the years and is a model for other cities planning to tear down public housing.


CHA has encouraged former public housing residents to move to “opportunity areas” with better schools and services. But many have chosen to stay in “vulnerable” areas on the city’s South and West sides, which are more familiar to them, the study found.

By the end of 2011, about 4,000 voucher-holding former CHA residents lived in the city and about 70 were in the suburbs, according to CHA.



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  • This was reported 4 years ago when a cop who married a Houseing person realized their maps for crime and section 8 where the same. They spent 10k words trying to dance around black=crime.

  • I’m shocked to find out that the same ghetto dwellers that made Cabrini-Green so dangerous are now making neighborhoods with a lot of apartments in south suburban Cook more dangerous.

    • Oil Can Harry

      Just as liberals and neocons are shocked when Third World immigrants bring crime to our shores.

      They thought that when an alien crosses our border he immediately converts into a law-abiding, Stars-and-Stripes waving patriot. 

  • WmarkW

    The latest variation on “a slum is not defined by architecture.” 
    Housing projects and decaying inner cities are designed about the same as college dorms, but the quality of life follows the quality of residents.

    You can take the thug out of the ‘hood, but …


    When they
    closed Cabrini Green housing project and others in Chicago, they dispersed ten
    thousand Africans downstate, into the mostly crime-free smaller cities, like
    Peoria, Champaign-Urbana, Bloomington-Normal, etc.   This caused an immediate rise in nasty
    crimes that has never gone down.


    So, Chicago
    got rid of their worst Africans by shipping them out to the farmlands.


    In Normal,
    IL we had a White Council- woman who was defending this, because, “We must all
    do our part to help the poor.”   A few
    months later, her husband was murdered by one of the transplants for the $5 he
    had in his wallet.  This left her with no
    husband going into old age.  I considered
    it just rewards for the continuing misery that she brought to our formerly nice

    • IstvanIN

      She may not have had a husband, but she had diversity, and that makes it all OK!

    • Would that it had been HER and NOT the poor husband. What’d he do,besides marry the dumb B—-!!!!!

  • The_Bobster

    In other words, the current orthodoxy that public housing projects for poor people should be low to the ground less reflects some design theory breakthrough than it does the covert realization that if you don’t stack poor people up high, then you can’t have as many around you. Most of them will have to go somewhere else, far away from you. So, of course, all sensitive, sophisticated Chicagoans now want a handful of handpicked poor people to enjoy lovely lowrise accommodations … because that means that the rest of them have to go live in Champagne-Urbana or Round Lake Beach or somewhere else far away from Chicago. 

    This is not to say that one need not be careful about the interaction of the types of buildings and the types of residents. For example, my experience at Rice U. was that it was a really bad idea to house 250 young men, especially young engineering majors, in the only high rise on campus.The urge to drop stuff from 14 floors up is a powerful one in the 19-year-old’s mind, especially when all your rivals live in much lower dormitories over which you, possessing the high ground, can easily exert military dominance. It turns out that you can build a giant slingshot out of rubber surgical tubing and shoot water balloons about 300 yards with fair accuracy. You just have four guys stand on the edge of the balcony holding the ends of the surgical tubing, then have have a couple of pullers draw the slingshot back across the big lobby, then call the elevator and pull the water balloon all the way to the back of the elevator, from whence you let it fly. 

    • FEMA/concentration camps with razor ribbon — and pitbulls — in the middle of nowhere. No bus service. No liquor stores either. Just a cemetery.

  • IstvanIN

    CHA has encouraged former public housing residents to move to “opportunity areas” with better schools and services. But many have chosen to stay in “vulnerable” areas on the city’s South and West sides, which are more familiar to them, the study found.

    This sums up how blacks think the world works.  You do not make opportunity you live in an area that has “it”.  Or you magically poses “it” because of your race.  Or perhaps you stole “it” from some African.  How did Chicago become a wealthy city?  It had “opportunity” that European-Americans stole from American Indians.  When blacks showed up the European-Americans either hid the “opportunity” or took it with them to the suburbs.  If blacks could just catch enough whites they could get their fair shair of “opportunity”.

    Same with schools.  Chicago, and many cities, had “good schools”.  When whites fled the cities they may have left the school buildings but they took the “goodness” with them, depriving black chilluns of “goodness”.  If the government could somehow force whites to give blacks some of that “goodness” we wouldn’t have all those problems.  They would get “good” edumakations and would succeed.  But mean whitey keeps moving the “good” just out of blacks reach.

    Blacks just always seem to get tuck with “vulnerable”, “crime ridden” and “poverty” areas through no fault of their own.  I suppose the simplist explanation is that whites are like the guy who hides behind a bush and leaves a dollar bill attached to a string out on the sidewalk.  Everytime a deserving black man stops to pick up the dollar the mean white guy tugs at the string, pulling the dollar bill just out of reach.

    I have to go and atone for my white privilege now.

  • A couple of guys did a study a couple of years back looking at the whole country, they  took a map of section 8 recipients and overlaid it on a map of crimes across the country and they corresponded region for region

  • tickyul

    Wow, and water is wet!!!

  • And when riffraff from New Orleans moved to Houston, guess what? Same thing. But according to the yellow, guttersnipe press, these are all isolated instances. Anomalies. After all, we’re all human, all equal, all basically Pelagian good, aren’t we?

    Section 8 housing must be resisted wherever it’s proposed. Weed and seed programs are surprisingly effective, particularly in small towns.

  • No. The study cost $50 million.

  • And who is the $PLC spy flagging my comments?

  • Kosh

    What is amazing to me is that this study was released instead of being suppressed. 

  • I just found a website that Americans can look forward to if we choose to stick with the failed plan of diversity:

    Weird and crime are the 2 windows to click on.

  • crystal evans

    The funny thing is that when these housing units were completed, the Housing Authority in the cities such as Atlanta and  Chicago. they did not want these people back. These were mixed housing communities. Some of the units were set aside for low income residents. In order to return to the newly redesigned housing units, they had to pass a criminal background and credit check. Many former residents complained that they were told that they could come back  but this was not the case. The applicants also had to have jobs in order to qualify.

  • JackKrak

    I consider stories like this to be another test that tells me all I need to know about someone – anyone who cannot see that relocating ignorant mouth-breathing criminal A to previously safe and stable community B results in crime wave C is beyond hope.

  • June39

    I’ve long wondered about the connection with poverty and crime. I lived throught the great depression. No one in our neighborhood turned to crime. We made it through ourselves with no government handouts. We somehow survived and we came out better people. Sorry that it took a world war to bring us out of that dark time, but I recall a happy childhood and never once saw the police on our street.

    • That’s because you’re White June!

  • voiceofstl

    Remember, 99% of the power structure is white.

    • NM156

      Not in Chicago. It’s less than half. Cook County has a large percentage of minorities in office and in administration as well.

  • ageofknowledge

    What if they just nullified the vouchers and replaced them with a free one way ticket to Liberia?