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Low-income families in their new neighborhoods: The short-term effects of moving from Chicago s public housing

Emily Rosenbaum Department of Sociology and Anthropology Fordham University Dealy Hall, Room 407 Bronx, NY 10458 phone: (718) 817-3858 fax: (718) 817-3846 email: [email protected] Laura Harris Metropolitan Housing and Communities The Urban Institute 2100 M Street, NW Washington, DC 20037 phone: (202) 261-5332 fax: (202) 872-9322 email: [email protected]

March 13, 2000 Please do not cite without permission from the authors.

Low-income families in their new neighborhoods: The short-term effects of moving from Chicago s public housing

ABSTRACT This paper investigates short-term changes in neighborhood conditions for families moving from Chicago public housing as part of the Moving to Opportunity demonstration program (MTO). MTO features a controlled experimental design, and thus may be better suited than survey-based studies, in the long run, to elucidate the effects of neighborhood conditions on family and children s well-being. This paper presents evidence of the dramatic improvements in community characteristics achieved by families moving from public housing to private market apartments, and suggests some consideration for these community characteristics as mediating factors that precede measurable longterm gains in education and employment. We focus on five key aspects of family well-being, including neighborhood conditions, feelings of safety, experiences with crime, opportunities and risks for teenagers, and access to services. Not surprisingly, regardless of the neighborhood location of the families after they move from public housing, all families experience significant improvements on all measures. Further, those families that were required to move to low-poverty neighborhoods experienced the greatest improvements. The only important drawback to these low-poverty moves appears to be the relative isolation of the destination, particularly as far as access to public transportation is concerned; however, more effective housing counseling programs might help families choose neighborhoods with better access to transportation and closer to other services like doctors or employers.

Low-income families in their new neighborhoods: The short-term effects of moving from Chicago s public housing Introduction In recent years, the attention of social scientists has increasingly focused on the role that neighborhoods play in influencing family functioning and child development. The re-emergence of neighborhoods as important contexts in which to evaluate family well-being has been influenced by the growing recognition that the geography of opportunity (Galster and Killen 1995) varies greatly, with extremely poor and highly segregated neighborhoods offering the fewest and least beneficial resources for families and children to draw upon (Wilson 1987, 1996). Families and children in highly disadvantaged neighborhoods often must contend with extremely high levels of crime and violence, and a deteriorating physical and economic infrastructure. These conditions can directly affect the nature of family functioning and management (Furstenberg et al. 1999) as well as indirectly by diminishing the area s level of social organization (Elliott et al. 1996). The challenges fami lies face in such environments are most vividly illustrated in journalistic and academic accounts of everyday life in disadvantaged neighborhoods in general (Furstenberg et al. 1999), and in some of Chicago s most notorious public housing developments in particular (Popkin et al. forthcoming; Jones and Newman 1997; Kotlowitz 1991). Residence in disadvantaged neighborhoods has been shown empirically to increase the chance of high school drop out, teenage childbearing, and adolescent delinquency, among other negative outcomes (Brooks-Gunn, Duncan, and Aber 1997; Ellen and Turner 1998). The examination of neighborhood context is even more significant in light of the fact that the risk of living in extremely disadvantaged neighborhoods is not neutral with respect to race and poverty. Poor minority families are far more likely to live in such areas than are their white counterparts, largely because of the structural factors that limit minority households housing choices to less desirable neighborhoods (Rosenbaum et al. 1999; Turner 1993; Yinger 1995) and that perpetuate high levels of racial segregation and poverty concentration (Massey and Denton 1993). Because living in such extremely disadvantaged environments compounds the risks to social and economic well-being already faced by poor minority families, it is essential to identify policies that 1

provide such families with healthier environments. Tenant-based housing assistance (i.e., housing vouchers, formerly known as Section 8 certificates) can broaden housing options for the poor, and thus help low-income families relocate from disadvantaged inner-city neighborhoods to other neighborhoods that offer greater opportunities for social and economic mobility (Turner 1998). Recent research shows that low-income households assisted with vouchers are less likely to live in highly segregated and very poor neighborhoods, compared to low-income households residing in project-based public housing (Newman and Schnare 1997). The potential for housing vouchers to help low-income families improve their neighborhood conditions is enhanced when assisted families relocate to the suburbs versus the central city, and when they are provided with additional services such as housing counseling (Turner 1998). Housing counseling is a particularly important feature of many housing mobility programs, since it can help assisted families avoid housing-market barriers by identifying in advance landlords willing to accept housing vouchers. Thus, housing counseling can help families avoid moving to new neighborhoods which are substantially similar to those they left behind. By enabling poor families to move to better neighborhoods, tenant-based assistance thus has the potential to help poor families and children achieve social and economic mobility. Evidence for this potential lies in some of the long-run differences in the educational outcomes reported for children participating in the Gautreaux program in Chicago. Evaluations of Gautreaux demonstrate that children who moved to the suburbs were more likely than their city-mover counterparts to have been enrolled in college tracks while in high school (40% versus 23%), less likely to have dropped out of high school (5% versus 20%), and more likely to have enrolled in college (54% versus 21%) (Rosenbaum 1991, 1995). However, a number of methodological problems inherent to these evaluations -- including the absence of a true experimental design and selectivity in the long-term follow-up samples -- have raised the question of whether the Gautreaux findings are generalizable to all poor families, or to all poor families in public housing. Given that housing vouchers constitute the main thrust of low-income housing policy, and are expected to help relocate the residents of public


housing projects being demolished across the nation (through, for example, the HOPE VI program), the need for more information on the potential for housing voucher and mobility programs to improve the lives of poor families is now more critical than ever. Information about participants in the Moving to Opportunity Demonstration Program (MTO) can help answer this need. The MTO program is taking place in five cities - Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Baltimore, and Chicago. Beginning in 1994, the program offered housing vouchers to lowincome families living in publicly-assisted housing in high-poverty neighborhoods (i.e., tracts where at least 40% of the population is in poverty), which enabled them to rent private-market housing in other neighborhoods. The program features a controlled experimental design, and thus is better suited than Gautreaux or survey-based studies to evaluate how neighborhood conditions influence the life chances of children and youth (Duncan and Raudenbusch 1999; Turner 1998). Participating families were randomly assigned to one of three groups: the experimental (or, MTO ) group who received housing assistance and mobility counseling and were required to move to low-poverty neighborhoods (i.e., tracts with at most a 10% poverty rate); the comparison (or, Section 8") group who received housing assistance and could move anywhere; and the control group who received no housing assistance at all (but may have moved on their own). The goal of the program is to address two basic issues concerning the potential for assisted mobility to improve the lives of poor families (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development 1996). The first concerns short-term outcomes of the program, such as the impact of housing counseling on families locational choices, housing and neighborhood conditions. The second issue concerns more long-run effects, and focuses on the ultimate impacts of neighborhood conditions on the social and economic well-being of participating families and children, including education, employment, and health outcomes (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development 1996). In this paper, we describe the short-term effects of moving for families participating in the MTO program in Chicago. With an eye on the overall goals of the program, we focus on key aspects of family well-being, including neighborhood conditions, feelings of safety, experiences with crim e,


opportunities and risks for teenagers, and access to services. We address two very broad questions. First, to what degree does participation in MTO change families experiences of these aspects of wellbeing? And second, how do the families experiences differ depending on the program group assignment? While by design we are limited to examining the short-term effects of moving, our analysis addresses the important issues of MTO s effectiveness in improving the well-being of all participating families, and the specific impact of the experimental requirement of moving to lowpoverty neighborhoods.

SOURCES OF DATA Our analysis relies on three sources of data. The first is the Urban Institute s Underclass Database, which provides us with 1990 census tract indicators for the neighborhoods from which the participating families moved (the origin neighborhoods), as well as the neighborhoods to which they moved (the destination neighborhoods). The second source of data is the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development s (HUD s) baseline survey completed by participating families prior to moving.1 The baseline survey collected basic sociodemographic information as well as attitudinal measures, measures of housing and neighborhood conditions, reasons for moving, and a host of other types of information. The respondent to the baseline survey is the householder, namely, the person applying for the program. The third source of data is our own post-move telephone survey. A series of administrative problems at the Chicago site significantly delayed our receipt of the necessary contact information for mover families (i.e., telephone numbers and addresses). The delays and subsequent problems we encountered in contacting families 2 resulted in our having to adjust our research plan early on from a

Among the 120 families in our sample, 63.4% completed their baseline surveys in 1995, while 18.3% completed the survey in each of the following two years. The most common problems we encountered when trying to reach mover families were disconnected telephone numbers and the sheer absence of telephone numbers. Our relatively low response rate reflects more the problems involved in trying to complete a telephone survey with a very poor and highly mobile population, rather than the refusal of families to speak with us. In fact, once 4



two-wave telephone survey to a single, yet comprehensive, telephone survey. While the goal for the number of households to lease-up in Chicago was 285 (143 in the experimental, or MTO, group and 142 in the comparison, or Section 8, group), we ultimately received contact information for 234 mover families, of whom we contacted and surveyed 120 (or 51.3%). Of these 120 families, 67 are in the MTO group, and the remaining 53 in the Section 8 group. Our analyses, then, are based on this sample of 120. An important issue to consider, given the moderate response rate, is the degree to which the respondents to our survey may differ from all MTO mover families. To address this issue we performed simple comparisons of interviewed families with non-interviewed families, specific to program group, using baseline data. The variables chosen consisted of attitudinal questions, since the racial and socioeconomic homogeneity of the program s families in Chicago limited the utility of background variables in this kind of effort. The results are shown in the Appendix table. Using simple two-tailed t-tests, we found no significant differences for MTO families in terms of feelings of social distance or the householder s outl ook concerning her family s prospects in thei r new neighborhood. However, for the Section 8 families, the comparisons indicate that those we interviewed are significantly more likely than those we could not contact to feel good or very good about sending their children to schools where their new classmates would be either half or almost all white (p "d .01, two-tailed test). Similarly, the Section 8 families we contacted were more likely than those we could not contact to feel good or very good about living somewhere where more than half of their neighbors earn more money than they do (p "d .10, two-tailed test), and to be sure or very sure that they will like living in a new neighborhood they have never lived in before (p "d .05, two-tailed test). Thus, the results of these simple comparisons suggest that the experiences we report for MTO families will be representative of those of all MTO mover families in Chicago. However, our findings

we were able to contact the families, they were generally eager to share their experiences with us. Only one family refused outright to speak with us. 5

with respect to the Section 8 families may be biased in favor of those families who have the most positive outlook concerning the racial and social differences between them and their potential new neighbors. These differences may bias our findings in two ways. First, discussion of well-being for families in the Section 8 group may be exaggerated because our sample is biased toward the most optimistic families, who may in turn be the most successful (among Section 8 families) in finding homes in better neighborhoods. Second, because the findings for the Section 8 group might be overstated, any differences between the Section 8 and the MTO experimental group may be conservative because of the upward bias of the Section 8 group. In other words, our findings may overstate the positive neighborhood conditions for the Section 8 group, and thus understate the true differences between the Section 8 and MTO movers.

RESULTS Overview of sample characteristics With random assignment, we would expect that the characteristics of MTO and Section 8 families are statistically similar. Statistical tests confirmed this for virtually all background variables from the baseline survey. Thus, in this section we describe the characteristics of the entire sample as a whole, and note the very rare occurrences when differences emerge between MTO and Section 8 families. Almost all household heads are women (96.6%), and African American with no Hispanic ancestry (only three household heads did not fall into this racial/ethnic category). Mothers averaged just under 33 years of age, almost two-thirds had never been married, yet 44% reported having lived with both parents until age 16. The households in the sample average just under four people in size (mean = 3.78), with just over one adult (i.e., someone aged 18 or older; mean = 1.24), slightly less than two children aged 6-17 (mean = 1.69), and just under one child aged 5 or younger (mean = .83; for MTO families, the mean number of younger children is .63, for Section 8 families 1.10, p "d .01 level).


Slightly less than two-thirds of mothers have completed either high school or received their GED, and about 17% were enrolled in school at the time of the baseline. Only 27.8% reported working full- or part-time at the time of the baseline, but almost all mothers reported some lifetime work experience (only 13 had never worked for pay). Consistent with the low levels of current employment and the nature of the sample, reliance on various forms of public assistance was widespread: 79.3% currently received AFDC, 82.8% received food stamps, 67.9% received Medicaid benefits, and 34.7% received assistance through the WIC program. In addition, the average length of time since the first application for AFDC was just over ten years, and the majority of mothers (76%) also grew up in homes receiving AFDC. Thus, for the mothers in our sample, poverty has been a long-term experience. However, despite the obvious level of need, less than one-fourth of mothers reported having ever applied for Section 8 benefits prior to applying for MTO. While we cannot tell from the baseline data precisely why these respondents have relatively little lifetime experience with the Section 8 program, it may be that the long length of the Section 8 waiting lists3 deterred many from applying. The baseline survey also asked mothers about their previous residential experiences. Such experiences may be important factors in their search for housing, since they may indicate the extent of mothers familiarity with other kinds of neighborhoods, as well as their knowledge concerning housing opportunities outside of public housing. Despite the fact that relatively few mothers had ever lived outside of the city of Chicago (21.9%), the data suggest that a substantial proportion have lived at some point in their lives outside of the kind of racially homogeneous neighborhoods which house the city s public housing projects. That is, just over 50% reported having ever lived in neighborhoods with a mix of African Americans and whites, while 30.3% reported having lived in areas with a mix of African Americans, Hispanics, and whites, and 27.8% reported having lived in areas with a mix of Hispanics and African Americans. Far fewer reported experience in Hispanic-white neighborhoods (14.9%), and the fewest (8.5%) reported having ever lived in a mostly white neighborhood.


The waiting lists were so long that they were even closed for a period. 7

These experiences may also shape mothers preferences for their new neighborhoods. While just over 20% express a preference for moving to the suburbs, almost half (49.1%) would like to move to an area with a mix of African Americans, Hispanics, and whites, and one-third express a preference for a mixed black-white neighborhood. Fewer than one-in-ten mothers (8.8%) said that they would like to move to a mostly black neighborhood, yet even fewer chose mostly white (2.5%) and mixed Hispanic-white (0.9%) as their preferred neighborhood composition. The finding that the women in our sample expressed such a high degree of preference for mixed neighborhoods is not surprising, given similar kinds of preferences expressed by African American respondents in general-population samples (e.g., Farley, Fielding, and Krysan 1997; Zubrinsky and Bobo 1997). The baseline survey also included questions designed to tap into the mothers outlook for the future and their perceptions of social distance in their new neighborhoods. With respect to the latter, just over three-fourths (77.4%) reported feeling good or very good about sending their children to schools where more than half of the other students are white. However, the proportion feeling good or very good about their children attending schools where almost all of the other children are white was substantially lower (46.1%; 56.3% of MTO mothers versus 33.3% of Section 8 mothers, p "d .05). This difference suggests a somewhat greater degree of discomfort or apprehension with being the only or one of a small number of African American families in a predominantly white area. This discomfort is not surprising given the families limited experience in mostly white neighborhoods, and a general reluctance among African Americans to be pioneers in all-white neighborhoods, as reported in general population samples (e.g., Farley, Fielding, and Krysan 1997; Zubrinsky and Bobo 1997). With respect to the social class differences separating the mothers from their potential new neighbors, the data suggest less comfort overall than with racial differences. That is, while a slight majority (59.6%) reported feeling good or very good about living in an area where more than half of their neighbors earn more money than they do, 44% reported the same degree of comfort with the idea of having almost all of their neighbors richer than they are. Despite the findings of a moderate level of perceived social distance, especially with respect to


social class, mothers are universally very positive in their outlook concerning their upcoming experiences in their new neighborhoods. Over three-fourths (77.4%) reported that they were sure or very sure that they would find an apartment, and 86.2% said that they were sure or very sure that they would like living in their new neighborhood. Moreover, more than eight-in-ten mothers (82.6%) said that they were sure or very sure that they would be able to get along with their new neighbors, just under three-fourths (74.8%) were sure or very sure that they would like living in a neighborhood with people who earned more than they did, and almost all mothers (92.2%) reported that they were sure or very sure that they would be able to keep their children from hanging out with troublemakers in their new areas. While the majority of mothers -- just under two-thirds -- were also sure or very sure that they would be able to find a new job, this lower proportion suggests a slightly greater degree of uncertainty about how moving might influence their own economic prospects, compared to the optimism they express regarding expected improvements for their children.

Changes in objective neighborhood conditions As indicated above, the goal of the MTO program is to help poor families living in disadvantaged neighborhoods move to new neighborhoods which offer greater opportunities for social and economic mobility. To what degree has the program achieved this goal in the short run? And, to what degree have the gains in neighborhood conditions varied depending on program-group status? We begin our analysis of changes in neighborhood conditions with an evaluation of the objective or structural features of the families origin neighborhoods and the destination neighborhoods chosen by MTO families and their Section 8 counterparts. These objective characteristics derive from 1990 census data, and so in this section we must define neighborhoods as census tracts.4 To guide our choice of the most relevant structural features of neighborhoods for family and child well-being, we turn to social disorganization theory.

Of course, we fully recognize that the families themselves probably do not conceptualize their neighborhoods as those bounded by tract boundaries. 9


Social disorganization theory argues that structural aspects of the neighborhood -- i.e., socioeconomic composition, unemployment, family composition, and residential stability -- influence the area s level of social organization. Social organization, moreover, refers to the social relationships and processes that reflect shared norms of appropriate (public) behavior, and the ability of neighbors to achieve common goals, to enforce norms of acceptable behavior, and to pass on these standards through the collective socialization of youth in the area (Elliott et al. 1996; Furstenberg and Hughes 1997; Sampson 1997; Wilson 1996). Neighborhoods with a high degree of social organization also feature a high degree of social capital (Coleman 1988), and collective efficacy, which can enhance parenting and family functioning, and thus can optimize child and adolescent development (Furstenberg et al. 1999; Sampson 1997; Sampson et al. 1999). In this view, then, social organization forms the link between structural features of the neighborhood, and family and child outcomes (Elliott et al. 1996).. The most general form of the theory argues that disadvantaged neighborhoods tend to feature low levels of social organization. This relationship arises because the structural features of disadvantage -- e.g., poverty and residential instability -- break down the kinds of relationships between neighbors that comprise social organization, and inhibit the formation of new ones. The devastating impact of neighborhood decline on areal social organization has been described in a number of ethnographic studies, most notably Anderson s Streetwise (1990). Two recent quantitative studies that focus on Chicago also demonstrate the link between structural features of neighborhoods and their associated levels of social organization (Elliott et al. 1996; Sampson et al. 1999). For example, Elliott and his colleagues (1996) find a significant and negative relationship between the level of neighborhood disadvantage and the amount of informal control residents report for their neighborhoods, indicating that the more disadvantaged the area, the more difficult it is for residents to collectively maintain order. Sampson et al. (1999), however, go further and find that specific characteristics of neighborhoods (e.g., concentrated disadvantage, residential instability, and concentrated affluence) exhibit varying relationships with three dimensions


of child-focused collective efficacy (child-centered social control, reciprocated exchange, and intergenerational closure). 5 For example, while all three indicators of child-focused collective efficacy are inversely related to the level of concentrated disadvantage, child-centered social control exhibits the strongest relationship to this structural characteristic. This finding is consistent with that of Elliott et al. (1997) reported above, but indicates that specific forms of informal social control are also more difficult to achieve in highly disadvantaged environments. In contrast, intergenerational closure and reciprocated exchange are better predicted by concentrated affluence and residential stability. Sampson et al. (1999) also find that, in Chicago, proximity to areas with high levels of collective efficacy is beneficial, regardless of a given area s own level of this social resource, since residents can draw upon the more-plentiful resources nearby. Thus, areas with low levels of collective efficacy that are surrounded by similar kinds of areas are the most isolated from potentially beneficial social environments, and thus have the most deleterious environments for children s development (Sampson et al. 1999). The work of Sampson et al. (1999), thus, identifies key structural characteristics of neighborhoods with strong and significant relationships to those aspects of social organization that have the greatest relevance to families and children. Specifically, these are concentrated disadvantage/racial segregation, residential instability, and concentrated affluence.6 For our analysis, we utilize the specific census-based indicators that compose these three aspects of neighborhood structure, which we display for origin and destination neighborhoods in Table 1.

Child-centered social control refers to the extent to which area residents intervene in public situations on behalf of children, and thus can be thought of as one dimension of the broader construct of informal social control. Reciprocated exchange refers to the degree to which adults in the area exchange such things as information, advice, or knowledge about childrearing, and thus reflects the degree to which adults engage in fairly personal relationships. Intergenerational closure refers to the extent to which children and adults in a neighborhood are linked, as might occur when parents know the parents of their children s friends (Sampso n et al. 1999). Sampson et al. (1999) utilized additional structural characteristics in their analysis (including concentrated immigration, population density, and the ratio of adults to children) yet we chose to examine only the three indicated, since they produce the most theoretically consistent relationships with the neighborhood-level construct of collective efficacy. 11



[Table 1 about here] Looking first at origin neighborhoods, the indicators of concentrated disadvantage and racial segregation suggest an extremely high degree of racial, social, and economic isolation. For example, these tracts were virtually racially homogeneous, with over 99% of the population being non-Hispanic black. Similarly, the economic conditions of the origin neighborhoods were quite bleak. Not only was the majority of the population (75%) officially poor, but almost 60% of households relied on public assistance. Moreover, more than 40% of adults were officially unemployed, and virtually all of the families and subfamilies were headed by single women. Drawing on the results reported by Sampson et al. (1999), these high levels of extreme disadvantage and isolation suggest that the origin neighborhoods likely featured very low levels of social control. In fact, a visual comparison of maps provided by Sampson et al. (1999) and maps of the origin and destination neighborhoods for the Chicago MTO and Section 8 families (Goering et al. 1999) suggests that the origin neighborhoods tended to be the kinds of neighborhoods Sampson and his colleagues (1999) identified as the most potentially deleterious for children s development, namely, those with low levels of collective efficacy surrounded by similar neighborhoods. The indicators of residential stability and concentrated affluence reinforce this image of socially disorganized environments, by suggesting that origin neighborhoods were also lacking in intergenerational closure and reciprocated exchange. That is, fewer than 3% of housing units were owner occupied, indicating few financial investments to keep families settled in the area (as well as a profound absence of wealth [cf. Oliver and Shapiro 1995]). Moreover, affluent families and adults with at least a college degree were all but absent from origin tracts, and relatively few adults were employed in high-status occupations. In addition to indicating low levels of social organization, these results suggest that origin neighborhoods were seriously lacking in role models of mainstream social and economic behavior, and success, reinforcing the image of extreme social isolation (Wilson 1987, 1996). Thus, these descriptive statistics demonstrate that the families in the Chicago MTO program were seeking to leave neighborhoods that were very isolated racially, socially, and economically, and


that likely featured socially disorganized and potentially chaotic environments. To what degree did families improve their neighborhood conditions by moving? And to what degree did destination neighborhoods differ according to the families program-group status? Because Chicago s public housing projects are located in some of the most disadvantaged neighborhoods in the nation, as revealed in the preceding description, it is likely that participating families will improve their neighborhood conditions by virtue of simply moving (cf. Popkin et al. forthcoming). Moreover, given the structure of the program, we can expect at the outset that MTO families will have moved to neighborhoods with superior characteristics not only relative to the areas they left behind, but also when compared to the neighborhoods chosen by Section 8 families. Looking first at the destination tracts chosen by Section 8 families, the data indicate that these families moved to tracts which exhibit lower levels of concentrated disadvantage and racial segregation when compared to origin tracts, but which might still be considered as moderately disadvantaged. That is, the average percent black is still quite high at just under 90%, as is the average poverty rate (at just under 37%), and the percentage of households receiving some form of public assistance (at just over 30%). Similar conclusions are indicated by the indicators of residential stability and concentrated affluence. While the differences between origin and destination neighborhoods suggest that Section 8 families may have, on average, improved their access to neighborhood social organization, the level of disadvantage remaining in their new neighborhoods raises doubts concerning the extent of this gain for the average Section 8 family. Indeed, the standard deviations on many of the measures in Table 1 suggest that some Section 8 families moved to neighborhoods which were virtually indistinguishable from those they left behind, but others were able to move to much better neighborhoods. Thus, in general, it appears that Section 8 families were able to access somewhat improved neighborhoods, on average, than those they left behind. However, the variation on the full range of measures indicates that some Section 8 families made large gains in their neighborhood environments while others barely made any improvements at all. Turning to the destination tracts chosen by MTO families, as expected, these neighborhoods


appear to be the most advantageous of all. These tracts are quite well off economically, with the highest percentage of affluent families, the lowest poverty and public assistance use rates, and the highest levels of home ownership. Moreover, these areas also evidence the highest levels of educational attainment and the highest percentage of adults in high-status occupations of all three groups of tracts. Finally, these areas are also the most racially mixed, with just over half of their tract populations being black. Taken all together, these indicators also suggest that the social relationships and ties characteristic of social organization are strongest in the destination neighborhoods chosen by MTO mover families. In summary, while all of the families originated in tracts which were extremely isolated both in terms of racial composition and social and economic opportunities, the tracts to which they moved appear to offer greater opportunities for social and economic mobility. However, it is also very clear that the kind of areas to which participating families moved depended greatly on their program group assignment. While the average destination tract for Section 8 families appeared to offer improved environments relative to those in the origin tracts, MTO families appeared to have achieved the greatest gains as measured by the proportions of their new neighbors who are college graduates, gainfully employed in high-status occupations, and earning incomes rather than receiving public assistance. Furthermore, given the empirical relationships between these structural indicators and levels of social organization in Chicago s neighbo rhoods demonstrated by Sampson and his colleagues (1999), we can infer that while both groups appear to have been able to relocate to neighborhoods with higher levels of social organization than were present in their origin neighborhoods, MTO families have moved to areas with the greatest amounts of this important social resource. To a large degree, the larger gains achieved by the MTO families is built into the program requirement that they move to low-poverty neighborhoods, and to the finding that far more of them moved to suburbs (31.3% versus 1.9% of Section 8 families). Yet the variety characterizing the Section 8 families destination tracts recalls the finding that housing vouchers alone do not guarantee improved environments, but that their ability to do so is enhanced with added services such as housing counseling (Turner 1998).


Changes in subjective neighborhood conditions We turn now to evaluating the changes in neighborhood conditions reported by the mothers of the families in our sample. Insofar as the differences in structural characteristics described above are reflected in the families reports and perceptions of neighborhood conditions in their origin and destination neighborhoods, we expect that MTO families will report better conditions in their destinations neighborhoods than their Section 8 counterparts, and that the changes in conditions that result from moving will be greater for MTO than Section 8 families. To facilitate these comparisons, we focus on measures used in both the baseline survey and our own post-move survey 7 for three domains of experience in their neighborhood: the presence of social and physical disorder, feelings of safety, and experience of crime. All three dimensions of experience, moreover, have direct relevance to the absence of social organization in the neighborhood (cf. Anderson 1990; Elliott et al. 1996; Skogan 1990; Wilson 1987, 1996). The results of these comparisons are presented in Table 2. [Table 2 about here] Social and physical disorder. Starting with the presence of social and physical disorder, respondents to the baseline survey and to our post-move survey were asked the extent to which five conditions -- trash or litter on the street, graffiti on the walls, people drinking in public, drug dealers/users in the area, and abandoned buildings -- were big problems, small problems, or not problems at all. In addition to these aspects of social and physical disorder, we added on our postmove survey additional aspects of these dimensions as well as aspects of incivility, crime and violence, and idleness. The findings from the baseline are consistent with our inferences from the structural characteristics of low levels of social organization prevailing in origin neighborhoods (Panel A of Table 2).8 That is, both Section 8 and MTO mothers are nearly unanimous in their reports of

On average, we interviewed the families in our sample 13 months after they moved into their new homes, and 24.6 months after they completed the baseline survey. As would be expected from the design of the program, none of the differences between Section 8 and MTO families at the baseline were statistically significant at conventional levels. 15



problems with all five aspects of social and physical disorder, underscoring the image of socially chaotic and physically deteriorated environments derived from Table 1. In contrast, far fewer mothers in each group report problems with these conditions in their new neighborhoods, a finding that is consistent with our earlier suggestions that both groups made improvements in their neighborhood conditions as a result of moving. Indeed, for both groups, the vastly diminished extent to which these five aspects of social and physical disorder are a problem are highly significant at the p "d .001 level (one-tailed t-test). However, the comparisons also reveal further support for the notion that the gains that MTO families achieved as a result of moving surpassed those achieved by Section 8 families. That is, significantly fewer MTO than Section 8 mothers reported problems with all five measures of social and physical disorder. Similarly, the proportions of MTO mothers reporting problems with insufficient recreational programs, crime and violence, widespread idleness, and incivility in their destination neighborhoods were significantly lower than the respective proportions of Section 8 mothers. Feelings of safety and experience with crime. The picture of the origin neighborhoods revealed so far is one of isolated, deteriorated, and chaotic environments. Indeed, a recent study documented that in the nation s 100 largest publ ic housing authorities (among which Chicago ranks second), an average of one gunshot-related homicide took place each day in 1998 (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, n.d.). It may come as no surprise, then, that almost three-fourths of mothers reported in the baseline that to get away from crime and drugs was their first or second reason for moving.9 Thus, a key indicator of the program s success even in the short term is the extent to which it has helped families move to neighborhoods where they feel safer and are at a lower risk of victimization. To this end, we evaluate the mothers evaluations of the safety level present in four neighborhood situations (in the parking lots or on the streets near the neighborhood school, at home alone at night, on the streets near home during the day, and on the streets near home at night) as well

Escaping crime and drugs was the most-often reported reason for moving in all five sites (Goering et al. 1999). 16


as their experiences (or the experiences of someone in their households) of five different types of crimes. The results for these comparisons are presented in Panels B and C of Table 2 respectively. According to the baseline data, relatively small and statistically similar proportions of mothers in both groups felt safe or very safe in each of the four situations. The fewest mothers reported feeling safe or very safe on the streets near home at night, far fewer than those who reported feeling safe or very safe on the same streets during the day. These findings suggest that while the environment surrounding their homes may have been so perilous during the day to make families fearful of leaving their homes, they were far more dangerous after dark. However, the proportions reporting feeling safe or very safe at home alone at night do not even reach four-in-ten, suggesting that most of the families in the Chicago MTO program had in fact no place where they could feel safe from danger and harm before moving. This image of extreme levels of danger in origin neighborhoods is underscored by the relatively high proportions reporting in the baseline that they, or someone they live with, had had their purse/wallet/jewelry snatched; had been threatened with a weapon; had been beaten or assaulted; had been stabbed or shot; or that someone had tried to break into their home in the preceding six months. That is, between almost 10% and 30% of mothers reported in the baseline that they or a household member had had personal experience with one of these forms of victimization. Reports to identical questions posed to Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) residents in 1996-97 revealed rates of victimization that were between one-third and one-half the rates of those reported by the mothers in our sample (at the baseline) (Popkin et al. 1998). One possible reason why the rates of victimization were higher among families in the MTO program than in the general public housing population is over-time fluctuation in crime and violence. That is, because the violence in CHA developments is strongly related to gang activity, there are significant fluctuations in levels of violence and crime, with some periods witnessing a lull in activity while others consisting of a barrage of activity (cf. Kotlowitz 1991). Thus, it is possible that the MTO program participants were interviewed for the baseline during a particularly violent time. Alternatively, there is some indication that the MTO participating


families may have been among the most victimized of residents in their developments (see Goering et al. 1999), which may have contributed greatly to the almost universal desire to move as a means to escape crime and violence. After moving, though, the situation appeared to have greatly improved. That is, the vast majority of mothers in both groups -- between 75% and 97% -- report feeling safe or very safe near the local school, at home alone at night, and on the streets near home both during the day and the night. In only two instances (feeling safe or very safe near the local school and on the streets near home at night) do the feelings of safety reported by MTO mothers exceed, at a statistically significant level, those reported by Section 8 mothers. However, the finding that the vast improvements in feelings of safety (over what both groups reported at the baseline) are statistically significant is perhaps of greater importance. Similarly, significantly fewer mothers from both groups report experiencing any of the five crimes after versus before the move. This finding clearly indicates that for both groups of families the new-found feelings of security are matched by a reality of far fewer direct experiences with crime and violence. 10 Thus, the findings with respect to feelings of safety and experience with crime strongly suggest that families from both groups have achieved enormous benefits as a result of moving. Perhaps more important, given the predominance of getting away from crime as a reason for moving for both groups, the findings of fairly similar improvements in these domains suggests that participating in the program has eliminated a substantial set of problems and worries from these families lives. Perceptions of opportunities and risks for teenagers. The results so far suggest that both groups of families were able to move to improved neighborhoods as a result of participating in the MTO program in Chicago, and that experimental families tended to achieve greater improvements in a

Since the reference periods for the two questions differ (on the baseline the question asks about the previous six months and in our survey we asked about the previous three months), it could be argued that the questions are not truly comparable over time. However, if we make the simplifying assumption that the occurrence of these crimes is evenly distributed over time and so double the proportion reported in the post-move survey, the differences over time would still be large and significant. 18


variety of neighborhood conditions than did the families in the comparison group. To what degree do these improved neighborhood conditions translate into greater opportunities or lowered risks for youth? To address this question we utilize data from the post-move survey in which we asked mothers of children aged 6-17 (N = 81) to compare a set of opportunities and risks for teenagers in their new versus their old neighborhoods.11 These data are presented in Table 3. Starting with the opportunities, large proportions of mothers from both groups report that teenagers in the new neighborhoods are much more likely to graduate from both high school and college than were teens in their old neighborhoods. However, MTO mothers are significantly more likely to perceive these enhanced opportunities for youth than are their Section 8 counterparts. Turning to the risks, a similar conclusion emerges from the results. That is, large majorities from both groups of mothers report that the risks to teenagers are far lower in their new neighborhoods than in their old neighborhoods. Specifically, according to the mothers, teenagers are far less likely to drink, do drugs, get pregnant/get a girl pregnant, get AIDS, get attacked or shot in their new neighborhoods. These reports clearly indicate that both groups of mothers feel that their new neighborhoods offer substantially better and healthier environments for teenagers, yet again MTO mothers are significantly more likely than Section 8 mothers to perceive reduced risks to the life chances and health of teenagers. Finally, when asked to rate their new neighborhoods as a place for teenagers to grow up on a scale from 1 (low) to 5 (high), MTO mothers provided a significantly higher overall rating than did Section 8 mothers. Overall, then, it appears that with respect to the opportunities for youth to achieve positive life outcomes, MTO families have been able to move to areas with substantially greater opportunities and fewer risks than did their Section 8 counterparts. Access to services. The analysis thus far has largely focused on aspects of neighborhoods with great potential to affect family well-being in the short term, as well as the long-term chances of

As part of our overall research design, we asked questions concerning the experiences of a focal child aged 6-17, defined as the oldest such child. While this age range in broad and consists of a number of distinct developmental stages, we chose it to conform to decisions HUD had made for the baseline survey. 19


achievement for the families and children participating in the MTO program in Chicago. In this section we examine if, and how, families access to services has been changed as a result of moving. From one perspective, the desolation surrounding many of Chicago s public housing prospects suggests that few services necessary for everyday life would be available to residents, or, if they were available, they would be of such low quality that many families would be forced to access services in other neighborhoods (cf. Kotlowitz 1991). Thus, moving may facilitate the families access to services that are important for everyday life or that may be critical in an emergency. From a different perspective, moving away from the old neighborhood may spatially separate families from important services or activities -- such as their regular place of worship. The inconvenience that may arise as a result of a lengthy commute to reconnect with these activities may make it more difficult for families to adjust to their new areas, and thus may attenuate their resolve to stay in their new neighborhoods. The extent to which families may have an easier or harder time gaining access to services is an important issue given that few mothers report having a valid driver s license (36.2%) and even fewer have a car that runs (17.6%). Furthermore, the finding that MTO mothers are significantly more likely than Section 8 mothers to report that insufficient public transportation is a problem in their new neighborhoods (Table 2), and are more likely to have relocated to the suburbs surrounding Chicago, suggests that this group of families may be more likely to report longer commutes to services, and thus may be adversely affected on this dimension by the move. [Table 4 about here] We present the results of our baseline-postmove survey comparison in Table 4. We defined proximity as a travel distance of 15 minutes or less. In origin neighborhoods, the proportions of mothers reporting proximity to each of the following places was very similar: the nearest form of public transportation, the grocery store they use most of the time, the nearest park or playground, their place of worship, and the doctor or health care provider they use most of the time. Less than about one-third of all families reported that shopping and doctors were within 15 minutes of their apartments before the move. These services were either unavailable nearby the public housing apartments, or


were of such low quality that mothers had to seek them out in distant neighborhoods In contrast, the city-provided services (i.e., public transportation and playgrounds) were more likely to be close by. After moving, it appears that in general, mothers in both groups have been able to find a place to live that affords them quick access to at least four of the five of these services (the main exception being health care provider). Additionally, improvements in proximity are significant in a majority of over-time comparisons. The far higher percentages of both MTO and Section 8 mothers reporting proximity to grocery stores, playgrounds, and their places of worship after, versus before, the move suggest that easy access to these services may have played a role in their housing search strategies. That is, mothers may have been conscious of the ability to get to the grocery store quickly or to take their children to the park easily when looking at different homes to rent. Or, given the observed changes in proximity to their places of worship, it may be that co-congregants served as informants of housing opportunities. In general, the similarity in the proportions in the post-move survey reporting proximity to services suggests that on this dimension membership in the experimental group did not confer a significant disadvantage. The main exception to this conclusion is access to public transportation. That is, despite the fact that the majority of mothers from both groups report easy access to buses and trains, significantly fewer MTO than Section 8 mothers do so. This relative disadvantage exhibited by experimental-group mothers is consistent with the finding in Table 2 that MTO mothers are more likely than Section 8 mothers to report that insufficient public transportation is a problem in their new neighborhoods, and with the finding that they are more likely to move to the suburbs. Given that few families in the program have access to a working car, living at a distance from the nearest form of public transportation can clearly complicate the process of daily life, and may help to isolate affected families from friends and relatives. However, it is clear that such a situation is limited to relatively few families.


SUMMARY The overall goal of housing mobility programs is to provide households with better education and employment opportunities, which presumably will lead to higher graduation rates and higher employment rates. These outcomes often take years to materialize, but are often investigated only a short time after households have moved. Our research is unique because it examines community-level characteristics that likely affect the immediate well-being of families and children who move, and contribute to the longer-term outcom es in education and employment. Our goal in this paper was to describe the short-term changes in the living environments of Chicago families moving from public housing as part of the Moving to Opportunity demonstration program, examining both objective and subjective measures of neighborhood conditions before and after the families made their initial moves. Our results clearly indicated an improvement in neighborhood conditions gained by all participating families. Because the neighborhoods surrounding their former homes in public housing were so extremely isolated socially, racially, and economically, to a certain degree the simple act of moving enabled many families to acquire new homes in better neighborhoods. However, with regard to structural features of neighborhoods, our results point to two clear conclusions. First, assignment to the experimental group translated into markedly better neighborhood environments than did assignment to the comparison group. The extent to which this program-group difference arose form the requirement that experimental families move to low-poverty neighborhoods or that they received housing counseling cannot be determined from our data. Yet the fact that some Section 8 families moved to neighborhoods that were similar to those to which the average MTO family moved, while others moved to neighborhoods that were virtually indistinguishable from those they left behind suggests the potential added benefit that could be gained when housing assistance is coupled with added services, such as search assistance (Turner 1998). While the comparison of the structural features of the origin and destination neighborhoods provided suggestive evidence of the improvements in neighborhood social organization gained by participating families, the stark differences in subjective reports of neighborhood conditions confirmed


this interpretation. That is, both Section 8 and MTO mothers reported far less social and physical disorder in their new versus their old neighborhoods, and far lower levels of public incivility, widespread idleness, and crime and violence. Furthermore, leaving the chaotic and disorganized environments behind meant that all families felt a higher degree of security and safety in their new neighborhoods, which was matched by far less personal experience with crime and violence. The analyses of improved neighborhood conditions and feelings of safety pointed clearly to a consistent advantage experienced by MTO families. That is, not only were the MTO families more successful than the Section 8 families in moving to objectively more affluent and more residentially stable areas, but they reported far fewer problems related to social disorganization, and experienced a higher degree of safety in their new neighborhoods. MTO families experienced a relative disadvantage when compared to their Section 8 counterparts in terms of having easy access to public transportation and having a sufficient supply of public transportation in their new neighborhoods. It is possible that the complications arising from not having an easy way to get around and the consequent isolation from others could adversely affect families positive adjustment to their new neighborhoods, and thus their commitment to remaining there. From this perspective, we argue that more effort should be made in counseling sessions to avoid this possible pitfall. Yet we recognize that insofar as there are negative consequences to these problems encountered by MTO families in Chicago, they are limited to a relatively small number of people. Thus, on the whole, they do not appear to constitute a profound disadvantage, or to outweigh the more numerous gains made on other dimensions. Thus, in sum, our results overwhelmingly point to a variety of positive short-term consequences of moving from public housing for all families participating in Chicago s Moving to Opportunity demonstration program. Yet the significantly greater advantages accruing from assignment to the experimental group point to the clear added benefit of encouraging moves to lowpoverty or suburban neighborhoods, and of providing added services, like search assistance, to optimize assisted families lo cational outcomes. These neighborhood outcomes point toward increased opportunities in the future, but these opportunities may take years to materialize into measurably


improved outcomes. In this paper, these neighborhood outcomes are interpreted as mediating factors, serving as either facilitators or barriers to educational and employment improvements that may, in turn, enable families to become self-sufficient. Future research should consider the role of these interim outcomes when evaluating mobility programs, particularly those targeted at residents of isolated public housing developments like those in Chicago.


REFERENCES Anderson, Elijah. 1990. Streetwise. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne, Greg Duncan, and Lawrence Aber. 1997. Neighborhood poverty, Volume 1. New York: Russell Sage Foundation. Coleman, James. 1988. Social capital in the creation of human capital. American Journal of Sociology 94:S95-S120. Duncan, Greg and Stephen Raudenbush. 1999. Neighborhoods and adolescent development: How can we determine the links? Paper presented at Does it take a village: Community effects on children, adolescents and families, Penn State University, November 5-6. Ellen, Ingrid, and Margery Austin Turner. 1997. Does neighborhood matter? Assessing recent evidence. Housing Policy Debate 8(4): 833-866. Elliott, Delbert, William Julius Wilson, David Huizinga, Robert Sampson, Amanda Elliott, and Bruce Rankin. 1996. The effects of neighborhood disadvantage on adolescent development. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 33(4):389-426. Furstenberg, Frank, Thomas Cook, Jacquelynne Eccles, Glen Elder, and Arnold Sameroff. 1999. Managing to make it: Urban families and adolescent success. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Furstenberg, Frank, and M.E. Hughes. 1997. The influence of neighborhoods on children s development: A theoretical perspective and a research agenda. Pp. 346-371 in Indicators of Children s Well-being, edited by Robert Hauser, Brett Brown, and William Prosser. New York: Russell Sage Foundation. Galster, George, and Sean Killen. 1995. The geography of metropolitan opportunity: A reconnaissance and conceptual framework. Housing Policy Debate 6(1):7-43. Goering, John, Joan Kraft, Judith Feins, Debra McGinnis, Mary Joel Holin, and Huda Elhassan. 1999. Moving to Opportunity for fair housing demonstration program: Current status and initial findings. Washington, DC: US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Jones, LeAlan, and Lloyd Newman. 1997. Our America. New York: Scribners. Kotlowitz, Alex. 1991. There are No Children Here. New York: Anchor Books. Oliver, Melvin and Thomas Shapiro. 1995. Black wealth/White wealth: A new perspective on racial inequality. New York: Routledge. Massey, Douglas, and Nancy Denton. 1993. American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Newman, Sandra, and Ann Schnare. 1997. And a suitable living environment : The failure of housing programs to deliver on neighborhood quality. Housing Policy Debate 8(4): 703-742. Popkin, S. J., V.E. Gwiasda, L. Buron, and J. Amendolia. Chicago Housing Authority Resident


Satisfaction and Management Needs Survey: Final Report. Report to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, June, 1998. Popkin, S. J., V.E. Gwiasda, D.P. Rosenbaum, and L.M. Olson. Forthcoming (Summer 2000). The Hidden War: Crime and the Tragedy of Public Housing in Chicago. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press. Rosenbaum, Emily, Samantha Friedman, Michael Schill and Hielke Buddelmeyer. 1999. Nativity differences in neighborhood quality among New York City households, 1996. Housing Policy Debate 10(3):625-658. Rosenbaum, James. 1991. Black pioneers: Do their moves to the suburbs increase economic opportunity for mothers and children? Housing Policy Debate 2(4):1179-1213. Rosenbaum, James. 1995. Changing the geography of opportunity by expanding residential choice: Lessons from the Gautreaux program. Housing Policy Debate 6(1): 231-269. Sampson, Robert. 1997. The embeddedness of child and adolescent development: A community-level perspective on urban violence. Pp. 31-77, in Childhood and Violence in the Inner City, edited by Joan McCord. Sampson, Robert, Jeffrey Morenhoff, and Felton Earls. 1999. Beyond social capital: Spatial dynamics of collective efficacy for children. American Sociological Review 64:633-660. Skogan, Wesley. 1990. Disorder and Decline. Berkeley: University of California Press. Turner, Margery Austin. 1993. Limits on neighborhood choice: Evidence of racial and ethnic steering in urban housing markets. Pp. 118-147 in Clear and Convincing Evidence, edited by Michael Fix and Raymond Struyk. Washington, D.C.: Urban Institute Press. Turner, Margery Austin. 1998. Moving out of poverty: Expanding mobility and choice through tenant-based assistance. Housing Policy Debate 9(2):373-394. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 1996. Moving to Opportunity for Fair Housing Demonstration Program. Washington, DC: Author. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. No date. In the crossfire: The impact of gun violence on public housing communities. Washington, DC: Author. Wilson, William Julius. 1987. The Truly Disadvantaged. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Wilson, William Julius. 1996. When Work Disappears. New York: Knopf. Yinger, John. 1995. Closed Doors, Opportunities Lost. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.


Table 1 Census-based structural characteristics associated with community social organization for origin tracts, and for destination tracts by program-group status (standard deviations in parentheses) 1990 characteristic Concentrated disadvantage/ racial segregation % population in poverty % households receiving public assistance % adults (16+) who are unemployed % non-Hispanic black % female-headed families and subfamilies Residential stability % owner-occupied housing units % in same housing units in 1985 Concentrated affluence % families with income "e75,000 $ % adults with at least a college degree % civilian labor force in professional/managerial occupations N Origin tracts Destination tracts Section 8 MTO

74.99 (13.70) 58.61 (16.06) 43.26 (16.89) 99.29 (0.76) 84.72 (5.97) 2.82 (4.81) 55.60 (9.31) 1.10 (0.50) 3.94 (1.81) 11.48 (5.36) 118

36.61 (15.76) 31.15 (13.34) 23.33 (11.34) 90.00 (20.51) 65.54 (16.94) 26.22 (21.61) 52.78 (10.97) 4.39 (7.07) 10.10 (9.57) 17.08 (8.88) 53

"d .05

10.60 (8.85) 10.15 (8.66) 9.93 (5.18) 57.22 (38.32) 36.99 (16.89) 66.17 (19.88) 58.07 (16.27) 10.26 (8.72) 17.39 (12.93) 24.16 (10.65) 67

(one-tailed t-test).

Note: All differences between MTO & Section 8 destination tract characteristics are significant at at least p

Table 2 Reported neighborhood conditions for origin and destination neighborhoods, by program-group assignment (figures are percentages) Neighborhood condition Origin Neighborhoods Section 8 MTO 95.4 99.1 95.4 98.5 90.6 Destination Neighborhoods Section 8 MTO 54.7d 22.6d 43.4d 54.7d 32.1d 55.8 22.6 54.9 20.8 79.6 13.5 88.2d 88.7d 86.8d 75.0d 4.7c 2.3d 0.0d 2.3c 2.3c 43 28.4**d 10.4'd 10.4***d 21.2***d 7.6***d 35.0* 6.2** 26.9** 37.3* 46.7*** 4.5' 96.8*d 94.0d 92.4d 87.7*d 3.6d 5.5c 1.8d 0.0a 1.9d 55

A. Big or small problem with: trash or litter on the streets or sidewalks 100.0 graffiti or writing on walls 100.0 people drinking in public 98.0 drug dealers or users 100.0 abandoned buildings 96.1 not enough recreational programs for youth people saying insulting things or bothering other people crime and violence not enough public transportation lots of people who can t find jobs different racial or cultural groups who cannot get along B. Rating as safe or very safe of: parking lots or on streets near neighborhood school 19.6 being home alone at night 39.2 streets near home during the day 25.5 streets near home at night 15.7 C. Has respondent or anyone living with respondent experienced:e having purse, wallet, jewelry snatched 28.6 being threatened with a knife or a gun 26.0 being beaten or assaulted 30.0 being stabbed or shot 16.3 someone trying to break into home 22.4 N "e

' p "d .10;

* p

18.5 38.5 35.9 9.2 29.7 20.3 23.4 9.4 29.2 64


"d .05;

** p

"d .01;

*** p

"d .001; one -tailed t-te st.

a difference between baseline and post-move survey significant at p "d level (one-tailed t-test). .10 b difference between baseline and post-move survey significant at p "d level (one-tailed t-test). .05 c difference between baseline and post-move survey significant at p "d level (one-tailed t-test). .01 d difference between baseline and post-move survey significant at p "d .001 level (one-tailed t-test). e Reference period on baseline in the previous six months, on the post-move survey it is the previous three months.

Table 3 Mother s reports of opportunities and risks for teenagers in destination versus origin neighborhoodsa Indicator Opportunities Compared to the teenagers in the old neighborhood, overall, teenagers in the new neighborhood are more likely to... ... graduate from high school ... complete college Risks Compared to the teenagers in the old neighborhood, overall, teenagers in the new neighborhood are less likely to... ... drink a lot of alcohol ... get involved with drugs ... get pregnant/get a girl pregnant ... get AIDS ... get beat up, attacked, or molested ... get shot Overall rating of neighborhood as a place for teenagers to grow up b N "e Section 8 MTO

83.33 70.00

95.35' 88.37*

71.43 72.41 59.26 73.91 79.31 79.31 3.57 29

88.37* 88.37' 80.95* 83.33 97.73* 88.64 4.53*** 42

' p "d .10; * p "d .05; ** p "d .01; *** p "d .001; one-tailed test.

a Asked only of mothers of children aged 6-17. b Measured on a scale of 1 (low) to 5 (high).

Table 4 Mothers reports of proximity to services in origin and destination neighborhoods, by program-group assignment (figures are percentages) Service Takes 15 minutes or less to get to: nearest bus or train stop grocery store used most of the time nearest park or playground church or place of worship doctor, health clinic, or hospital used most of the time N "e

' p "d .10;

* p

Origin Neighborhoods Section 8 MTO 86.3 27.5 60.8 14.9 27.5 47

"d .05;

** p

Destination Neighborhoods Section 8 MTO 97.6b 72.1d 82.9c 65.0d 41.9 40 87.3* 65.5d 85.2c 51.9c 29.1 54

81.5 35.4 62.5 24.1 20.0 58

"d .01;

*** p

"d .001; one -tailed t-te st.

a difference between baseline and post-move survey significant at p "d level (one-tailed t-test). .10 b difference between baseline and post-move survey significant at p "d level (one-tailed t-test). .05 c difference between baseline and post-move survey significant at p "d level (one-tailed t-test). .01 d difference between baseline and post-move survey significant at p "d .001 level (one-tailed t-test).

Appendix Table A Comparisons of interviewed and non-interviewed mothers, according to program-group assignment Program group/ Characteristic Section 8 Social distance attitudes Proportion feeling good or very good about: Having children attend a school where more than half of the children are white Having children attend a school where almost all of the children are white Living in a neighborhood where more than half of the people earn more Living in a neighborhood where almost all of the people earn more Outlook Proportion feeling sure or very sure that they would: Be able to find an apartment in a different area Like living in a neighborhood they had never lived in Get along with their neighbors after they move Like living in a neighborhood with people who earn more Have a job after they move Keep their children from hanging around with kids who get in trouble after they move N "e Interview status Interviewed Not interviewed

78.13 (41.67) 56.25 (50.00) 64.62 (48.19) 44.62 (50.10) 78.13 (41.67) 89.23 (43.41) 80.00 (40.31) 75.38 (43.41) 66.15 (47.69) 90.77 (29.17) 64

57.63** (49.84) 31.67** (46.91) 48.33' (50.39) 33.90 (47.74) 75.81 (43.18) 75.81* (43.18) 80.65 (39.83) 62.30 (48.87) 74.19 (44.11) 91.94 (27.45) 59

Appendix Table A: continued Program group/ Characteristic MTO Social distance attitudes Proportion feeling good or very good about: Having children attend a school where more than half of the children are white Having children attend a school where almost all of the children are white Living in a neighborhood where more than half of the people earn more Living in a neighborhood where almost all of the people earn more Outlook Proportion feeling sure or very sure that they would: Be able to find an apartment in a different area Like living in a neighborhood they had never lived in Get along with their neighbors after they move Like living in a neighborhood with people who earn more Have a job after they move Keep their children from hanging around with kids who get in trouble after they move N "e

' p "d .10;

* p

Interview status Interviewed Not interviewed

76.47 (42.84) 33.33 (47.61) 52.94 (50.41) 43.14 (50.02) 76.47 (42.84) 82.35 (38.50) 86.00 (35.05) 74.00 (44.31) 64.71 (48.26) 94.12 (23.76) 51

78.26 (41.70) 50.00 (50.55) 60.87 (49.34) 45.65 (50.36) 76.09 (43.13) 82.61 (38.32) 86.96 (34.05) 76.09 (43.13) 71.74 (45.52) 97.83 (14.74) 46

"d .05;

** p

"d .01;

*** p

"d .001; tw o-tailed t-te st.



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