• Assessment and Impact of Gentrified Public Housing Neighborhoods in The United States: A Case Study of Chicago

      Sink, Todd W. (2011-09-20)
      Social-mix housing policies play a unique role in shaping the geography of gentrification in cities throughout the U.S. and Europe. The HOPE VI program in the U.S. is one popular example. Since its inception in 1992, HOPE VI has simultaneously displaced thousands of urban poor from their homes and neighborhoods, reduced their housing opportunities, and created and encouraged housing development for a more affluent population. Yet over the years, very few empirical studies have emerged that examine the place-based outcomes of HOPE VI within the context of gentrification. As such, important empirical questions remain unanswered. This study focuses on the geography of HOPE VI policy and gentrification in Chicago. The purpose of the study is to examine when, in what way, and to what magnitude the gentrification process has unfolded in public housing neighborhoods targeted by the HOPE VI program during the period 1990-2007. Socio-economic data from the U.S. Census and Geolytics; mortgage financing data from the FFIEC; building permits from the City of Chicago; and field surveys are utilized to create an assessment of gentrification. The findings show that the relationship between HOPE VI and gentrification is different in different areas of Chicago. HOPE VI is driving the gentrification process directly in some areas and indirectly in others. HOPE VI is the foundation that has made gentrification possible in public housing neighborhoods in Chicago. But HOPE VI is not the only driving force, as some areas have experienced gentrification even though they have not been cited for new housing and commercial development under HOPE VI. Latent market demand, incredibly profitable rent-gaps, excellent locations near shopping districts, and weakening insecurities among mortgage lenders are also solid forces working to expand the gentrification frontier in public housing neighborhoods.