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Welfare Reform on the Web (June 2007): Social housing - overseas

The HOPE VI housing program: was it effective?

M. Brazley and J.I. Gilderbloom

American Journal of Economics and Sociology, vol. 66, 2007, p. 433-442

The HOPE VI housing programme was launched in 1993 with the aim of demolishing unfit public housing in the USA, re-developing the sites with new housing units, and providing social services to residents. This article presents a case study of the HOPE VI Park DuValle Revitalization Project in Louisville, Kentucky. The research shows that the project failed to help the vast majority of residents who were displaced by the rebuilding programme. Furthermore, the new housing was two to three times more costly per unit than homes provided by competing nonprofit community development groups.

Social disorders in the early stages of public housing decline: a Helsinki case study

D.P. Varady and H. Schulman

Housing Studies, vol. 22, 2007, p. 313-332

Although Finland's social housing is in physically good condition, officials have noted increases in problems such as crime, vandalism, illegal drug use and antisocial behaviour on council estates in recent years. Interviews with housing experts and officials identify weak eviction laws and lack of supported housing for vulnerable households as being responsible for the increase in the numbers of families with complex needs and challenging behaviour. Analysis of a 2001 survey of Helsinki social housing residents showed that almost half were pessimistic about one or more neighbourhood conditions, and those who were most pessimistic were planning to move.

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