|Abstract #: 330-S|
|EFFECTS OF A HOUSING MOBILITY EXPERIMENT ON NEIGHBORHOOD QUALITY. Quynh Nguyen*, Nicole Schmidt, Eric Tchetgen Tchetgen, Maria Glymour, Joanna Almeida, Theresa L. Osypuk, (Northeastern University, Boston MA )|
|Purpose: The Moving to Opportunity (MTO) trial is known to have influenced neighborhood poverty and select health outcomes, but the range of neighborhood characteristics, beyond poverty, influenced by MTO is not well documented. Methods: MTO was a randomized controlled trial in 5 US cities. Volunteer families were randomized (1994-1997) to public housing (in-place control group) or offered a voucher to subsidize private market rental apartments in any neighborhood (section 8 treatment group) or in low-poverty neighborhoods only (low-poverty treatment group). We analyzed 4-7 year follow-up survey data (in 2002) on neighborhood characteristics from adult and youth self-reports and interviewer-observed ratings. We also merged neighborhood data from the 2000 Census, public data sources, and 3 population-based surveys: Boston Neighborhood Survey, Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods, and New York Social Environment Survey. Using linear regression, we quantified the standardized effect of MTO on the residential environment. Results: We find that compared with controls, the low poverty and section 8 treatment arms had substantial improvements in externally-measured neighborhood economic conditions (0.6, 0.4 SD respectively), collective efficacy (0.5, 0.2 SD) and violent crime rates (-0.4, -0.3 SD), as well as moderate decreases in MTO participant-reported neighborhood disorder (-0.3, -0.2 SD). Differences relative to controls were larger for the low-poverty than for the section 8 group for neighborhood economic conditions |
and collective efficacy, but generally similar for violent crime and self-reported indicators of neighborhood disorder. Conclusion: Housing mobility programs account for 40% of US Department of Housing and Urban Development's budget. They can have positive and wide-ranging impacts on the residential environments of low-income families. Determining neighborhood characteristics important for health is a critical endeavor.