The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's HOPE VI program, which was meant to redevelop distressed public housing and support the creation of economically healthier mixed-income communities, may have overlooked some factors in its success.
The program has stabilized a number of neighborhoods around the country but did so in part by reducing density, according to Apartment Finance Today. The result is that only about one-third of the public housing units demolished as part of the program were replaced, a total of about 100,000, an estimate from the National Low Income Housing Coalition suggests.
One-for-one replacements were not required for every unit since a 1998 Congressional decision, but some industry stakeholders, analysts and policymakers now favor them again. The more recent Choice Neighborhoods program requires full one-to-one replacement.
The alternative may cause people to move out of one area as it is improved into other neighborhoods with similar problems, relocating low-income residents without helping them address the underlying challenges. While the direction of future efforts is unclear, it may exercise a significant impact on rental property management firms and other stakeholders.