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Author Curley, Alexandra M
Title Hope and housing: The effects of relocation on movers' economic stability, social networks, and health
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Descript 207 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 67-01, Section: A, page: 0356
Adviser: John Stone
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University, 2006
The assumption underlying housing mobility programs like HOPE VI is that residents' lives will improve when they relocate out of public housing communities suffering from extreme poverty and disorder. Research to date, however, has not provided consistent evidence that these programs work as intended. Critical questions remain, such as: Do assisted mobility programs improve the employment prospects of the poor by reducing social isolation and expanding social networks, or do they disrupt fragile social support systems and impose additional barriers to self-sufficiency? Furthermore, does housing mobility lead to changes in economic stability and health?
For this study, I conducted repeated in-depth interviews with 28 residents of a public housing development in Boston, beginning approximately one year after they had relocated for the HOPE VI program. The sample was stratified to include participants from the three predominant relocation groups: public housing movers, Section 8 movers, and on-site movers. This study assessed the differential effects of the three relocation strategies on several outcomes. First, I examined how relocation affected residents' social networks. I assessed the extent to which broken or disrupted social networks resulting from relocation harmed families and the extent to which building social capital in their new communities benefited families. I also assessed how relocation affected movers' economic stability and physical and emotional well-being
The study found that rather than leading to improved economic stability, relocation led to further instability for some participants. Section 8 participants experienced the most financial difficulties, including increases in debt and telephone and utility shut-offs. Participants also reported that relocation affected their physical and emotional well-being. Section 8 movers were more likely to attribute improvements in emotional well-being to relocation than public housing and on-site movers. Relocation also had significant impacts on participants' social networks. Overall, relocation had a negative impact on their supportive social ties, decreased their draining ties, and had no impact on their access to social leverage through new bridging ties. The findings have implications for deconcentration and income-mixing initiatives that seek to improve the life chances of the poor by increasing their proximity to more successful working people
School code: 0017
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 67-01A
Subject Sociology, General
Sociology, Individual and Family Studies
Sociology, Public and Social Welfare
Alt Author Boston University
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