D. Massey, Len Albright, Rebecca Casciano
Aug 6, 2019
Motor City Green
This chapter focuses on a special survey conducted of the residents of Ethel Lawrence Homes (EHL) and nonresidents to assess how moving into the project affected the residential environment people experienced on a day-to-day basis. The design of the survey compares neighbourhood conditions experienced by EHL residents both before and after they moved into the project, as well as to compare them with a control group of people who had applied to EHL but had not yet been admitted. Both comparisons reveal a dramatic reduction in exposure to neighbourhood disorder and violence and a lower frequency of negative life events as a result of the move. By the time EHL finally opened in 2000, it was no longer a test case about the rights of longtime residents not to be forced out of their hometown. Instead, it became a test case for whether affordable housing developments could provide a path out of poverty for the urban poor, and what kinds of costs such programs might impose on suburban residents.