How Foreclosures Affect Crime Rates

As millions of homes across the country slipped into foreclosure, national media outlets reported anecdotal evidence suggesting that foreclosed properties increase neighborhood crime. NIJ funded three research studies to offer some clarity to the discussion. The three studies, which used different methods, seem to agree that foreclosures and bank-owned properties do not increase criminal activity, except in certain sections of specific U.S. cities.

The article in the NIJ Journal details NIJ-funded work done by researchers at the Urban Institute, Florida State University's College of Criminology and Criminal Justice, and New York University Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy.

"Using the evidence provided by these three studies, bankers, police, city planners, civic leaders and other community stakeholders can better understand the relationship between foreclosure (and its accompanying property effects) and crime, and they can explore how helping community members stay in their homes can affect the overall crime rate," wrote the authors of the article, "Looking for the Link: The Impact of Foreclosures on Neighborhood Crime Rates".

You can find the full article here.


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ONE OF THE CHALLENGES of writing and editing a magazine is telling a story in a relatively small amount of space. Sometimes it seems like there is never enough room to say everything that needs to be said. I find myself making tough decisions about what parts stay and what parts go.