Social Disorganization, Crime, and Displacement: An Evaluation of HOPE VI in Lexington, Kentucky

Date of Award


Degree Type

Closed Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Justice Studies

First Advisor

Derek J. Paulsen

Department Affiliation

Justice Studies

Second Advisor

Peter B. Kraska

Department Affiliation

Justice Studies

Third Advisor

Scott A. Hunt

Department Affiliation

Justice Studies


Housing Opportunities for People Everywhere (HOPE VI) was designed to alleviate problems related to severely distressed public housing. Past research has shown both positive and negative outcomes for residents that have been displaced by HOPE VI. This study sought to provide more understanding into the types of places where HOPE VI residents moved as a result of their displacement in Lexington, Kentucky. Using variables constructed from census, housing, and crime data, this study attempted to determine if the presence of displaced HOPE VI residents could predict higher levels of social disorganization. It was hypothesized that areas where HOPE VI residents chose to move would be significantly more likely to be disadvantaged in terms of crime, family structure, housing, and affluence. Poisson-based regression models indicated that the presence of displaced HOPE VI residents significantly predicted the likelihood of a neighborhood having high rates of crime, family disruption, and disadvantaged housing. Additional exploratory analyses showed that areas where HOPE VI residents moved have experienced increases in reported crime. It is unclear if these exploratory results are due to the displaced residents, or if additional factors are influencing this change. Based on the results of this study, it was argued that existing research materials, like the data used in this study, should be more effectively used to guide the relocation process of the residents.


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