Q: Do Section 8 voucher holders increase crime in a neighborhood?

One-pager reads Do Section 8 voucher holders increase crime in a neighborhood? No! Shows two graphs illustrating the point. Image links to pdf version.

A: No!

This is a perennial fear, but researchers at NYU’s Furman Center took a really close look at the data to see, when controlling for other factors, if there was any association between an increase in Housing Choice Vouchers (formerly known as Section 8 vouchers) and the crime levels in that neighborhood. They found no association. An increase in voucher holders does not lead to any increase in crime.

What they did find is that it actually works the other way: an increase in crime predicts an increase in voucher holders the next year, though the effect is quite small—six more incidents of crime one year can be expected to lead to one additional voucher-holding resident the next year.

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