Foreclosures and Crime in the District of Columbia, 2003-2010
Group: Urban Institute District of Columbia Crime Policy Institute
With the recent economic collapse, housing foreclosures have spiked throughout the District of Columbia. Foreclosures are not merely a sign of an unhealthy economy, but they could cause crime in and of themselves by emptying houses, providing space where criminal activity could occur. To test this connection, DCPI researchers delve into the foreclosure and crime data for the District, finding that the foreclosure rate in the District was relatively low compared to similarly sized cities. They also find that though crime rates fell while foreclosures rose, violent crime did have a moderate association with foreclosures.
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