Creating mixed-income communities has become one popular policy response to the social isolation and economic and public sector disinvestment that characterize high-poverty neighborhoods in most urban areas. The objective is to attract residents with higher incomes while maintaining affordable and public housing for lower income residents. It is hoped that, through this strategy, housing developments and perhaps entire neighborhoods can be created that provide strong networks to employment and other resources beyond the neighborhood, more effective demand for high quality amenities and public services, and positive role models for youth.

Mixed-Income Development in Chicago: Case Studies

We know very little about the impact on residents of living in a mixed-income development, or of how they differ from public housing residents living in other housing circumstances. This research projects focuses on investigating the strategies and effectiveness of strategies used to build community in mixed-income developments, residents’ experiences in a mixed income development, and the impact of mixed-income developments on residents’ lives.

Research Grants:
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Annie E. Casey Foundation
Ford Foundation/Heartland Alliance

Research Briefs:
Building Community in Mixed-Income Developments

Living in a Mixed-Income Development: Resident Perceptions of Benefits and Disadvantages

The Nature of Social Interaction in Mixed-Income Developments

Whose Space? Whose Rules? Social Challenges in Mixed-Income Developments

Chicago’s Public Housing Transformation: What happened to the Residents?

Why Do So Few Residents Return to Mixed-Income Developments? Insights into Resident Decision-Making

Jazz on the Boulevard Case Study

This research project is a long-term case study of Jazz on the Boulevard, one of the first planned mixed-income developments being created as part of the CHA ‘s 1999 Plan for Transformation. In-depth, qualitative interviews of residents, service providers and developers, and a comparison group of individuals describe what motivated residents to choose to live in a mixed-income development, their perception of the neighborhood ‘s role in their lives, how the development effects social capital, networks, and social organizations, and what roles various members of the community play.

Research Grants:
Rockefeller Foundation
Case Western Research University

Research Highlights:
Highlight 1: Movers versus non-movers: Who are they?
Highlight 2: The resident population at Jazz
Highlight 3: Understanding the choice to live at Jazz
Highlight 4: Resident perspectives on mixed-income development
Highlight 5: Early resident experiences: General satisfaction
Highlight 6: Early social relations at Jazz

Joseph, Mark.  Early Resident Experiences at a New Mixed-Income Development in Chicago.  Journal of Urban Affairs. 30:3, 229-257. Find it here

Mixed-Income Development in Chicago: Developer and Service Provider Perspectives

This research project is an investigation into possibilities and challenges faced by development teams in transforming public housing into mixed-income development communities.

Research Grants:
Rockefeller Foundation

Joseph, Mark L. Forthcoming.  Creating Mixed-Income Developments in Chicago: Developer and Service Provider Perspectives.  Housing Policy Debate. Available here **

Faith-Based Mentoring Demonstration Evaluation

The Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development selected the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) as one of the three sites nationally to implement a mentoring demonstration program. The goal of this program is to test a means of providing additional support for public housing residents who have been relocated as part of a HOPE VI redevelopment by partnering residents with mentors who are recruited through faith-based and community-based organizations. This study seeks to determine the effectiveness of the program, explore experiences of participants, and the perspectives of mentors and staff members of participating institutions.

Research grants:
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development/Chicago Housing Authority

** Author Posting. (c) Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 2010. This is the author’s version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University for personal use, not for redistribution.  
The definitive version was published in Housing Policy Debate, Volume 20 Issue 1, January 2010.   Find it here 

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