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Brian Jacob and other scholars have pointed out how public housing in inner city areas has affected labor supply, student achievement, and a sense of belonging. However, little research has been conducted on how such particular public housing developments have shaped political orientations among low-income residents. The purpose of this research is to understand whether or not the individuals’ experiences with public housing demolitions across Chicago have affected voting participation, civic engagement, and political interest and efficacy among African-Americans who in the past have lived or currently live in Chicago public housing. Over 35 Chicago public housing residents who were either forced to relocate or who chose to move on their own prior to federal plans for demolition were surveyed. Findings were analyzed by utilizing STATA. Evidence suggests that relocation does not impact political engagement among residents who were forced to relocate; however, analyzing mean scores of survey data that measured voting participation in the 2012 presidential election, local elections, and congressional elections in 2014, residents who were forced to relocate voted at lower levels and were likely to vote at lower rates in the 2014 congressional elections. Also, residents who were forced to relocate demonstrated more neighborhood trust and tended to do favors for their neighbors at higher levels than residents who were not forced to relocate. In addition, evidence suggest that residents who had better than average experiences with Chicago public housing were more political efficacious than residents who had worse than average experiences with public housing. This research ends with a discussion of policy implications explaining how residential mobility impacts voter turnout rates and necessary steps to resolve such issues.
Chicago Public Housing Demolitions and Individual Sense of Political Belonging by Connor Hooper is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Public Policy | Urban Studies
Hooper, Connor, "Connor Hooper - Chicago Public Housing Demolitions and Individual Sense of Political Belonging" (2014). Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program 2014. 5.