Measuring the Consequences of Promoting Inner City Homeownership

57 Pages Posted: 17 May 2002

See all articles by Matthew E. Kahn

Matthew E. Kahn

University of Southern California; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Jean Cummings

City Research

Denise DiPasquale

City Research

Date Written: October 2001

Abstract

This paper examines low- and moderate-income households in the city of Philadelphia who are becoming homeowners for the first time. We examine two Nehemiah developments subsidized by the City of Philadelphia that offer newly constructed homes at well below cost. This paper uses a unique survey of these new owners to measure what Nehemiah residents gain in terms of structure and community attributes as they make the transition from renting to owning. The new owners in the Nehemiah complex significantly improve their housing structures while raising their exposure to crime and weak local public schools. As part of the City's community development strategy, these developments were expected to increase economic activity near these sites. We document that there is no evidence of "local benefit spillovers" for census tracts where the Nehemiah was built. Our survey results suggest that the new housing complex represents an "oasis" where there are few interactions between the new home owners and the incumbent residents of the greater community.

Keywords: Homeownership, Cities, Subsidies

JEL Classification: R2

Suggested Citation

Kahn, Matthew E. and Cummings, Jean and DiPasquale, Denise, Measuring the Consequences of Promoting Inner City Homeownership (October 2001). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=310220 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.310220

Matthew E. Kahn (Contact Author)

University of Southern California ( email )

2250 Alcazar Street
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Jean Cummings

City Research ( email )

111 Atlantic Ave., Suite 311
Boston, MA 02110
United States

Denise DiPasquale

City Research ( email )

111 Atlantic Ave., Suite 311
Boston, MA 02110
United States

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