Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky 2021-09-17 14:17:51 –
New studies show that investing in resident home repairs can help as cities seek ways to reduce crime.
This study focused on Philadefia’s basic system repair program. The program provided income-based support for home repairs to solve electrical, plumbing, heating, structural and roof problems.
“It really takes us away from the aesthetic debate that has been made about investment and leads us to a more structural view,” said Vincent Reina, one of the researchers who studied the program. “The actual investment in housing stock, especially in what most people may not see, is actually important not only for the welfare of the unit, but also for the wider neighborhood. Recognition. “
The researchers analyzed more than 13,000 people who received home grants. Most of them were black or Latino American. They found that crime was 22% less overall in the block where the house was repaired.
“It could be happening through a mechanism where someone feels safer and more stable in their home and it translates into the other investments they make or their ability to make investments.” Reina said. “The investment in the house can lead to other public investments in the block, or other people can make similar investments in the block.”
David Thomas, who heads the basic system repair program, says repairs also help people have a healthier living environment.
He said the group received about 300 calls a month for repairs before the pandemic. Now they are getting about 500.
“In many ways, we don’t know where people are going now,” Thomas said. “As you know, the homeless population is only growing, and if we can reduce it and alleviate our concerns, I think it’s the value that I and my staff bring every day.”
This department makes 4,000 to 5,000 repairs annually. Jobs are paid with a combination of federal and local funding.
Thomas believes the program can be reproduced in other cities, but requires local government commitment.
“One of the unique things about this program is that it focuses on monitoring, unlike many other programs. So instead of giving money to a client and saying,’Hey, let’s do it.’ No, “Thomas said.
Reina says a single investment can’t solve all the problems faced by neighbors, but I believe programs like Philadelphia are a positive start.