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Authors

Bowie

Abstract

A quasi-experimental design with non-equivalent groups assessed the impact of privatized management on crime and personal safety in large public housing communities in Miami, Florida. A randomly-selected sample (N = 503) of low-income African Americans living in 42 different housing "projects" were surveyed. Privatized sites had greater mean values for break-ins and thefts (m = 2.03, S.D. = 1.47, p<.01) and vacant apartment usage. Publicly-managed sites had higher mean values for shootings and violence (m = 2.52, S.D. = 1.67, p<.01). While there were no statistically significant differences in perceived personal safety, publicly-managed respondents expressed greater satisfaction with police services. Privatized management did not result in significantly more positive outcomes and social services utilization was associated with less violent crime. Implications are discussed for public housing crime, federal housing policy, and future research.

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