How Philadelphia Housing Repairs Drove Down Crime

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In the late ‘90s, Philadelphia launched a program to breathe new life into the city’s aging neighborhoods and offer support to low-income homeowners who lacked the resources to renovate. The initiative provided residents of primarily Black and Latino neighborhoods with up to $20,000 for home repairs, prioritizing structural fixes like plumbing and roofing.

According to new research on more than 13,000 recipients of these grants, the repairs had an incidental side effect: The blocks where homes were repaired experienced 22% less crime overall and 22% fewer homicides than they likely would have if not for the repairs. 

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