An Examination of the Social and Physical Environment of Public Housing Residents in Two Chicago Developments in Transition

Research Report

An Examination of the Social and Physical Environment of Public Housing Residents in Two Chicago Developments in Transition

Abstract

This report was designed to shine a spotlight on the immediate physical and social environment of residents who were living in two distressed public housing developments in 2007. While past research has similarly described the high incidence of depression and the high levels of disorder and violence within older, urban public housing developments, this report was intended to bring those factors together to uncover the pathways that influence mental health. We find evidence that suggests that physical and social disorder create cues that take a toll on residents through negative feelings about neighborhood cohesion and the neighborhood's ability to come together in a time of need. In addition, we find that economic stressors, which include threats of eviction, not being able to pay bills, or buy food for oneself, is associated with depression.

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