The HOPE VI program has invested over $6 billion in federal funds for the redevelopment of severely distressed public housing. Drawing on the existing research evidence, this study systematically compares the costs (both monetary and nonmonetary) of maintaining severely distressed public housing developments to the potential costs and benefits of effectively revitalizing them. An effective redevelopment strategy can dramatically improve living conditions for families, resulting in better physical and mental health and increased employment and earnings. Moreover, redevelopment can trigger the revitalization of previously blighted communities. These outcomes also save public resources. In fact, for a typical distressed public housing project, mixed-income redevelopment can save the public more than $20 million over 20 years.
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