Exploring the relationship between housing choice vouchers and neighborhood housing dynamics in Louisville, Kentucky

Wesley L. Meares, John I.Gilderbloom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Since the inception of the housing choice voucher (HCV) program, extensive research has focused on large metropolitan areas serving as demonstration sites for federal programs and concerning the impacts of dispersal on the residents and the types of neighborhoods where residents choose to locate. Little attention has been given to medium and small cities. Our analysis focuses on a medium-sized city, Louisville, Kentucky. We focus on the 170 census tracts of Louisville to examine the variations in neighborhood housing dynamics (i.e., median assessed housing values (MAVs), number of housing code violations, number of foreclosures, and crime rates) and the concentration of HCVs. Our findings indicate a significant negative relationship between census tracts with a greater concentration of HCV units and MAVs as well as a positive relationship with foreclosures. We find that HCVs have no impact on housing code violations or crime rates. A split regression analysis, however, shows that the presence of HCVs does not have a negative impact on the top half of Louisville’s neighborhoods with high property values. Finally, we show that HCVs, which are intended to deconcentrate poverty, concentrate poverty more in neighborhoods that already have a majority of low-income residents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-54
Number of pages17
JournalHousing and Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2019


  • Housing choice vouchers
  • crime
  • foreclosures
  • housing code violations
  • housing values

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies


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