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«Mixed Messages on Mixed incoMes Volume 15, Number 2 • 2013 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development | Office of Policy Development and ...»

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The concept of near repeats extends to housing research because several documented problems—such as voucher relocations, property-code violations, price shocks, or foreclosures—have been shown to have patterns of spatial and temporal proximity. The theoretical underpinnings of near repeat research in criminology are geographic in nature, rooted in the first law of geography (Miller, 2004) that everything is related, but closer things are more related because they share common characteristics. I used the near repeat calculator, which can be found at http://www.temple.edu/cj/misc/nr/.

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concept posits that events geographically concentrate by spreading from one location to another in a systematic manner. The near repeat analysis shows that properties within short distance intervals— up to 1,320 feet (0.25 miles)—are likely to go into foreclosure within 90 days. These results support the nearest neighbor analysis results in that foreclosures are occurring at the street block level.

Finally, I conducted a kernel density estimation (KDE) analysis to visualize the foreclosure cluster patterns across Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.9 I overlaid the block group boundaries with the KDE output surface to examine how well foreclosure clusters aligned with the geographic units. Exhibit 8 shows foreclosed properties are highly concentrated within and across the block groups and that even units as small as block groups can still be too large and mask or dissect true local patterns. Nevertheless, the block groups generally capture the spatial extents of foreclosure concentration better than tracts.

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I used parameters from a distance analysis that revealed that 8 miles is the threshold at which clustering of foreclosures dissipated. I used a negative exponential function to model the distribution, because construction patterns often have houses that are tightly grouped within small neighborhoods. I used the geometric interval classification scheme to thematically map the density patterns to reveal the core areas of the clusters.

Cityscape 301Wilson

Analytical and Policy Considerations The examples and results in this article demonstrate the impact Simpson’s Paradox has on analysis.

My analysis revealed that using a geographic unit larger than a block group in Wilson and Behlendorf (2013) would have compromised the analysis. My findings substantiate the concerns of several authors from the cited research who acknowledged that their results could change using smaller geographic units. Baumer, Wolff, and Arnio (2012), for example, thought that results from using large geographic units were speculative about local conditions and suggested more detailed analyses be conducted within cities. In another example, Kirk and Hyra (2012) recognized that increased crime from foreclosures might exhibit stronger relationships in select neighborhoods because of localized effects. Simpson’s Paradox can be mitigated through a number of methods to meet these concerns, such as data normalization, transformation (Wilson, 2011), or optimization (Mu and Wang, 2008), as long as the data are reliable (Sperling, 2012). When these methods cannot be employed, however, identifying the geography that captures an existing spatial effect is the best approach.

The policy consequences of Simpson’s Paradox are equally as important. Urban policy often targets places, and as such, the spatial extent of those policies should match the geographic coverage area of the problem to be effective in mitigation. Using the wrong geographic unit could lead to policies that do not fully address the problem. In Wilson and Behlendorf (2013) the use of census tracts would have led to a conclusion of no spatial contagion between foreclosures and that any crime associated with those properties also did not spread into adjacent neighborhoods. The tract model results, then, might have prompted the formulation of ineffective, or less than optimal, policy in containing the spread of foreclosures and any associated crime.

Acknowledgments The author thanks Brent Mast and Jon Sperling from the Office of Policy Development and Research at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for providing valuable comments toward improving this article. The author also thanks Brandon Behlendorf from the University of Maryland for his work on the original foreclosure and crime working paper.

Author Ron Wilson is a social science analyst in the Office of Policy Development and Research at the U.S.

Department of Housing and Urban Development and an adjunct faculty member of the Geographic Information Systems program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

References Anselin, Luc, Jacqueline Cohen, David Cook, Wilpen Gorr, and George Tita. 2000. “Spatial Analyses of Crime.” In Criminal Justice 2000, vol. 4, Measurement and Analysis of Crime and Justice, edited by David Duffee. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice: 213–262.

302 SpAM

Changing Geographic Units and the Analytical Consequences:

An Example of Simpson’s Paradox Arnio, Ashley N., and Eric P. Baumer. 2012. “Demography, Foreclosure, and Crime: Assessing Spatial Heterogeneity in Contemporary Models of Neighborhood Crime Rates,” Demographic Research 26 (18): 449–488.

Arnio, Ashley N., Eric P. Baumer, and Kevin T. Wolff. 2012. “The Contemporary Foreclosure Crisis and U.S. Crime Rates,” Social Science Research 41 (6): 1598–1614.

Baumer, Eric P., Kevin T. Wolff, and Ashley N. Arnio. 2012. “A Multicity Neighborhood Analysis of Foreclosure and Crime,” Social Science Quarterly 93 (3): 577–601.

Coulton, Claudia J., Jill Korbin, Tsui Chan, and Marilyn Su. 2001. “Mapping Residents’ Perceptions of Neighborhood Boundaries: A Methodological Note,” American Journal of Community Psychology 29 (2): 371–383.

Cui, Lin. 2010. Foreclosure, Vacancy and Crime. Working paper. Available at http://papers.ssrn.

com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1773706 (accessed May 1, 2013).

Ellen, I.G., J. Lacoe, and C.A. Sharygin. 2011. Do Foreclosures Cause Crime? Unpublished manuscript. New York University.

Garcia, Ruth M., Ralph B. Taylor, and Brian A. Lawton. 2007. “The Impacts of Violent Crime and Neighborhood Structure on Trusting Your Neighbors,” Justice Quarterly 24 (4): 679–704.

Goodstein, Ryan M., and Yan Y. Lee. 2010. Do Foreclosures Increase Crime? Working paper. Available at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1670842 (accessed May 1, 2013).

Hipp, John R. 2007. “Block, Tract, and Levels of Aggregation: Neighborhood Structure and Crime and Disorder As a Case in Point,” American Sociological Review 72 (5): 659–680.

Immergluck, Daniel, and Geoff Smith. 2006. “The Impact of Single-Family Mortgage Foreclosures on Neighborhood Crime,” Housing Studies 21: 851–866.

Jones, Roderick W., and William A. Pridemore. 2012. “The Foreclosure Crisis and Crime: Is Housing-Mortgage Stress Associated With Violent and Property Crime in U.S. Metropolitan Areas?” Social Science Quarterly 93 (3): 671–691.

Katz, Charles M., Danielle Wallace, and E.C. Hedberg. 2011. “A Longitudinal Assessment of the

Impact of Foreclosure on Neighborhood Crime,” Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency. DOI:


Kirk, David S., and Derek S. Hyra. 2012. “Home Foreclosures and Community Crime: Causal or Spurious Association,” Social Science Quarterly 93 (3): 648–670.

Macintyre, Sally, Anne Ellaway, and Steven Cummins. 2002. “Place Effects on Health: How Can We Conceptualise, Operationalise and Measure Them?” Social Science & Medicine 55: 125–139.

Miller, Henry. 2004. “Tobler’s First Law and Spatial Analysis,” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 94: 284–289.

Mu, Lan, and Fahui Wang. 2008. “A Scale-Space Clustering Method: Mitigating the Effect of Scale in the Analysis of Zone-Based Data,” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 98 (1): 85–101.

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Openshaw, Stan. 1994. The Modifiable Areal Unit Problem. London, United Kingdom: Geo Books.

Also available at http://qmrg.org.uk/files/2008/11/38-maup-openshaw.pdf.

Rengert, George F., and Brian Lockwood. 2009. “Geographical Units of Analysis and the Analysis of Crime.” In Putting Crime in Its Place: Units of Analysis in Geographic Criminology, edited by David Weisburd, Wim Bernasco, and Gerben J.N. Bruinsma. New York: Springer-Verlag: 109–122.

Shaw, Clifford, and Henry D. McKay. 1942. Juvenile Delinquency in Urban Areas. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Sperling, Jon. 2012. “The Tyranny of Census Geography: Small-Area Data and Neighborhood Statistics,” Cityscape 14 (2): 219–224.

Stucky, Thomas D., John R. Ottensmann, and Seth B. Payton. 2012. “The Effect of Foreclosures on Crime in Indianapolis,” Social Science Quarterly 93 (3): 602–624.

Taylor, Ralph B. 2012. “Defining Neighborhood in Space and Time,” Cityscape 14 (2): 225–230.

Wallace, Danielle, E.C. Hedberg, and Charles M. Katz. 2012. “The Impact of Foreclosures on Neighborhood Disorder Before and During the Housing Crisis: Testing the Spiral of Decay,” Social Science Quarterly 93 (3): 625–647.

Wilson, Ronald E. 2011. “Visualizing Racial Segregation Differently: Exploring the Changing Patterns From the Effect of Underlying Geographic Distributions,” Cityscape 13 (2): 163–174.

Wilson, Ronald E., and Brandon P. Behlendorf. 2013. The Neighborhood Context of Foreclosures and Crime. Working paper. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Wilson, Ronald E., and Derek J. Paulsen. 2008. “Foreclosures and Crime: A Geographic Perspective,” Geography & Public Safety 1 (3): 1–2.

304 SpAM Calls for Papers Form Follows Families: The Evolution of U.S. Affordable Housing Design and Construction (Summer 2014 issue of Cityscape) The design, construction, and physical maintenance of U.S. low-income housing—both assisted and market-rate inventories—have undergone both remarkable innovation and astounding decay during the past century. If well designed, constructed, and maintained, affordable housing is a vital economic and social asset. If not, it is a symbol of modern urban blight, a contributor to precarious living situations, and a symptom of bureaucratic inefficiency and market disregard. The new and existing housing stock occupied by low-income Americans are mirrors of our policy and our markets.

Past historical surveys of America housing have shed light on how the bricks and mortar of our nation’s housing are inscribed with social, economic, and political meaning. This symposium seeks submissions that broaden this field by applying historical or social-science analysis to the form, materials, means, and methods of low-income housing. In this symposium we will be equally interested in both the market-rate housing stock occupied by low-income households and the assisted housing stock. The topics of interest are wide and include, but are not limited to, (1) gender, race, or physical mobility and housing design; (2) municipal “incivilities” ordinances and building codes;

(3) measures of inadequate or distressed housing; (4) vernacular design and occupant preferences;

and (5) homebuyer and occupant maintenance and repair behaviors. Submit proposals via cityscape@ hud.gov; full drafts are expected by November 30, 2013.

Inclusion and Exclusion in American Neighborhoods (Fall 2014 issue of Cityscape) The articles in this symposium may be either theoretical or empirical, and they may use either qualitative or quantitative methods. Among the topics of interest are (1) ethnographic examinations of mixed-race and mixed-income communities, particularly focusing on how different strategies and contexts facilitate racial and economic integration; (2) analyses of local government policies that advance or hinder the development of mixed-race and mixed-income communities; and (3) analyses of how specific programs (either mobility programs or place-based investment programs) advance the development of mixed-race and mixed-income communities. If interested in submitting an article or serving as a peer reviewer, contact Paul Joice (paul.a.joice@hud.gov) or Meena Bavan (meena.s.bavan@hud.gov) by October 1, 2013. Individuals invited to submit articles must provide a full draft by February 1, 2014.

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Cityscape 307 Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research • Volume 15, Number 2 • 2013 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development • Office of Policy Development and Research Contents Symposium Mixed Messages on Mixed Incomes Guest Editors: James C. Fraser, Deirdre Oakley, and Diane K. Levy Guest Editors’ Introduction: Policy Assumptions and Lived Realities of Mixed-Income Housing on Both Sides of the Atlantic

Mixed-Income Living: Anticipated and Realized Benefits for Low-Income Households by Diane K. Levy, Zach McDade, and Kassie Bertumen

Ethnically Diverse HOPE VI Redevelopments: A Community Case Study From the Pacific Northwest by JoDee Keller, Janice Laakso, Christine Stevens, and Cathy Tashiro

Mixed-Tenure Orthodoxy: Practitioner Reflections on Policy Effects by Ade Kearns, Martin McKee, Elena Sautkina, George Weeks, and Lyndal Bond

Commentaries On Spatial Solutions to Social Problems by James DeFilippis

Mixing Policies: Expectations and Achievements by Hilary Silver

Making Mixed-Income Neighborhoods Work for Low-Income Households by James C. Fraser, Robert J. Chaskin, and Joshua Theodore Bazuin

Lessons Learned From the Largest Tenure-Mix Operation in the World: Right to Buy in the United Kingdom by Reinout Kleinhans and Maarten van Ham

Commentaries Housing Policy Possibilities in the Prison of Property Relations: A Commentary by Katherine Hankins

Mixed-Income Housing: Where Have We Been and Where Do We Go From Here?

by Derek Hyra

Examining Mobility Outcomes in the Housing Choice Voucher Program: Neighborhood Poverty, Employment, and Public School Quality by Victoria Basolo

Mobility Decisions of Very Low-Income Households by Kimberly Skobba and Edward G. Goetz

“It was really hard.... It was alright.... It was easy.” Public Housing Relocation Experiences and Destination Satisfaction in Atlanta by Deirdre Oakley, Erin Ruel, and Lesley Reid............. 173 Commentaries Market-Driven Public Housing Reforms: Inadequacy for Poverty Alleviation by Amy T. Khare. 193 False Assumptions About Poverty Dispersal Policies by Rachel Garshick Kleit................. 205 Acknowledging the Structural Features of Choice by Sudhir Venkatesh

Cityscape Mixed-Income Symposium Summary and Response: Implications for Antipoverty Policy by Mark L. Joseph

Point of Contention: Homeownership and Child Well-Being Do Kids of Homeowners Do Better Than Kids of Renters? by Richard K. Green

The Relationship of Homeownership, House Prices, and Child Well-Being by Donald Haurin... 227 The Evidence Does Not Show That Homeownership Benefits Children by David R. Barker....... 231 Looking Back To Move Forward in Homeownership Research by Sandra J. Newman and C. Scott Holupka

Departments Policy Briefs The Federal Housing Administration and Long-Term Affordable Homeownership Programs by Edwin Stromberg and Brian Stromberg

Data Shop New Data on Local Vacant Property Registration Ordinances by Yun Sang Lee, Patrick Terranova, and Dan Immergluck

Graphic Detail Visualizing Same-Sex Couple Household Data With Linked Micromaps by Brent D. Mast

Impact Refinancing Hospital Loans by Alastair McFarlane

Industrial Revolution Smart-Grid Technologies in Housing by M.G. Matt Syal and Kweku Ofei-Amoh

SpAM Changing Geographic Units and the Analytical Consequences: An Example of Simpson’s Paradox by Ron Wilson

Calls for Papers

Referees 2012–13

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