Date of Award
Master of Arts
Criminology and Criminal Justice
Foreclosures are potentially problematic for neighborhood crime rates by providing crime attractors to residential communities. In the past, like many criminogenic features, foreclosures were typically seen as an inner city problem; however, in the wake of the housing market collapse of 2008 precipitated by suspect banking practices, foreclosures were particularly impacting young and new middle class homeowners (i.e., people with little credit history or assets). This study improves upon past research in two areas. First, instead of using large heterogeneous units of analysis (e.g., block groups, tracts, counties), this study uses street blocks. Street blocks, here, are preferred because of their relative homogeneity, especially when compared to large aggregate areal units. Second, this study restricts crime to only those that occur in residential areas. The routine activities surrounding residential areas are substantially different from those surrounding other land uses. Chi-square results show a significant and positive relationship between foreclosure and crime. Moran's I shows a significant positive relationship between foreclosure and crime. LISA analysis additionally provides insight into the importance of locational characteristics that may further shed light on the foreclosure-crime relationship. Results here suggest further research of the foreclosure-crime relationship should utilize street segments as the base unit of analysis and control for crime location.
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