Mai Thi Nguyen, William M. Rohe, , Hye-Sung Han, Mary Donegan, and Kirstin Frescoln
This research was funded by the Charlotte Housing Authority through a HOPE VI grant that was funded in 2010.
Boulevard Homes was completed in 1970 on a 34-acre site, 4.5 miles west of Uptown Charlotte. The development consisted of 121 buildings, which contained 300 housing units and one stand-alone building that housed the Property Management Office. By 2007, the development had significant physical problems and high rates of crime and poverty. In 2010, the median income of Boulevard Homes households was $14,076, substantially below the city’s median income of $52,148. A full 93 percent of Boulevard Homes residents received food stamps. The high school dropout rate was 14.3 percent, compared to the city’s rate of 5.1 percent, and the percent of births to adolescents was 21.6 percent, compared to the city’s rate of 6.4 percent. Clearly, this was a socially distressed community.
Redevelopment planning began in 2007 and the approved plan included the construction of 334 on-site units and an additional 625 off-site units. The redevelopment plan also called for an “educational campus,” based on the Purpose Built Communities model which included an early childhood development center, a new public K-8 school, and community college classes to be held in the newly developed community center.
Our research team conducted a five-year evaluation of the relocation process and the social, economic and health outcomes to households participating in the program.