McNair/Gateway Scholars Program USC

Breanna Morrison

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Major and Classification

Policy, Planning and Development

Faculty Mentors

  • Terry Cooper, Ph.D.
  • Leonard Mitchell, J.D., M.B.A.

Department

  • School of Policy, Planning and Development

McNair Project

How Community Involvement Affects Public Housing Redevelopment Projects in Los Angeles Case Study: Jordan Downs Redevelopment Project

Abstract
The nation-wide trend to replace public housing projects with mixed-income, mixed-use, developments has left some low-income residents displaced. This study investigates how community involvement affects public housing redevelopment projects in Los Angeles city in order to increase resident engagement and minimize displacement. Involvement was gauged for 15 major public housing developments using community indicators and statistical data like changes in crime rates and civic participation. This study used census and archival data to correlate community involvement, resident satisfaction, and redevelopment efficiency. In addition, a case study of the Jordan Downs redevelopment project in Watts was conducted using field observations and data analysis to collect information on resident satisfaction and the level of community involvement. The results of this research shed light on obstacles that arise when housing authorities attempt to initiate community involvement, barriers to resident involvement, methods to overcome those barriers, and the consequences of excluding residents in the redevelopment process from the start. Redevelopment projects that engaged the residential and surrounding community early on in the process had greater success in achieving community indicators.