PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
FREE PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION

City-funded housing repairs in low-income neighborhoods associated with drop in crime

Penn Medicine research suggests that investment in structurally damaged homes in low-income and minority neighborhoods are associated with reduced crime and improved public health

2021-07-21
(Press-News.org) PHILADELPHIA--Investing in structural home repairs in historically segregated, low-income, Black and Latino neighborhoods has been associated with reduced crime rates. In Philadelphia, when a home received repairs through a city-funded program, total crime dropped by 21.9% on that block, and as the number of repaired houses on a block increased, instances of crime fell even further, according to research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania published today in JAMA Network Open.

In an effort to address an old housing stock and high levels of historical disinvestment in Philadelphia, the city implemented the Basic Systems Repair Program (BSRP) in 1995, which repairs structural damages to the homes of low-income owners, such as replacing an exterior wall to stop leaking, or electrical repairs that include replacing circuits that overheat, spark, or won't stay on, causing inconsistent heating and unreliable electricity. The majority of BSRP homes are in Black and Latino neighborhoods. Researchers hypothesized that over time these micro-investments would have an impact on community health, including crime.

Using BSRP data from 2006 through 2013, researchers determined that 13,632 houses on 6,732 blocks in Philadelphia received BSRP repairs. They then merged crime data - which included instances of homicide, assault, burglary, theft, robbery, disorderly conduct, and public drunkenness - from the Philadelphia Police Department with BSRP data to create a database that allowed them to understand the impact of BSRP investment on crime in every block across the city over time. This data revealed lower instances of all crime, including homicide, on blocks with a single BSRP-repaired home compared to blocks that were eligible for a BSRP-repaired home but did not get the intervention. With each additional repaired home, instances of crime on that block declined further.

"We can now add structural home repairs to the growing list of place-based neighborhood interventions with strong evidence that they can help reduce violent crime," said lead author Eugenia South, MD, MSHP, an assistant professor of Emergency Medicine and Faculty Director of the Penn Urban Health Lab. "Violent crime is out of control in many cities across the country right now and policy makers should prioritize funding for structural, scalable, and sustainable interventions such as the BSRP that address the lasting scars of historical disinvestment in Black neighborhoods."

The root causes of violent crime in Black urban neighborhoods are structural, including historical racial segregation, concentrated poverty, lack of economic opportunity, and deterioration of the neighborhood's physical conditions - houses in disrepair, blighted vacant lots, and a lack of greenspace. What's more, the health implications of violence exposure are vast and include increased depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and cardiovascular disease.

"There is a critical need to invest in the housing stock in cities across the U.S, particularly in majority Black neighborhood that have not received such investment for far too long, if ever," said senior author Vincent Raina PhD, an Associate Professor of Planning and Urban Economics and the Faculty Director of the Housing Initiative at Penn. "This research shows that even small investments in housing stabilization benefit both those homeowners who live in homes that receive support and the blocks and neighborhoods in which they live through crime reduction."

The research teams says that programs like BSRP are small relative to housing needs, and are not the sole solution to addressing years of systemic racial discrimination in public and private investments and lending in housing, but they are emblematic of the positive impact that a more robust and comprehensive public and private response to systemic racial inequities in housing and neighborhood investments can have.

"Stable housing is important for creating and maintaining safe and functioning neighborhoods," says David Thomas, CEO of Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation (PHDC). "For over 40 years BSRP has helped individuals and families relieve what can be overwhelming financial and mental pressure that occurs when you need necessary housing repairs but lack resources. The program has also helped reduce homelessness by keeping persons in their homes, preserve blocks and communities, and reduce blight."

"Just as there is no one cause of crime there is no one solution," said Mayor Jim Kenney. "Investing in our neighborhoods, as we do with PHDC's BSRP program, strengthens those neighborhoods and, as we see in this study, reduces crime. Our challenge is to continue to find new approaches and resources to supporting community investment for programs like BSRP that stabilize communities."

INFORMATION:

John MacDonald, PhD, Professor of Criminology at the University of Pennsylvania was also an author on the study. The study was supported by the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics.

Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $8.9 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top medical schools in the United States for more than 20 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $496 million awarded in the 2020 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center--which are recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report--Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Medicine Princeton Health; and Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional facilities and enterprises include Good Shepherd Penn Partners, Penn Medicine at Home, Lancaster Behavioral Health Hospital, and Princeton House Behavioral Health, among others.

Penn Medicine is powered by a talented and dedicated workforce of more than 44,000 people. The organization also has alliances with top community health systems across both Southeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey, creating more options for patients no matter where they live.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2020, Penn Medicine provided more than $563 million to benefit our community.



ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

Glass sponges have properties for the design of ships, planes and skyscrapers

2021-07-21
Rome (Italy), July 21st, 2021 - The remarkable structural properties of the basket sponge (E. aspergillum) might seem fathoms removed from human-engineered structures. However, insights into how the organism's latticework of holes and ridges influences the hydrodynamics of seawater in its vicinity could lead to advanced designs for buildings, bridges, marine vehicles and aircraft, and anything that must respond safely to forces imposed by the flow of air or water. While past research has investigated the structure of the sponge, there have been few studies of the hydrodynamic fields ...

The need for nuance in carbohydrate recommendations

2021-07-21
Carbohydrates have traditionally been the largest source of energy intake for much of the world's population1. However, without a standard definition for carbohydrate quality, some foods that contain carbohydrates are often stigmatized based on isolated and reductionist assessment methods that fail to consider their contributions to nutrient intakes and balanced, healthy diets. A new perspective piece, published in Advances in Nutrition, brings to light the pressing need to define carbohydrate quality, to better assess the value of nutrient-dense carbohydrate-containing foods in healthy lifestyles. Ultimately, the authors call for a more holistic approach to carbohydrate guidance to address the complex ...

Traditional Japanese food may hold building blocks of COVID-19 treatments

Traditional Japanese food may hold building blocks of COVID-19 treatments
2021-07-21
Natto, a fermented soybean dish often served for breakfast in Japan, originated at the turn of the last millennium but may hold an answer to a modern problem: COVID-19, according to a new study based on cell cultures. Long thought to contribute to longer, healthier lives across Japan -- the country with the longest life expectancy on Earth and home to more than a quarter of the world's population aged 65 years or older -- natto was previously found to be a diet staple in those who were least likely to die from stroke or cardiac disease. Now, researchers have found that extract made from the sticky, strong smelling natto may inhibit the ability of the virus that causes COVID-19 to infect cells. The team published its results on July 13th in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. ...

Researchers discover nucleotide sequence responsible for effectively fighting pathologies

Researchers discover nucleotide sequence responsible for effectively fighting pathologies
2021-07-21
Researchers from HSE University have discovered nucleotide sequences characteristic of microRNA isoforms (microRNAs with errors). The discovery will help predict errors in microRNA behaviour and create drugs that can detect targets (such as viruses) more effectively. The results of the study have been published in the RNA Biology journal. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are very small molecules that regulate all the processes in a cell, including the transformation of inherited information in RNA or proteins (gene expression). Each microRNA has its own unique set of targets--genes whose activity it can suppress. Recent studies show that even slight changes in microRNA nucleotide sequences (so-called microRNA isoforms or isomiRs) can completely rebuild numerous targets. This can drastically ...

A novel method for the rapid repair of peripheral nerve injuries

2021-07-21
Each year, hundreds of thousands of people worldwide suffer from peripheral nerve injuries, which often leave them with long-term disabilities. The peripheral nervous system is analogous to the circulatory system; a network of vessels that reaches all parts of the body, but instead of blood flowing through vessels, electrical signals propagate information through thin fibers called axons, which are engulfed within nerve trunks. These nerve trunks are the communication network relaying information from all parts of the body to the brain, coordinating activity, and generating motor and sensory function. If one of the nerve trunks is damaged or torn - a common condition in limb injuries ...

A global comparison of life-cycle GHG emissions from passenger cars

2021-07-21
A far-reaching new study of the life-cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from passenger cars, including SUVs, draws sharp and meticulous distinctions between the climate impacts of battery and fuel cell electric vehicles on one hand and combustion vehicles on the other. The detailed findings can be summarized straightforwardly. Only battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) powered by renewable electricity can achieve the kind of deep reductions in GHG emissions from transportation that comport with the Paris Agreement's goal of ...

Toxic facility relocation depends on community pressure

2021-07-21
URBANA, Ill. - No one wants to live near a toxic plant. Toxic-releasing facilities such as paper, pulp, and other manufacturing plants negatively affect human health, environmental quality, and property values. And communities with lower income and educational attainment are more likely to house such facilities. Since mandatory reporting about toxic facilities became publicly available in 1990, affected communities have increasingly expressed concern through the media, and engaged in targeted collective action and "toxic torts" lawsuits for health and environmental damages. New ...

Wearable brain-machine interface turns intentions into actions

Wearable brain-machine interface turns intentions into actions
2021-07-21
A new wearable brain-machine interface (BMI) system could improve the quality of life for people with motor dysfunction or paralysis, even those struggling with locked-in syndrome - when a person is fully conscious but unable to move or communicate. A multi-institutional, international team of researchers led by the lab of Woon-Hong Yeo at the Georgia Institute of Technology combined wireless soft scalp electronics and virtual reality in a BMI system that allows the user to imagine an action and wirelessly control a wheelchair or robotic arm. The team, which included researchers from the University of Kent (United Kingdom) and Yonsei University (Republic of Korea), describes the new motor imagery-based BMI system this month ...

New method predicts COVID-19 severity, could help with hospital triage

2021-07-21
During the height of the pandemic, some hospitals were overwhelmed with patients seeking treatment for COVID-19. This situation could happen again during future outbreaks, especially with SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern on the rise. Now, researchers reporting in ACS' Analytical Chemistry have developed a blood test to predict which people infected with COVID-19 are most likely to experience serious symptoms, which could help health care workers prioritize patients for hospitalization and intensive care. Although many people who contract COVID-19 have either no symptoms or mild ones, some require intensive care for pneumonia with acute respiratory distress syndrome. Risk factors for severe disease include older age, ...

Advancing the long-term well-being of people living with HIV

2021-07-21
Since antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV was introduced in 1996, AIDS-related morbidity and mortality has declined significantly. People living with HIV are now expected to live nearly as long as people without HIV. Despite these advances, those living with HIV often report poor well-being and health-related quality of life. To guide stakeholders in improving health system responses to achieve the best possible long-term health outcomes for people living with HIV, a global multidisciplinary group of HIV experts led by CUNY SPH Senior Scholar Jeffrey Lazarus and including Distinguished Professor Denis Nash and Associate Professor Diana Romero developed a consensus statement identifying the key issues health systems must address in order to move beyond the longtime ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

Scientists model 'true prevalence' of COVID-19 throughout pandemic

New breakthrough to help immune systems in the fight against cancer

Through the thin-film glass, researchers spot a new liquid phase

Administering opioids to pregnant mice alters behavior and gene expression in offspring

Brain's 'memory center' needed to recognize image sequences but not single sights

Safety of second dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines after first-dose allergic reactions

Changes in disparities in access to care, health after Medicare eligibility

Use of high-risk medications among lonely older adults

65+ and lonely? Don't talk to your doctor about another prescription

Exosome formulation developed to deliver antibodies for choroidal neovascularization therapy

Second COVID-19 mRNA vaccine dose found safe following allergic reactions to first dose

Plant root-associated bacteria preferentially colonize their native host-plant roots

Rare inherited variants in previously unsuspected genes may confer significant risk for autism

International experts call for a unified public health response to NAFLD and NASH epidemic

International collaboration of scientists rewrite the rulebook of flowering plant genetics

Improving air quality reduces dementia risk, multiple studies suggest

Misplaced trust: When trust in science fosters pseudoscience

Two types of blood pressure meds prevent heart events equally, but side effects differ

New statement provides path to include ethnicity, ancestry, race in genomic research

Among effective antihypertensive drugs, less popular choice is slightly safer

Juicy past of favorite Okinawan fruit revealed

Anticipate a resurgence of respiratory viruses in young children

Anxiety, depression, burnout rising as college students prepare to return to campus

Goal-setting and positive parent-child relationships reduce risk of youth vaping

New research identifies cancer types with little survival improvements in adolescents and young adul

Oncotarget: Replication-stress sensitivity in breast cancer cells

Oncotarget: TERT and its binding protein: overexpression of GABPA/B in gliomas

Development of a novel technology to check body temperature with smartphone camera

The mechanics of puncture finally explained

Extreme heat, dry summers main cause of tree death in Colorado's subalpine forests

[Press-News.org] City-funded housing repairs in low-income neighborhoods associated with drop in crime
Penn Medicine research suggests that investment in structurally damaged homes in low-income and minority neighborhoods are associated with reduced crime and improved public health