Some have criticized the plan for having the right goals but not accomplishing them, or not going about them in the right way. The National Housing Law Project issued a joint report saying, "HOPE VI has been characterized by a lack of clear standards, a lack of hard data on program results, and misleading and contradictory statements made by HUD." The report said:
"HUD's failure to provide comprehensive and accurate information about HOPE VI has created an environment in which misimpressions about the program and its basic purposes and outcomes have flourished- often with encouragement from HUD. HOPE VI plays upon the public housing program's unfairly negative reputation and an exaggerated sense of crisis about the state of public housing in general to justify a drastic model of large-scale family displacement and housing redevelopment that increasingly appears to do more harm than good."
Some have criticized the new developments, because they do not require a "one-for-one" replacement of the old housing unit—the new unit does not have to house the same number of tenants, which results in a net loss of housing for the poor. (The one-for-one replacement policy was repealed by Congress in 1998, separately from HUD's implementation of HOPE VI.) The Urban Institute reported that the number of units receiving a federal subsidy and available for the deeply poor to live in is cut in half in developments arising from the program. The National Low Income Housing Coalition has said that no HOPE VI grants should be allotted without requirements for one-for-one unit replacement.
The NLIHC maintains that in order to acquire federal grants, local housing authorities have "demolished viable units and displaced families." The program has been called "notorious" for its allotment of federal grants for demolition of public housing, and some say it has resulted in a "dramatic loss of housing."
Some critics have said that local authorities use the program as a legal means to evict poor residents in favor of more affluent residents in a process of gentrification. They have said that less than 12% of those displaced from old housing eventually move into the replacement housing. One writer asserted that in the case of a section of Cabrini–Green in Chicago, residents were forced out for HOPE VI redevelopment by armed police.
Federal auditors found that HUD was awarding grants based on the ability of the area to generate income for the city rather than the actual state of the housing project in question. Only seven of the first 34 grants went towards the development of high-rise housing.
Criticism has also been targeted at the private management of the eventual redevelopments, which are built with mostly public funding. Others have characterized this is a positive aspect of the program.
Read more about this topic: HOPE VI
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