External investment in neighborhoods can inhibit crime. However, during the housing crisis, many investors were foreclosed upon, triggering large-scale community disinvestment. Yet the impact of this type of disinvestment on crime is currently unknown. Combining data on crime incidents with foreclosure, home sales, and sociodemographic data, this research assesses whether the foreclosure of properties owned by investors has an effect on crime in neighborhoods in Chandler, Arizona, a suburb in the heavily affected Phoenix region. Neighborhoods with a greater proportion of foreclosures on investors (FOIs) have higher total and property crime rates in the short term. In Hispanic neighborhoods, a greater proportion of FOIs result in lower rates of crime. Results suggest that neighborhood stabilization efforts should consider the role of investors in driving short-term crime rates, and that police and code enforcement strategies might prioritize neighborhoods with a high proportion of investor foreclosures.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Urban Studies