shaping advocacy strategiesThe Impact of Homeownership on Neighborhood Stability
Rock the Block NeighborhoodWichita's Rock the Block isn't just a catchy name – it's a testament to the neighborhood's remarkable transformation. Once struggling with high crime rates, Rock the Block has seen a significant drop in recent years. And what's the secret? Homeownership.
Breaking the Cycle
Imagine a street lined with proud homeowners, children playing freely, and neighbors looking out for each other. That's the picture emerging in Rock the Block, where a rise in homeownership is coincided with a progressive decrease in crime rates.
In 2022, Claire Hardman, a research volunteer at Wichita Habitat for Humanity, conducted a study to investigate the correlation between homeownership and 911 calls as well as crime rates in a revitalized neighborhood.
The findings of this research shed light on the potential connection between homeownership and community safety, providing valuable insights for future revitalization efforts in Wichita and beyond.
The Questions Asked
To assess the impacts of crime on Habitat neighborhoods, researchers focused on the following questions:
Lower homeownership rates linked to elevated crime rates and increased 911 calls
The map depicts the Rock the Block neighborhood area, which, prior to 2010, had a 21% homeownership rate.
- High crime rates act as deterrents for residents and investors, contributing to the decline of property values.
- An improved neighborhood image attracts new builders, ultimately boosting property values and influencing policymakers.
- Residents, feeling overlooked, drive policy changes through their narratives, fostering community revitalization.
The study demonstrates that 911 calls decreased over the years in the Rock the Block neighborhood as more Habitat homes were built.
Police calls have been steadily declining since a spike in 2010.
EMS calls have generally stayed consistent.
Fire calls have generally stayed consistent.
These statistics prove to policymakers and legislators that affordable homeownership not only stabilizes a neighborhood, but also decreases reliance on community services.
- Homeownership stabilizes a community which enables the formation of stronger social networks, leading to better communication and support systems.
- With increased homeownership, the overall community becomes more resilient and self-sustaining, allowing emergency services to focus on critical situations.
- Educated homeowners proactively support community involvement and problem-solving. Issues are addressed before they escalate to emergency situations.
Feelings from Rock the Block
Amanda, Habitat Homeowner (since 2015)
"I feel a newfound sense of security, particularly on my block. My welcoming neighbors play a huge role in this, and the increasing number of families settling here amplifies the observant atmosphere."
Officer Grindley, community police officer
"The characteristics of Habitat housing developments, including strong community engagement, might explain the lower service call rates in those areas."
Rock the Block: Building Brighter Futures Through Affordable Housing
Launched in 2014, Wichita Habitat for Humanity saw the growing need for safe, affordable housing and focused its efforts on infill development in the A. Price Woodard Neighborhood to serve families.
More than 10 blighted properties removed.
$2.4 million in private funds invested in the neighborhood.
The 100th Habitat home will be completed in 2024.
241+ children now live in safe, affordable Wichita Habitat homes.