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Technical Report

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This report describes a collaborative project between the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) and the Center for Urban Research and Learning (CURL) at Loyola University Chicago. The project, entitled Safety Enhanced Communities Utilizing Resident Endeavors (SECURE), is designed to evaluate the effectiveness of physical security improvements in affordable housing developments. The project began in August of 1997 and was completed in December of 1998.

The focus of the SECURE program was to address the growing security needs and concerns among residents who live in transitional neighborhoods with relatively high crime rates. The SECURE project studied four affordable housing developments in the Chicago area. The housing developments that participated in the program were The Pines of Edgewater, Northpoint, Diversey Square, and Park Apartments.

IHDA selected the participating developments based on location, ability to implement the program, neighborhood characteristics, and management capacity. The four developments are geographically dispersed throughout Chicago and each is situated in a unique neighborhood setting. Each development submitted a proposal describing the security concerns at the property and how they planned to address these problems. In addition, the developments were to create a local partnership including the active participation of residents, the integration of local community policing strategies (CAPS), and the collaboration with an existing neighborhood organization to promote safety. In return, IHDA provided funding for physical security improvements at each of the four participating developments. The security upgrades included hardware, such as lighting, fencing, metal doors, and monitoring equipment. The total grant amounts to $435,000, serving a total of 885 units.

CURL’s responsibility was to conduct a comprehensive research evaluation of the SECURE program. The evaluation determined the impact of the security improvements in creating a safer environment and reducing residents’ fear of crime.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.