Some of Madden/Wells buildings were closed down fast when buildings experienced “emergency conditions”–much like Cabrini-Green is doing right now. Because of this, service providers didn’t always have enough time to sell families on why they should move to a neighborhood that was totally different from the one they came from.
And it wasn’t always clear what moving to a “good” neighborhood meant. While some of us might see a neighborhood as higher in crime or lacking in good jobs, former Madden/Wells residents might look at that neighborhood and recognize its strengths–proximity to family or friends, social networks like churches and neighborhood associations. While some might look at their chosen destination and call it “isolated,” they see isolation as living on the Far North side, far from anyone they know, with no car and no experience living there…
“Opportunity areas” didn’t end up being that popular with residents. By the end of 2008, Urban Institute’s study shows, service providers had done 88 showings in opportunity areas. But by 2010, “only 26 families had moved to a low-poverty area, and just 4 had moved to an opportunity area.”
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