New Study Explores How Housing Impacts Gun Violence, Health, and Safety

Recent research published by JAMA Internal Medicine finds a direct link between housing remediation and the reduction of gun violence in neighborhoods. The study focused on abandoned houses in predominantly Black neighborhoods in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Houses were randomly selected by researchers for inclusion in the study and three different approaches to remediation were studied: full remediation (involving trash clean-up, weeding, and the installation of working doors and windows), trash cleanup and weeding only, and no intervention. While researchers found no reliable connections between house remediation and the other variables under examination (substance-use outcomes, perceptions of safety, and time spent outside by residents), substantial drops in weapons violations, gun assaults, and shootings were found to be associated with remediation. “Structural racism has resulted in long-standing disinvestment and dilapidated environmental conditions in Black neighborhoods,” write the study’s authors. “Abandoned houses signal neglect and foster stress and fear for residents, weakening social ties and potentially contributing to poor health and safety.” Access the study here