This article statistically examines the sale prices of single-family homes surrounding Section 8 sites first occupied between 1991 and 1995 in Baltimore County. If only a few Section 8 sites were located within 500 feet, a strong positive impact on property values in higher-valued, real-appreciation, predominantly white census tracts was found. However, in low-valued or moderately-valued census tracts experiencing real declines in values since 1990, Section 8 sites and units located in high densities had a substantial adverse effect on prices within 2,000 feet, with the effect attenuated past 500 feet. Focus groups with homeowners revealed that the negative impact was based on the units' imperfect correlation with badly managed and maintained properties. The authors argue that policies should be devised to direct Section 8 households away from vulnerable neighborhoods, better regulate managers of Section 8 apartments, and more stringently screen and monitor Section 8 households.
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