In 2000, the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) began the Plan for Transformation, an ambitious effort to rehabilitate or replace substandard high-rise public housing developments in Chicago. During the Transformation, CHA leaseholders have been relocated either temporarily or permanently to housing in the private market, housing in new mixed income communities or in other public housing units. With support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, NORC at the University of Chicago has been conducting the Resident Relocation Survey (RRS) to gain an understanding of the impact of the Transformation on the lives of those relocated. The survey sample includes leaseholders relocated in 2002 and 2003; these leaseholders have been interviewed at four points in time since relocating from their original public housing units.
NORC conducted the baseline survey with the full population of the Phase 2 cohort late in 2002 and a follow-up survey with a sample of Phase 2 leaseholders in 2003. The baseline survey with a sample of Phase 3 leaseholders was conducted in 2003, with a follow-up survey in 2004/2005. A second follow-up survey was conducted with both Phase 2 and Phase 3 in 2006. The third follow-up was conducted in 2009. NORC achieved high response rates for these surveys: between 86 and 94%.
The survey content increased over time; in addition to enumerating household members and collecting standard demographics, the 2009 instrument included questions on the following topics:
- Housing status
- Employment History
- Economic Hardship
- Social Service Utilization and Effectiveness
- Current Housing Unit and Neighborhood
- Health Assessment
- Children in the Household
- Overall Satisfaction
The data allowed a test of seventeen hypotheses that examines our key research questions related to managing finances, housing stability, lease compliance, neighborhood involvement, outdoor play, labor market participation, access to transportation, perceptions of safety and opportunities for life improvement.
Unique features of the study and its design include:
- Data captured data about each child in the household
- Non-respondents tracking and a comparison of non-responders to respondents
- Permission was obtained from parents to link survey date Chicago Public School data
Permission was obtained from leaseholders to link leaseholder data to employment records, social service records and criminal justice records.
At the time interviews with leaseholders were conducted in 2009 NORC also conducted interviews with youth between the ages of 12 and 17 living in households with relocated leaseholders. In-person interviews were conducted with 487 youth (82.6%). In addition to basic survey demographics the survey included questions on the following topics:
- Visiting former neighborhood
- Pro-social activities
- Time outside of school
The survey instrument excluded sensitive questions on illegal and anti-social behaviors as there was not enough time to obtain a Certificate of Confidentiality protecting the data from forced disclosure.
Resident Relocation Survey Questionnaires and Reports
Read questionnaires for each survey and the NORC reports associated with each round of data: