Neighborhood environments are a known social determinant of health. Vacant and abandoned buildings and lots, poor or hazardous housing conditions, combined with crime and violence can affect residents’ health and well-being. Nationwide Children’s Hospital launched its Healthy Neighborhoods Healthy Families initiative in 2008 which sought to improve residents’ health by rejuvenating vacant and abandoned properties and increasing homeownership in the South Side neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio. Between 2008 and 2019 the program funded 309 repairs or renovations in this neighborhood. We conducted a ZIP code-level comparative case study of HNHF program housing interventions using a synthetic control methodology to evaluate changes in crime in the program area compared to those in a synthetic control area. We found evidence of relative reduction in total crimes in the HNHF program area, relative to its synthetic control, after the intervention. This decrease can largely be accounted for by a decline in thefts. Some evidence of additional decline in drug possession is seen. This program to repair, rebuild, and increase ownership of housing has shown social benefit for neighbors of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
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