MYTH BUSTING: Huntsville Housing Project Crime Rates Are Lower Than Perceived

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -- We have heard the myth before; when public housing moves into your neighborhood, crime will dramatically increase.

But not so fast.

Just last week, WHNT News 19 covered a southwest Huntsville community meeting where time and time again people in the crowd associated a planned new Huntsville Housing Authority project with more crime.

Sgt. Mark Roberts with the Huntsville Police Department says that despite that myth, crime rates are actually a lot lower in HHA properties then other areas surrounding them.

“Our analysis of the numbers shows the crime rate at the housing authority properties compared to the surrounding properties is much lower,” Sgt. Roberts said.

A recent push by the HHA to decentralize housing into other parts of the community has faced stark criticism from some neighborhood associations. Sgt. Roberts says a lot of the crime is found in apartment complexes with owners who do not live in the area and will “rent to anyone.”

Police say they wish they had partnerships with those owners like they do with the HHA because it would make it easier to patrol and control crime in those areas with more corporation from landlords.

The HHA has not settled on any location for new developments but are still taking public input.

*Read more here about a plan to put more HHA developments in west Huntsville