The external effects of public housing have been a controversial topic in housing studies. Negative spillover effect of public housing on nearby property values may exist due to the deteriorated physical structure of public housing and the concentration of poor tenants. Some researchers believe that concentrated poverty by the public housing could lead to crime and youth misbehavior, thus resulting in further neighborhood decline. But, other scholars argue that public housing, such as HOPE VI projects, could contribute to neighborhood revitalization by removing disamenities of the neighborhood.

Although the results of empirical studies about the spillover effects of public housing are still inconsistent, the impacts of various assisted rental housing programs have been investigated continuously in the context of developed countries, in particular, using many U.S. cases. But, less is known regarding the effect of public housing projects in Asian countries having different institutional and market contexts. Therefore, this study aims to analyze the effects of public housing projects in Korea. South Korea has experienced rapid urbanization and economic growth, and it has a very unique housing tenure system, called Chonsei, and relatively lower level of residential segregation compared to U.S. cities.

Specifically, three research questions are addressed.

  1. What is the effect of public housing projects on nearby home values?
  2. Does the effect of public housing vary depending on the income level of target population?
  3. Does the effect of public housing vary depending on the rental tenure types?