Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Graduate School of Social Work

First Advisor

Jean F. East, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Daniel Brisson

Third Advisor

Nicole N. Nicotera


Community-organizing, Engagement, Mixed-income, Readiness, Redevelopment, Transition


Since 1990, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has supported mixed-income redevelopment (MIR) strategies to address the problems of concentrated urban poverty neighborhoods with traditional public housing structures. This study focused on two neighborhoods in Denver, Colorado, with more than 38% of the residents living in poverty, which are facing transit-oriented MIR in the coming years. Residents in both neighborhoods have engaged in formal planning processes and community organizing as a way to be prepared for the change.

The study posed three research questions: (1) what predicts a community's readiness for MIR, (2) what predicts resident involvement as community activists in neighborhood organizations, and (3) what are public housing residents' responses to the evidence of previous HOPE VI project outcomes and their perspectives on what is needed for transition and relocation success. A mixed methods design was used that included a quasi-experimental survey of residents in the two neighborhoods (n=387), in-depth interviews (n= 25) of residents in one neighborhood where redevelopment is already underway, and the analysis of public artifacts and documents available during the study process. Residents participating in the survey were predominantly female (73%), Hispanic (44%) or African American (22%), and had incomes of less than $12,500 (76%). The majority of the sample resides in traditional public housing (66%), as well as those residing in redeveloped public housing (21%), low-income HUD subsidized apartments (11%), and neighboring houses (12%).

Research question one found that readiness for transit-oriented MIR can be predicted with social cohesion, organizational collective efficacy, and having a transition and/or relocation plan. Research question two found that involvement in neighborhood organizations can be predicted by resident awareness of neighborhood problems, resident activism, and their perception of their community's capacity for change. Research question three found that residents facing a MIR move are already distressed, if they are going to move want to move up, and require multisystem support. The research addresses the HUD goal to build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination. Implications for social work practice include the need to include both clinical supports and community processes to help prepare residents for change.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Laurie A. Walker


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

495 p.


Social work