Who Moves to Lawrenceville and Why?


This study was conducted to provide community leaders with a rich understanding of residents moving to and from Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhoods. A survey of those who have recently moved in or out of Lawrenceville was conducted by the University Center for Social and Urban Research (UCSUR) at the University of Pittsburgh in the summer of 2011. The survey was mailed to new and former residents of Lawrenceville and focused on the factors that affected their decision to move.

People move for a variety of reasons, and these moves are often tied to different events or stages of a person’s life. Family-related reasons prompt many moves in the U.S., and can include a desire to be closer to friends or family, marriage, or to establish a new household. A number of moves are also career-driven, including changing residences to attend school, start a new job, job transfers, and retirement. Moves also occur for a variety of other factors, including a desire to become a homeowner, to find a higher-quality or more-affordable home, to move to a more-appealing community, or have an easier commute.

Whatever drives the decision, movers have a very strong impact on neighborhoods and housing markets. The general patterns in these moves can differ tremendously from one community to the next. Some neighborhoods attract residents moving from across the country, while others largely appeal to those living in nearby communities. The results of this survey provide an understanding of who is moving to and from Lawrenceville, and why. It also documents the housing search process of new and former residents, along with their perceptions of Lawrenceville. Results can be used to inform neighborhood development strategies and guide resident attraction and retention efforts in Lawrenceville.

This study was funded by the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh.

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