Monday, February 3, 2014

Linking Research to Practice

Developing solutions through research
by Lisa Sturtevant, Ph.D., Center for Housing Policy

One of the Center for Housing Policy’s primary goals is to link research to practice. Our research helps those working on the front lines of housing—developers, advocates, governments, financial organizations—with information and analysis they can use for making housing safer, more accessible and more affordable. We want to be able to answer the questions that are most important to the housing community.

Some examples of the Center’s current “research for action:”

How Can We Increase Long-Term Affordability?
Working with the National Community Land Trust Network, the Center is developing a directory of inclusionary zoning (IZ) programs and a series of case studies of policies that have been particularly effective in promoting long-term or permanent affordability. When the project is complete, it will be a valuable resource for local practitioners who want to begin or expand an IZ program, and it will fill an important gap in our knowledge of the state of inclusionary housing programs.

How Can We Provide Opportunities for Older Adults to Age in Place?
As the population ages, there is growing interest in how housing service providers can help seniors to age in place, whether in their homes or in their communities. But older adults’ housing and service needs and opportunities vary depending on whether they live in a city, in the suburbs, or in a rural area. With support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Center is conducting a study evaluating best practices for aging in place in different geographic areas. Focusing on implementation issues, this research will be a resource for housing service providers in communities across the country.

How Can We Improve Residents’ Health through Housing?
The Center created a tutorial of housing—a sort of Housing 101—for public health professionals. The goal of this project is to help the public health community better understand how it might be able to introduce health impact assessments into housing policy decision-making. Working with the National Center for Healthy Housing, the Center will help build a bridge the housing and health communities, work that is increasingly important given changes to the U.S. health care system.

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