Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Focused on our strengths: The Center’s recent work in its four key research areas

Developing solutions through research
by Lisa Sturtevant, Ph.D, National Housing Conference

The mission of the Center for Housing Policy, NHC’s research division, is to increase awareness of housing needs and to identify effective and promising policy solutions to housing challenges. The Center bridges the gap between research and practice through accessible and relevant research and outreach to practitioners and policymakers.

The Center’s work is organized around four research areas: Housing Affordability, Housing Intersections, Inclusive Communities and Housing Demand. In recent months, we have completed projects that highlight our expertise in these research areas.

In September we released the Paycheck to Paycheck report and online tool, which analyze housing affordability in 210 metro areas for 80 different occupations. The report focuses on workers in five important and growing health care occupations: medical records transcriptionists, medical billing clerks, home health aides, geriatric nurses and case managers.

To help demonstrate the ways in which housing intersects with other indicators of individual and social well-being, we produced case studies of innovative programs that combine housing with other services. These case studies were part of the MacArthur Foundation’s How Housing Matters conference held in October at the National Building Museum.

In the area of inclusive communities, the Center recently completed a report on inclusionary upzoning which profiles six localities that have adopted inclusionary housing policies tied to rezoning and increased development potential. The paper explores how neighborhood context, market context and policy design may affect the success of inclusionary upzoning policies and their potential for adoption in new areas of the country where inclusionary housing has not yet been implemented.
Finally, the Center is working with the Hampton Roads and Roanoke regions in Virginia to produce housing demand forecasts based on projected employment growth. These forecasts will help broaden the conversation about housing needs and explicitly make the link between economic growth and housing in these regions.

The Center’s work will continue to grow in these four research areas. And we will continue to actively link our housing research—and the research of other organizations—to people working on the ground to expand affordable housing opportunities.

And the Center has a new staff member!  Mindy Ault joined the team in September. Prior to joining NHC, Mindy worked with The Road Home, a homeless services provider in Salt Lake City , doing direct practice work with chronically homeless families and single adults. Her primary research interests are the effects of affordable housing on other aspects of community and individual well-being and housing policy as a means of poverty reduction. She earned a Master of Public Policy from American University with a concentration in advanced quantitative analysis. She will work on housing and health research and on Housing Landscape 2015.

No comments: