Hye-Sung Han and Bill Rohe (Faculty Advisor). Supported by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, this study examines the impact of housing abandonment upon neighborhoods in Baltimore, Maryland from 1991 to 2010. While the ongoing mortga …The Mortgage Performance of Energy Efficient Homes
Roberto Quercia–PI. “Many have theorized that energyefficient homes should have lower default risks than standard homes because the former are associated with lower energy costs, which leaves more money to make the mortgage payment. However, few empiri …Re-Conceptualizing Havana: The Role of Public Space in Urban Transformations
Matthew Reilly and Altha Cravey (Faculty Advisor). Funded by the National Science Foundation, the research suggested some of the ways in which contemporary social theory can contribute to the re-conceptualization of Havana’s urban landscape and its cur …Mexico’s “New” Rural Women: Gendered Labor and Formulations of Rural Citizenship
Holly Worthen and Wendy Wolford (Faculty Advisor). As men increasingly migrate away from the Mexican countryside to seek work in the United States, women are left behind to take on new roles in agricultural fields, households, and communities. While st …Using Propensity Modeling to Improve Survey Non-Response
Roberto Quercia–PI. Funded by the Research Triangle Institute (RTI), this project addresses what survey researchers, data users, and organizations that rely on survey data know well: Response rates for surveys have been on a steady decline. In response …The Reality Education and Asset Partnership Narrative
Mark McDaniel–PI. Almost 40 percent of student borrowers now graduate with unmanageable levels of debt, meaning that their monthly payments are more than eight percent of their monthly expenses. The debt burden for students of color is considerably lar …School Rights: Law and the Dynamics of Everyday School Life
Karolyn Tyson–PI. This study brought together prominent researchers on education, law, and organizations to conduct the first large-scale survey and ethnographic analysis of the dynamics of law and everyday school life. The principal investigators wer …Preserving the Housing Stock in a Changing Market
Roberto Quercia and Janneke Ratcliffe–Co-PIs. Broadly defined, the preservation of the affordable housing stock in the face of changing regulatory and market regimes is of vital importance to the health of neighborhoods and communities. This includes t …Morrisville Housing Needs Assessment
Spencer Cowan–PI. The town of Morrisville, North Carolina funded a workforce housing assessment as part of a small area plan and development code for the McCrimmon Parkway transit station. The purpose of the assessment was to determine the extent of ne …Model of Success
Mark McDaniel–PI. The two major objectives are to: 1) dramatically improve data collection and management capacity at the six Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) to inform policy and programs and 2) connect inter-disciplinary teams representing each M …Housing Issues Research Support
Janneke Ratcliffe–PI. This research, funded by the Center for American Progress, extends the research capacity of CAP with respect to the residential mortgage industry. The research support with include data analysis, report writing, presentations, and …Future of Mortgage Lending
Roberto Quercia–PI. We will conduct two analyses with implications for how the recovering U.S. mortgage market will impact families in the future. First, we propose to examine the role of servicing in mediating lending risks, based on learnings from th …Foreclosure Impacts
Roberto Quercia–PI. Funded by the Center for Responsible Lending, this project examined causes and impacts of the foreclosure crisis for low-income and minority households and communities. Using a uniquely broad dataset to document the effects of the c …Effectiveness of Community-based Mortgage Delinquency Intervention in Fostering Sustainable Homeownership
Roberto Quercia–PI. Funded by the Genworth Foundation, this study evaluated programs that support affordable homeownership in order to provide insights across a number of different interventions, especially in the area of foreclosure intervention. In a …Community Engagement and Planning for Robbinsville, North Carolina
David Salvesen and Spencer Cowan–Co-PIs. Graham County and the small mountain town of Robbinsville are grappling with many of the same issues faced by other small, rural communities across North Carolina: A deteriorating economy and a declining tax bas …
Mortgage Servicer Performance Analysis for the NCCOB
Janneke Ratcliffe–PI. This project provided the Center for Community Capital (CCC)/The Center for Urban and Regional Studies (CURS) a continuing partnership with the North Carolina Commissioner of Banks (NCCOB) by conducting analysis of mortgage servicing performance. The agreement framework between NCCOB and CCC included these of activities: 1) Process monthly data from approximately thirteen mortgage servicers who participate in a state foreclosure prevention working group; 2) prepare monthly summary and review of highlights for state working group; 3) Generate quarterly external report, including narrative and statistics/graphics; and 4) respond to questions and examine issues raised by the state working group.
Analysis of Impact Fees & Housing Affordability
Emil Malizia–PI. In June 2008, the U.S. Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Policy Development and Research issued Impact Fees & Housing Affordability: A Guidebook for Practitioners. A major emphasis of this publication is to encourage local developers to embrace graduated impact fees for residential housing units calculated on the basis of square footage. The intent of this method is to positively impact housing affordability. Although impact fees for non-residential land uses reference project size in terms of square footage, residential impact fees are typically flat fees. When residential fees are variable, they tend to be specified by type of housing—single-family, multi-family, mobile home—rather than graduated by unit size. Dr. Emil Malizia, Professor of City and Regional Planning received funding from the National Association of Home Builders to conduct an independent study of the graduated impact fee approach, with special attention devoted to residential unit size. The research team studied whether local administrators should calculate impact fees for new residential units based upon unit size or the proportionate-share of impact on public facilities. The guidebook’s rationale for using unit size is that larger units house more people with higher incomes who generate greater impacts on public facilities. It follows, then, that larger units should pay higher impact fees than smaller ones. Even if HUD’s guidebook presented a flawless logic to justify impact fee calculation based on unit size, the feasibility of the approach should be evaluated. Impact fee administrators need to resolve many tasks and questions to impose defensible impact fees based on unit size: The conversion from number of bedrooms to square footage, for example, is far from simple in practice; and the feasibility of combining census data with local assessor data poses difficulties because the spatial units for the data are different. To test these assumptions the research team conducted a telephone survey of impact fee administrators. The results of the survey supported the conclusion that impact fees based on square footage would be more expensive to implement than flat fees. Local practitioners who think fees should vary by unit size can choose to calculate graduated impact fees. But fees, as opposed to taxes, tend to be regressive. Methodologies designed to establish progressive fee structures may undermine their legitimacy as fees; such calculations are not legally mandated. The courts have rarely commented on methodology unless the resulting fee differences were extreme. In fact, based upon Dolan v. Tigard (512 U.S. 687 ) the US Supreme Court established the “rough proportionality” standard for exactions such as impact fees. The court ruled that “the necessary connection required by the Fifth Amendment is ‘rough proportionality.’ No precise mathematical calculation is required but the (local government) must make some sort of determination that the required (exaction) is related both in nature and extent to the proposed development’s impact.” Rough proportionality can be satisfied with the calculation of one impact fee for all residential units. This position is supported by the American Housing Survey which shows that the difference in persons per household is less than one person, when comparing units under 1,000 square feet to units up to 3,000 square feet. Local jurisdictions that develop more complicated methods in an attempt to calculate proportionate-share impact fees will find the resulting fee schedules more difficult to defend in the face of opposition from developers, more costly to calculate than flat fees, and more time consuming to administer. The HUD guidebook assumes that flat fees are inferior to fees graduated by unit size. Flat fees are assumed to be regressive whereas fees graduated by unit size are assumed to be progressive. Thus, graduated fees are assumed to mitigate the negative effects of impact fees on affordable housing. This argument ignores three advantages of flat fees, the most important of which is that they are inherently progressive. First, houses in any size/cost range that pay the same impact fees are occupied by households of different sizes. Smaller households would tend to be more affluent than larger households purchasing houses in the same size cohort. Thus, with the same fee charged for these housing units, higher-income households with fewer occupants would overpay whereas lower-income households with more occupants would underpay relative to facility impacts. Second, flat impact fees are less sensitive to building cycles than variable fees. Revenues from graduated fees will be more difficult to predict than revenues from flat fees because, while it is hard to estimate the number of units that will be built in a given period of time, it is even harder to estimate the size and types of units to be built. Finally, flat fees require less detailed calculations of these revenue credits than graduated impact fees. When unit size is the attribute used to estimate graduated impact fees, practitioners must calculate multiple revenue credit streams that connect each unit size category to revenue generation. With variable fees, ad valorem-based revenue credits must correspond to residential segments of the tax base that pay the taxes. Similarly, sales tax-related credits must be proportionate to taxable spending driven primarily by household income. After property and sales tax credits are deducted from graduated size-based fees, variable impact fees may actually decrease with housing unit size. The research team carefully reviewed the unit size-based residential impact fees recommended in the guidebook. Although the guidebook offers many useful ideas and information on impact fees, its recommendations ignore the proportionate treatment of revenue credits. Compared to impact fees graduated by unit size, flat fees are straightforward to estimate, easy to administer, and actually more progressive when revenue credits are taken into account. Therefore, the argument for impact fees graduated by unit size is not convincing and, in fact, is counterproductive with respect to housing affordability. Affordable housing is clearly a worthwhile local policy goal, and many options exist to reduce the cost of housing. The approach suggested in the HUD guidebook is to charge impact fees graduated by unit size. However, the more straightforward and cost-effective way to promote affordable housing is to charge one flat impact fee for all housing units and to apply waivers selectively for affordable housing units. This can be done in two ways. First, local jurisdictions can grant fee waivers to housing projects that meet specific affordability goals. Second, the local jurisdictions can waive fees due from affordable housing developers and collect them from another public or private source.
The Impact of Foreclosure on Latino Children and Families
Roberto Quercia–PI. This research project, funded by the National Council of La Raza, will examine the impact of foreclosures on Latino families and children due to the vulnerability of Latino children and the potential long- term consequences of foreclosures on them. As the housing and economic crises sweep the nation, many families are losing their homes to foreclosure. Minority and low-income families are affected more severely by the current mortgage foreclosure crisis. During the period of rampant subprime lending in the mid-2000s, loans made in minority and low-income neighborhoods were more likely to be high-cost than those made in white neighborhoods. As these unsustainable loans go bad, minorities and lower-income families are bearing the brunt of the foreclosure crisis. A 2009 study by the Pew Hispanic Center found that nine percent of Latinos had missed a mortgage payment and three percent had received a foreclosure notice. Latinos are faring poorly in the current economic downtown. The Pew study found that three-quarters of Latinos rate their economic situation as either fair or poor and that thirty-six percent of Latino homeowners feared that they could face foreclosure in the next year. Further, Latino families already demonstrate lower rates of homeownership than non-Hispanic whites. According to data compiled by the U.S. Census, Latino homeownership rates hovered just below fifty percent in 2005, compared to over seventy-five percent for non-Hispanic whites. Past research demonstrates positive impacts of homeownership on children. Children of homeowners at all income levels have higher educational achievement and fewer behavior problems at home and school. Although recent years have seen gains in Latino homeownership, there is concern that the current foreclosure crisis will reverse those gains. Families who go through foreclosure face multiple challenges. Some of these challenges result from the trauma, uncertainty, and disruption in that occurs with the involuntary abandonment of a home. In this study, we will look for evidence of the stress caused to families and children, including loss of stability in housing, strain on family relationships, and disruption of social and employment networks. In addition, we will look for evidence that children specifically have been affected by changes in the educational or other social services available to them as a result moving from their home. Some research suggests that children who move more often are less likely to meet grade level standards in reading and math. We want to specifically explore changes parents notice in their children’s academic performance after a foreclosure. Other challenges facing families who have experienced foreclosure result from the financial impacts of foreclosure. Families lose equity in their homes and receive a serious hit to their credit scores, causing them to face difficulty in future borrowing for a home purchase or for other expenses. We will look specifically to find out how the foreclosure’s financial impact has affected family decisions relating to children, particularly parental plans to help finance future education for children.
Community Advantage Panel (CAP) Study V: A Longitudinal Study of Low- and Moderate-Income Home Owners and Renters
Roberto Quercia–PI. In 1998, The Ford Foundation made a $50 million grant to underwrite a Center for Community Self-Help secondary market program that had an initial goal of funding $2 billion of CRA and affordable mortgages in the demonstration. By 2004, the program reached its demonstration target, and the program was extended by Fannie Mae (without additional capital support from Ford). As of the end of 2007, Self-Help has funded more than 49,665 mortgages to enable low and moderate income households to purchase homes. Moreover, Self-Help’s secondary market program was very successful in increasing access to mortgages among women-headed households (40% of Community Advantage loans), minorities (42%), and rural residents (19%). In 1999, the Center for Community Capital responded to the Ford Foundation’s invitation to prepare a proposal to examine this program. By documenting the performance of the nontraditional mortgage loans made under the demonstration, and the impacts that home ownership has on the life course of borrowers, the Ford Foundation hopes to broaden the underwriting practices of mainstream lenders and secondary market institutions, and thereby permanently increase homeownership opportunities for underserved borrowers and communities. With this mission and Ford funding, the Center has undertaken a multiyear evaluation that would achieve four broad goals: (1) measure loan performance and explain variation across loan products and populations; (2) document the social, and economic impacts of homeownership; (3) to the extent practicable, assess the impact of the Community Advantage program on neighborhood conditions and housing market dynamics; and (4) assess the impact of the program on mortgage finance, particularly the secondary market.
Community Advantage Panel Study IV: A Longitudinal Study of Low and Moderate Income
Roberto Quercia–PI. This project is funded by the Ford Foundation and the research is conducted by the Center for Community Capitalism. CAPS originated as two separately funded Ford Foundation projects–the Evaluation of Self-Helps Community Advantage Secondary Market Program and Accumulation of Wealth and Social Capital among Low-Income Renters. In FY 2004 and FY 2005, continuation funding for both projects was provided under a single grant. The goal of the Community Advantage Secondary Market Program a partnership among the Ford Foundation, the Center for Community Self-Help, a North Carolina-based community development organization, and Fannie Mae, the nations preeminent secondary mortgage market facility Â? is to expand home ownership opportunities for credit-worthy low-income, low-wealth individuals who are not now effectively served by the conventional market. In 1999, the Ford Foundation invited the Center for Community Capitalism to evaluate this program, the core of which would be a 5-year panel survey of homeowners involved in the program that would enable the Center to assess the performance of innovative mortgage products utilized by participating lenders to reach under-served borrowers, and the social and wealth impacts of homeownership on low and moderate income families who participated in the program. Because a proper assessment of the impact of homeownership on low-income families requires understanding the experiences of low-income families that rent their homes, in 2001 the Ford Foundation awarded the Center a grant to field a companion panel survey of low- and moderate-income renters. This makes it possible to isolate the independent effects of homeownership on otherwise similar LMI families. The original grants for these two projects were for three years funding for the primary Community Advantage evaluation and two years of funding for the companion renter panel study. In 2003 – 2005, Ford awarded the Center follow-on one-year grants to continue both projects through August 31, 2006. We are now approaching the end of the current grant and are requesting another years funding that will enable us to continue building the two panels and to undertake other important analyses of CAP data leading to the production of a series of program and policy reports.
Housing Issues Research Support
Janneke Ratcliffe–PI. Research staff will work with the Center for American Progress (CAP) to extend the research capacity of CAP with respect to the residential mortgage industry. This research support will include data analysis, report writing, presentations, and special projects.
American City Agenda in Ohio: Audit of the Expanded Income Services for Cuyahoga County
Mark McDaniel–PI. This study, funded by Living Cities Cleveland, will engage constituencies in Cleveland (Cuyahoga County), Ohio to assess systems level and local program interventions. This analysis will review the degree to which these interventions are integrated with one another and the extent to which they are responsive to the region’s economic realities including labor force and financial service needs. Expanded income is a broad area encompassing public benefit, workforce services and wealth building. The goal of this initiative is to take each of these individually uncoordinated areas and within each and together work towards a more holistic set of programs, and potentially a working expanded income “system.” The aim is to substantively increase enrollment (and enrollment of multiple benefits) through significant improvement of coordination at the city, county and state level; elimination of duplicative programming; improved service delivery and importation of innovative models. Both representatives of organizations who provide the needed services and high-level public and private officials seeking to broaden and better serve their markets will be engaged. Guiding this work will be three frames of analysis: policy; program and community. By policy we will take a particular look at budget issues which are an immediate concern in Ohio with severe reductions of funding and staff occurring in all areas. Policy also encompasses eligibility; coordination of programs; and administrative (stroke-of-the-pen) changes needed for improvement. Program questions will focus on program quality, degree of alignment to other program areas in the expanded income rubric and the ability of programs to function under current policy/budget conditions. Community entails an assessment of the unique needs of Cuyahoga County and its local service delivery environment. Some key deliverables will include: An audit of local and state wide providers of service; qualitative assessment of the strengths and weakness of this environment; examples of best practices of service integration that could/should be imported; identification of baseline data of eligible individuals and uptake of public benefits locally; and an assessment of the breadth, quality, and participation in workforce and financial empowerment programs. Policy recommendations will be made for improved city, county, state and federal legislative/programmatic and administrative changes that fundamentally improve the economic and social well-being of all eligible consumers in Cuyahoga County. The working hypothesis is that the means to this end is to facilitate system integration and increased program enrollment.
The Impact of Changes in the Income Eligibility Threshold for Weatherization Assistance
Spencer Cowan–PI. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) dramatically increased funding for the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and changed the income eligibility threshold by changing the definition of “low-income” from either 150% of poverty or 60% of state median income to 200% of poverty or 60% of state median income. The impact of the change, however, was not evenly distributed among the states because poverty is a uniform national standard that does not reflect state-level differences in income. In general, the change increases the numbers of eligible households in states with milder climates and lower energy costs, but does not affect the number of eligible households in some states with more severe climates and higher energy costs. This study, funded by the Energy Programs Consortium, will examine the impact of the change on: 1) the number of eligible households, by county, in all fifty states; and 2) the potential energy savings based on climate and characteristics of the housing stock.
Facilitating Savings for Low-Income Workers
Janneke Ratcliffe and Michal Grinstein-Weiss–Co-PIs. Funded by the Ford Foundation, $aveNYC tested the potential impact of short-term, non-goal directed savings on family financial stability. Low-income tax filers made a commitment upon receiving notice of their refund to save by directing a portion of their refund to a twelve-month restricted account with the potential of earning a match if they continued saving for one year. The research followed participants for one year after receipt of their refund, along with two comparison groups of non-participants. The study increases understanding of the experiences of low-income households with regard to savings, the impact of the simple matched savings offer on savings behavior, and the implications of the program for scale and replication. The research is based on telephone surveys, focus groups, key informant interviews, and tracking of data from third parties.
Promoting Prepaid Debit Cards for the Under-Banked
Janneke Ratcliffe–PI. This research is a test to gage the effectiveness of strategies to promote prepaid debit cards for the un- and under-banked consumers via bank branches. Funded by the Center for Financial Services Innovation, the CFSI has sought out the Center for Community Capital’s expertise in a consultative mode, for help in design of the experiment and analysis of results. CCC will provide back-end analytical support by performing statistical analysis of results, and summarize findings in a brief report.
State Anti-Predatory Lending Laws
Roberto Quercia-PI. Sponsored by the Trustees of Columbia University and the North Carolina Department of Justice, this project examined state anti-predatory lending laws that were enacted to eliminate the origination of loans with characteristics considered detrimental to consumers. To the extent that such loan characteristics depleted the equity held by borrowers, these characteristics were expected to increase the exposure of borrowers to negative equity and thus to increase default and foreclosure risks. North Carolina was the first state to enact such a law in 1999. However, the Federal Government responded by exempting many financial institutions from these state and local laws. Our research explored: 1) What are the benefits of state anti-predatory lending laws and what are the costs of federal pre-emption? This study reviewed HUD-sponsored research that examined the connection of house size, number of bedrooms, and the number of occupants to community impacts. The research recommends graduated impact fees. This review tested whether this conclusion is warranted.
Does Homeownership Affect Relationship Stability? Evidence from an Event History Analysis
Michal Grinstein-Weiss–PI. Among the most challenging social policy issues is to determine the best way to help disadvantaged families move up the economic ladder. Over the past two decades, policymakers have shown substantial interest in increasing the assets of low-income households through homeownership as a strategy for social and economic development. More recently, another approach emerged with an emphasis on promoting marriage and strengthening unmarried couple relationships. While these two strategies have shown promising results, the extent to which they influence each other is largely unknown. This study analyzed five waves of experimental data (2004-2008) from the Community Advantage Secondary Home Loan Mortgage Program (CAP) to address questions about transitions into marriage and relationship dissolution. Specifically, the research team assessed the extent to which homeownership among low- and moderate-income households affected the relationship stability of married, cohabiting, and single people as compared to a group of individuals living in rental housing. Kaplan-Meier estimates were used to describe and explore the events of interest by illustrating the length of time couples remain in their original relationship. Event history analysis was used to estimate the effects of participation in the CAP program (homeownership versus renting) on the relationship outcomes of married, cohabiting, and unmarried respondents. This study provides policymakers, practitioners, and researchers with evidence on the effect of homeownership programs such as CAP on the relationship stability of economically disadvantaged couples. Given the scarcity of research on the impact of such programs on family structure and family formation, this study offers an important contribution to the fields of asset building, homeownership, and financial stability for low-income families.
A Long Way from Home: The Impacts of a Limited Supply of Workforce Housing in the Asheville Metropolitan Area
William Rohe, Spencer Cowan, Daniel Rodriguez and Peter Zambito–CO-PIs. A sea change is taking place in our country. At both the federal and local levels, policy makers are realizing the need to change the way we plan and develop our communities. If we are to address both the current economic and environmental challenges, we need to promote mixed-use developments that contain a range of housing types since these community characteristics are more conducive to walking, bicycling, and the use of public transportation which, in turn, reduce traffic congestion, air pollution, and the costs of transportation. Asheville and Buncombe County have the choice of either getting out in front of this trend to maintain the high quality of life that attracts both businesses and residents to the area, or conduct business as usual and be strangled by pollution, congestion, and the economic costs of long commutes. The purpose of this report is first, to assess the need for additional workforce housing in the Asheville/Buncombe County area and, second, to document the environmental, economic, and quality-of-life impacts that commuting causes due to a shortage of such housing. Based on this information we offer a series of recommendations for expanding the supply of workforce housing in the area, which will result in significant benefits to the local environment, economy, and overall quality-of-life.
Marginalized Males Crisis Intervention Program
Mark McDaniel–PI. Over the last few years, public officials, practitioners and foundations have begun leveraging their resources in response to a national crisis made clear through a series of recent publications and nationally circulated articles—that health, economic, and social indicators for young males of color, and most significantly black males, have been precipitously declining compared to those of their peers or the rest of the nation. The Marginalized Males Crisis Intervention Project identified innovative and effective practices and advances understanding of how to serve vulnerable young males of color. The program’s goals include: delaying premature family formation, improving education; and promoting labor force attachment among young males.
Evaluation Design for Assets Independence Program
Michal Grinstein-Weiss and William Rohe–CO-PIs. The PIs worked with the Urban Institute to provide the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families (ACF) with assistance in designing the next evaluation of the Assets for Independence (AFI) program and individual development accounts (IDAs). This project will build upon ACF’s recent evaluation of the AFI program. Consortium (EPC) to test new models for assisting
A Proposal for the Completion of Phase 1 of the Weatherization, Rehabilitation & Asset Preservation (WRAP) Program Evaluation and Participation in Development of Phase II
William Rohe-PI. This study funded by the Energy Programs Consortium, is to complete the evaluation of Phase I of the Weatherization, Rehabilitation, & Asset Preservation (WRAP) program and to assist with the development of Phase II of the program. The Weatherization, Rehabilitation, & Asset Preservation (WRAP) demonstration program was developed by the Ford Foundation and Energy Programs Consortium (EPC) to test new models for assisting lower-income homeowners in maintaining the integrity and asset values of their homes. For the past four years, the Center for Urban & Regional Studies (the Center) has been conducting an evaluation of the WRAP program.WRAP clients were surveyed to collect data on the characteristics of the properties involved and the repair work both needed and carried out under the program. Data was collected on the utility usage of program participants and the assessed values of their homes. In addition, site visits were made to each of the local programs to help them set up their data collection systems and to interview key informants about the obstacles and facilitators of program collaboration and success.
Weatherization, Rehabilitation, & Asset Preservation (WRAP) Program: An Evaluation
William Rohe and Spencer Cowan–CO-PIs. While the public nonprofit and private sectors have focused much of their attention on assisting lower-income and other nontraditional borrowers purchase housing, much less attention has been focused on assisting them in maintaining homeownership after the purchase. This is unfortunate because the most important benefits of homeownership, such as building wealth, only accrue over time as the home is maintained and improved. In an attempt to improve the coordination between the programs, the Ford Foundation, in collaboration with the Energy Programs Consortium (EPC), developed a demonstration project in 2002 called the Weatherization, Rehab and Asset Preservation (WRAP) program. Ford and EPC selected six nonprofit organizations in five states to participate in the first phase of the program, and then selected five additional organizations for a second phase of the program which began a year later. The WRAP program was designed to assess the feasibility of coordinating housing rehabilitation and weatherization programs at the local level and to assess the benefits of that coordination. The goal was to learn whether that approach could do more to address the full range of needs that low-income homeowners experience. With funding from the Ford Foundation, and the William Penn Foundation, the Center for Urban and Regional Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (the Center) conducted an implementation, output, and impact analysis of the WRAP program. The implementation evaluation looked at key facilitators and obstacles to coordinating weatherization and rehabilitation assistance. The WRAP program showed clearly the extent of the needs that low-income homeowners have for both weatherization and rehab assistance and some of the obstacles to addressing those needs with the programs as they existed until 2007. The ARRA of 2009 addresses some of the issues by increasing the income eligibility limit for weatherization from 150 percent to 200 percent of poverty and by increasing the maximum amount that can be spent per unit from $2,500 to $6,500. DOE and HUD have also signed a memorandum of understanding to allow weatherization programs to accept HUD’s income certification for housing assistance to determine eligibility for weatherization as well. Although the memorandum only applies to rental units and does not help low-income homeowners, it signifies progress toward a unitary determination of income for both weatherization and rehab.
Community Advantage Panel Study III: A Longitudinal Study Of Low and Moderate Income
Roberto Quercia–PI. This prject is funded by the Ford Foundation the research is conducted by the Center for Community Capitalism. CAPS originated as two separately funded Ford Foundation projects–the Evaluation of Self-Help’s Community Advantage Secondary Market Program” and “Accumulation of Wealth and Social Capital among Low-Income Renters.” In FY 2004 and FY 2005, continuation funding for both projects was provided under a single grant. The goal of the Community Advantage Secondary Market Program – a partnership among the Ford Foundation, the Center for Community Self-Help, a North Carolina-based community development organization, and Fannie Mae, the nation’s preeminent secondary mortgage market facility – is to expand home ownership opportunities for credit-worthy low-income, low-wealth individuals who are not now effectively served by the conventional market. In 1999, the Ford Foundation invited the Center for Community Capitalism to evaluate this program, the core of which would be a 5-year panel survey of homeowners involved in the program that would enable the Center to assess the performance of innovative mortgage products utilized by participating lenders to reach under-served borrowers, and the social and wealth impacts of homeownership on low and moderate income families who participated in the program. Because a proper assessment of the impact of homeownership on low-income families requires understanding the experiences of low-income families that rent their homes, in 2001 the Ford Foundation awarded the Center a grant to field a companion panel survey of low- and moderate-income renters. This makes it possible to isolate the independent effects of homeownership on otherwise similar LMI families. The original grants for these two projects were for three years funding for the primary Community Advantage evaluation and two years of funding for the companion renter panel study. In 2003 and 2004, Ford awarded the Center combined follow-on one year grants to continue both projects through August 31, 2005. Continued funding on this grant will enable the Center to continue building the two panels and to undertake other important analyses of CAP data leading to the production of a series of program and policy reports.
Evaluating the Effectiveness of Homeownership Education and Counseling
Roberto Quercia, Lei Ding, and Janneke Ratcliffe-Co-PIs. This project, conducted for NeighborWorks America (NWA), assessed to what extent borrowers who receive pre-purchase counseling made better mortgage selections, improved their credit standing, increased savings, or otherwise benefited more than borrowers who did not take part in counseling. The research used mixed methods including analysis of data from NWA organizations, key informant interviews, case studies of NWA programs, and existing and purchased data from property records.
Casey Foundation’s Prisoner Reentry Agenda
Mark McDaniel-PI. The effects of crime and incarceration are far-reaching, with high social and economic costs for everyone affected directly and indirectly–victims, witnesses, the perpetrators, their families and society at large. This is especially true in already-disadvantaged communities from which many of those in prison come and to which they will return when they leave prison. While prisons are an essential component of the criminal justice system necessary to protect the public from serious offenders, they also can become a vital step to successful reentry if rehabilitation is at their core. UNC Center for Community Capital will work with the Casey Foundation in helping to promote promising practices and policy reform, build public awareness and leverage community governmental and philanthropic support to support local site-based efforts around the country that successfully transition the formerly incarcerated back into their communities.
Evaluation of the Weatherization, Rehab & Asset Preservation Partnership (WRAP) Programs in Philadelphia and Camden
William Rohe-PI. This proposal, funded by the William Penn Foundation, is to expand the ongoing WRAP program evaluation to include the new sites in Philadelphia and Camden. The original evaluation proposal was for the sites in Chattanooga, Dorchester, Freeport, Gloucester, Hartford, and Rio Grande City. As the program has evolved and expanded, new sites have been added in Anchorage, Milwaukee, and Philadelphia, with additional sites to begin operating in Camden and Staten Island. To cover the additional effort required to include the new sites, we are seeking funding from sources within the regions served by the new sites.
Activate Martinsville/Henry County
Emil Malizia-PI. Activate Martinsville/Henry County improves the health and economic vitality of the Martinsville/Henry County region by encouraging and enabling residents and visitors alike to enjoy a more active lifestyle. The program stimulates changes to the physical environment and regional cultural norms so that more people of all ages will walk and bicycle as part of their daily routines. These changes enhance Henry County’s attractiveness as a business location and as a destination for environmentally sustainable tourism and development. Over the course of th three-year project, Activate Martinsville/Henry County became the catalyst for creating a measurably healthier, safer, and more active populace and community.
Partnership for Weatherization and Rehabilitation Program
William Rohe-PI. The evaluation examined the program with respect to process, outcomes, and impact. The process evaluation documented the program development at each of the eleven participating sites to determine key obstacles to and facilitators of coordination of comprehensive services to low-income homeowners. The outcome evaluation looked at the number and characteristics of households served, the neeeds that their homes had, the work performed to address those needs, and the sources and amounts of resources applied. The impact evaluation examined the impact that the program had on the participants’ satisfaction, behavior, and health. The evaluation found that the program provided over $8.5 million in weatherization and rehab assistance to over 600 homeowners. Homeowners reported significantly higher levels of satisfaction with their homes and neighborhoods, and also significant improvements in the health of household members.
Community Development Financial Institutions and the Segmentation of Underserved Markets
Spencer Cowan –PI. This research used CIIS data to stratify CDFIs into groups reflecting characteristics which have been shown to affect the organizations’ operations and then analyzed the borrowers and loan products provided to determine the extent to which organizations within the different groups wee able to serve different segments of the market. The products and services offered and populations served by each CDFI within each group were evaluated against the profile for the group. We then selecedt three CDFIs that have been most successful in penetrating and serving historically underserved communities or populations for case studies to complement the data analysis. We interviewed key informants from the CDFIs to determine the factors which most affected their ability to serve their segment of the market. The data showed that, by some measures, minority-owned CDFIs were providing higher levels of service to historically underserved populations. Data fromt he key informant interviews suggested that familiarity with the cultural norms of the target population is an important factor in the organization’s ability to attract customers from their target groups.
CDFIs’ Roles in the Mortgage Market
Lei Ding–PI. The Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund and the Self-Help Credit Union, a leading CDFI, along with the Center for Community Capital (CCC) researched certain aspects of the CDFI industry. This portion compared the impact of mortgage lending on communities and households, particularly those of low and moderate incomes. The research analyzed the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data on mortgage loans made nationwide, and performed specific analysis on the performance of mortgage loans in certain selected locations. The purpose of the research activity was to compare the provision and performance of mortgage loans by CDFI’s relative to those made by prime and subprime lenders. The analysis led to a better understanding of the particular role played by CDFI’s in financing homeownership.
Safe Schools: Identifying Health and Environmental Threats to Children Attending Public Schools
David Salvesen–PI. The purpose of the project, funded by the Wallace Genetic Foundation Inc., was to determine whether environmental hazards pose a threat to the health and well-being of children attending public schools in North Carolina and whether state policies for siting schools adequately address the potential threats posed by such hazards. The project had six parts: (1) an inventory of public schools and their proximity to known environmental hazards; (2) creation of a GIS database showing location of schools and nearby environmental hazards; (3) an audit of state policies and guidelines on school siting;(4) development of model school siting guidelines, (5) exposure analysis at one (case study) school, and (6) a workshop on risk management and schools.
Evaluation of Real Choice Systems Change Grant: Integrating Long-Term Supports with Affordable Housing in North Carolina
Spencer Cowan–PI. The study found that the Housing Support Committees did facilitate coordination and collaboration among the participating agencies. The residents received almost exactly the same level of services after noving as they had before in terms of the number and frequency of services. The data also showed that the residents were more likely to receive those services at a provider’s office or at home after moving, whereas they were more likely to receive those services at outpatient hospital or ambulatory care facilities before moving, which suggests a potential for long-term savings.
In-Depth Analysis of Center For Community Capitalism Databases Related to Financial Services And Technology
Roberto Quercia–PI. The primary objective of this proposed analysis, funded by the Ford Foundation, is for the Center For Community Capitalism to continue their on-going efforts to increase the availability of mainstream financial services to unbanked populations and underserved communities, and to infuse within the community development field, a greater appreciation for how the expansion of mainstream financial services can help the poor build assets.
Proposal to Evaluate the Durham Housing Authority’s Hope VI Community Supportive Services Grant
James Fraser and William Rohe–Co-PIs. Funded by the Durham Housing Authority, this research evaluated Durham Housing Authority’s Hope VI Community Supportive Services Grant over an approximate three year period. It provided a variety of social services to those who were relocated from the Few Gardens public housing development to allow for its redevelopment. The goals of the research were to assess any changes in the economic and social conditions those relocated and to assess their use and perceptions of services offered by participating social service agencies. Building on a baseline survey of the relocated that was conducted by a different organization this study surveyed the relocated two additional times: once early the year after relocation and once in early 2006. The study also involved in-depth interviews with a sample of those relocated and interviews with staff of service providers involved in the program.
Technical Assistance Support for the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Community Change Initiatives Unit
Roberto Quercia, Mark McDaniel, and Mary Woytowich, Co-PIs. The purpose of the project, funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, is for the Center for Community Capitalism, to work closely with the Foundation and its local partners to design strategies that help families improve their economic well-being. Overall performance measures include: Increase % of entry-level workers whose wages and income increase over time • Increase % of working families with family self-sufficiency earnings/income • Close the earnings/employment gap between families in low-income neighborhoods and city/regional levels and between population groups • Families have increased levels of assets. (Increase in savings levels and increase in the number of families that save, More families own their own homes and other assets. Increase in family access to reasonably priced housing, consumer goods and financial services. Fewer families have payment related disruptions in housing and living conditions such as utility shut-offs and foreclosures • Neighborhoods provide access to affordable goods and services. Indicators may include: local businesses start and grow, financial institutions invest in the neighborhood, community institutions are present and thrive.
Cabarrus County Growth Management Summit
David Salvesen-PI. Public emergency evacuations in response to natural or manmade disasters occur frequently in the U.S. While most evacuations have proceeded safely and effectively, Hurricane Katrina vividly illustrated some of the problems and shortcomings of evacuating those who lack access to reliable transportation, e.g., the poor, elderly, or disabled. The purpose of this project, funded by Cabarrus County, is to explore some of the issues and obstacles to evacuating and sheltering disadvantaged people. We will conduct an analysis of best practices, examine the nature and extent of the problem in 2-4 communities in NC, and work with these communities to develop strategies to improve plans for evacuation and sheltering.
Workforce Housing Needs in Brunswick County, North Carolina
William Rohe and Spencer Cowan–Co-PIs. This research, funded by the North Carolina Association of Community Development Corporations, assesses the workfrorce housing needs in Brunswick County and suggests a four-part strategy to address those needs. The first part of the study discusses the housing needs assessment to determine the extent of the gap between the demand for housing and the supply of housing for working families in the county. The second part assesses existing housing resources, including both the organizations and the financial resources that can help expand workforce housing in the county. The third part is an inventory of tools and strategies that the county can use to promote housing to meet the needs of working families. The fourth part consists of specific recommendations for expanding the supply of workforce housing in Brunswick County.
Assessment of the Douglas Park Neighborhood in Norfolk, VA
David Salvesen & Spencer Cowan–Co-PIs. This proposal, funded by the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority, will conduct an assessment of the physical conditions of the Douglas Park neighborhood (the Project Area) in Norfolk, Virginia. The assessment will include an analysis of socioeconomic, physical, and other conditions in the project area, including current conditions and trends in population, income, poverty, housing tenure, crime, city services (i.e., requests for fire, police, and rescue assistance, as well as external physical features of housing in the Project Area, including an identification of housing types. The examination will be conducted on-site, from the public right-of-way, i.e., from the sidewalk or street.
Reducing the Risk of Foreclosure Among Low-Income Homeowners Participating in Government Buyout of Flood-damaged Properties
David Salvesen–PI. The purpose of the project, funded by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, is to examine the financial impacts of buyout programs on participating low-income homeowners, focusing in particular on whether buyouts increase the likelihood of foreclosure. We will also analyze the impact of local initiatives, such as prepurchase counseling, to protect buyout participants from losing their (new) home. As a result, we will (a)identify the financial risks of participating in a buyout and (b) identify promising techniques that can be implemented in future buyout programs. Finally, we will determine the extent to which buyout programs lead to a displacement or dispersal of low income residents from one community to another. The project will culminate in a set of guidelines and recommendations for implementing buyout programs in a way that protects the financial health and well-being of participants.
A Proposal for a Survey of Conditions in the Lafayette Boulevard Corridor, Norfolk, VA
David Salvesen & Spencer Cowan, CO-PIs. This proposal, funded by the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority, will conduct an assessment of the physical and socio-economic conditions along the Lafayette Boulevard commercial corridor in Norfolk, Virginia. The assessment involves three main tasks: 1) a review of the Fairmount Park Neighborhood Revitalization Implementation Plan (Fairmount Park borders the corridor), 2) an analysis of socio-economic and other conditions and trends in the corridor, and 3) an on-site, physical survey of the Lafayette Boulevard corridor. We will evaluate the physical condition of each property in the corridor. The study, which will be carried out by researchers at the Center for Urban and Regional Studies at UNC, will be conducted over a four-month period.
Promoting Physical Activity by Integrating School Facility Planning with Local Land Use Planning
David Salvesen, PI. Fewer than 15 percent of students between the ages of 5 and 15 walk to school—a factor that may contribute to the alarming rise in childhood obesity. In comparison, thirty years ago, nearly half of students walked or biked to school. Why the change? Our low-density, auto-dominated land use patterns make it difficult for kids to walk to school. Schools are often built far from the neighborhoods they serve, and even when schools and neighborhoods are in close proximity, poor connections discourage children from walking. Moreover, most local land use regulations make it difficult to develop compact, mixed-use neighborhoods that encourage people to walk rather than drive. Without “walkable” neighborhoods, school boards cannot build pedestrian-oriented schools. School boards often make site selection decisions with little or no consultation with local government, despite the long-term impacts of such decisions on local communities. Likewise, local governments often make land use decisions without considering the impact of such decisions on school enrollment or facility siting. The lack of consultation means that school boards, and local governments sometimes work at cross-purposes. Under our current system, one institution controls choices about school location while another controls choices about housing and neighborhoods. A few communities are working to facilitate collaboration between local governments and local school boards, that is, to integrate land use planning with school facility siting. Legislation adopted by Florida in 2002 requires coordination between school boards and local governments. Other states have witnessed voluntary collaboration at the local level. Our proposed study will examine the effectiveness of state-mandated and voluntary collaboration between local school boards and local governments to see if it has led to greater commitment to increasing physical activity among school children by facilitating the development of walkable schools and neighborhoods. We propose to conduct two case studies: one of state-mandated coordination in Lee County, Florida and a second of a voluntary collaboration between the school board and local government in Lincoln, Nebraska. Our study funded by the, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, will help other communities understand the importance of collaborative planning, the obstacles that must be overcome, and the lessons learned.
Neighborhood Triage as a Planning Strategy: Evaluating Impacts Throughout the Urban Areas
Roberto Quercia & Lisa Bates, Co-PIs. Neighborhood-based revitalization is a key component of urban policy. Planners have a number of policy tools at their disposal for neighborhood-based interventions. However, limited resources may require planners to “triage,” targeting some neighborhoods for revitalization, providing only limited assistance to others, and managing the depopulation and demolition of still others. While triage advocates claim it is the most efficient and effective use of limited resources, it is not clear that the strategy maximizes positive results for a city. Grigsby et al (1987) point out that a policy of ranking neighborhoods and providing assistance only to some is not a strategy for stabilizing the overall community. Triage ignores both negative interactions between neighborhoods—the possibility that in improving one area, another declines—and negative reinforcement between neighborhoods—when one neighborhood deteriorates, it foments decline in another (Grigsby et al 1987:64). The targeting of neighborhoods for intervention based on their place in a metropolitan area classification system fails to consider the links between neighborhoods based on their geographic proximity to one another and their relationships within the housing market. Because of constrained resources, planners do need to choose only some neighborhoods for certain kinds of intervention. However, that choice should be based on an understanding of how those policies will affect the overall health of the metropolitan area. This research employs a revised housing submarket model that incorporates neighborhood quality and spatial relationships to investigate the impacts of the triage method. The research examines the neighborhood revitalizing planning of the City of Philadelphia by analyzing the housing submarket structure of the city. Submarket types are analyzed by examining housing and neighborhood quality variables from the 2000 Census and the city’s property assessment data. These indicators are used to create factors representing broader concepts of housing quality, which are in turn used as indicators for a cluster analysis that groups tracts with other areas of similar housing stock. The statistically created submarkets are compared with pre-defined neighborhoods recognized by the Philadelphia planning office to determine if the perceived or externally delineated neighborhoods correspond with the submarkets created with quantitative analysis. A system of equations of supply and demand for the submarkets replicates the overall housing market outcomes of policies. By observing the level of congruence between pre-defined neighborhood and housing submarkets, and comparing cross-elasticities between submarkets, it can be determined to what extent the ways that planned neighborhood revitalization efforts may be confounded by housing market reactions to policy. The research contributes to the knowledge base of planning practice by providing information about the unintended consequences of policy interventions for both nearby neighborhoods and similar neighborhoods. The research results will provide insight into the best ways to target neighborhood revitalization policies to strengthen communities by improving economic and social conditions in distressed areas and making those communities more livable. This project is funded by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
A Survey of Conditions in the Wards Corner Neighborhood, Norfolk, Virginia
David Salvesen & Spencer Cowan, Co-PIs. The purpose of the study, funded by the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority, is to conduct an assessment of the physical and socio-economic conditions in three neighborhoods in the City of Norfolk, Virginia: Denby Park, Monticello Village and Oakdale Farms. The assessment will involve an analysis of trends in population, income, poverty, housing tenure and crime as well as an assessment of the physical conditions (layout, age, dilapidation, incompatible land uses, etc.) of houses in the three neighborhoods. We will develop a simple protocol, a checklist, for the on-site assessment. The study will culminate in a report on the socio-economic trends and the physical condition of the neighborhoods.
Facilitating Collaboration among School Boards and Local Governments in North Carolina
David Salvesen, PI. The purpose of this project, funded by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, is to improve the process and outcomes of school site selection by facilitating collaboration among school boards, county commissioners and local planners in North Carolina. We propose to collaborative planning workshops in two to three counties in North Carolina to provide an opportunity for key stakeholders in school facility planning to discuss areas of mutual interest, identify opportunities for collaboration, and most importantly, to examine the links among school location decisions, local land use regulations and the quality and character of communities. Workshops will be conducted in counties where the school board, Board of County Commissioners and local planning director(s) have agreed to participate. In the final workshop, participants will apply the knowledge gained from the preceding workshops to the selection of a site for a new school in their community or to examine whether to renovate an existing school. The project will be carried out by two nonprofit organizations: the Center for Urban and Regional Studies (CURS) at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and the Orange County Dispute Settlement Center (DSC).
Fort Bragg BRAC Baseline Assessment
Spencer Cowan & William Rohe, Co-PIs. This project, funded by the Mid-Carolina Council of Gov’t, will identify and compile existing data and complete a baseline assessment of current conditions in the communities around Fort Bragg. Based on that assessment and data provided to the Center on anticipated personnel changes at Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base, The Center will produce an estimate of the impacts of the projected base alignment and closure activities and of the region’s capacity to handle those anticipated impacts. Data collection efforts will focus on determining where current base employees and personnel live and on the characteristics of the jobs that are being lost and gained at the base. The collected data will then be used to project where the incoming personnel are expected to live. Land use, zoning, base access, and other information will be used in this process. (Data sources: DOD/Ft. Bragg, local governments) The analysis will focus on the impacts on housing, schools, and transportation in those communities where significant growth is expected.
Do First-Time Home Buyers Improve Their Neighborhood Quality?
William Rohe & Shannon Van Zandt, Co-PIs. This project, funded by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, will address the push for homeownership, particularly among underserved groups including low-income households and minorities, is based on a number of wide-ranging benefits homeownership is believed to confer on individuals, families and communities. Among the purported benefits is that homeowners live in “better” neighborhoods. Little research exists, however, to document and assess the quality of neighborhoods in which first-time low- and moderate-income buyers are locating. The proposed study examines whether homeownership allows low- and moderate-income buyers to buy in neighborhoods of better quality than their previous neighborhood. The study uses longitudinal primary and secondary data to compare the quality of neighborhoods of low- and moderate-income families both before and after they have purchased a home.
A Structural Model of Individuals’ Decisions on TANF, Public Housing, Food Stamps, and Work Participation
Co-PIs Michael Stegman & Oswaldo Urdapilleta, Funded by the US HUD. This dissertation addresses some neglected issues in social welfare policy: interaction between en social programs, required welfare-to-work activities, local labor markets, unobserved heterogeneity, and ‘what if analyses based on a structural framework. My research addresses these aspects of social policy and develops an analysis of interaction between three social programs for low-income families: TANF, Food Stamps, and Public Housing. This approach is needed because the various program participation decisions and labor supply decisions are interdependent. This research evaluates the value of welfare-to-work activities. Previous research approached individual participation decisions in a fixed environment. Instead, I use a structural model of individual behavior uniquely suited to allow for changes in the policy framework. This research uses focus on single mother with children younger than 13 years of age who have participated or are participating in the Food Stamps, Public Housing or Work First program. For these single mothers I use monthly data from North Carolina’s TANF, the Food Stamps Information System, the Multifamily Tenant Characteristic System of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and earnings records and local labor market information of the N.C. Employment Security Commission. The objective of putting together all these datasets is to construct a record of work, program participation, family history, and macro-environment for every individual who has participated in social welfare programs in N.C.. Data from different programs with overlapping populations allow us to measure individuals’ program preferences and can be used to infer unobserved factors. These factors can explain why a poor person will choose to accept one kind of public assistance but not another. Measuring the population overlap between programs helps us estimate the magnitude of these inter-program effects. One of the results would be an incentives package to promote and accelerate the progress of individuals trapped in the safety net toward self-sufficiency. The model it uses more closely represents current programs’ realities and provides better answers to questions posed in recent debates on comprehensive social welfare policy.
Urban Distressed Study
PI-William Rohe, Funded by the Rural Center. The Center for Urban and Regional Studies at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (CURS) has been hired by the E-NC Authority (E-NC) to conduct a study of connectivity in the distressed urban areas of North Carolina. Connectivity in this context refers to both high-speed internet access and high-speed internet usage. This research will assist E-NC in fulfilling their legislative mandate to report to the 2005 North Carolina General Assembly on activities necessary to be undertaken to enhance connectivity in distressed urban areas of the state. CURS will conduct eight focus groups, two each in Charlotte, Durham, Asheville and Wilmington, to gather information on the current state of connectivity at the household and small business levels (one focus group for each). The cities have been chosen by E-NC to be representative of urban areas in the different regions of North Carolina. The focus group participants will be chosen on the basis of their familiarity with connectivity issues in the distressed urban neighborhoods of their communities. “Distressed neighborhoods” are defined as areas characterized by high poverty and unemployment rates relative to the MSA averages. The focus groups will be conducted in February and March of 2005 and draw professionals from a variety of institutions and service organizations including consumer advocacy and community development organizations, local government service providers, local chambers off commerce, small business development and technology centers, small business counselors, and the like. CURS anticipates that each focus group will consist of eight to twelve participants addressing no more than ten questions in the span of two hours. The focus group questions will address issues of internet access and usage by type of service, the nature of internet usage in terms of frequency and type of Internet application, barriers to connectivity, and suggestions for improving connectivity in terms of awareness, access, and training. The results of the focus groups will be compiled by CURS in a report submitted to the E-NC Authority by the end of April, 2005. The report will summarize the findings from the focus groups in the form of a status report and needs assessment. It will also offer a set of recommendations based on those findings.
A Proposal to the Ford Foundation for Evaluating the “Partnership for Weatherization and Rehabilitation Program
PI-William Rohe, Funded by the Ford Foundation. This proposal is for Phase II of the evaluation, to be conducted from January 1, 2005 to December 31, 2006. The purpose of Phase II is to continue the work begun in Phase I: to evaluate the impacts of the WRAP Program on the housing costs and insurance claims of the participants and on the target neighborhoods in which the rehabilitated units are clustered. The evaluation will try to establish whether there is a viable “business case” for the program that can be used to attract continuing funding from the energy, insurance, and mortgage finance industries, and from government agencies by documenting the impact of the program at each site with quantitative data on the condition of the properties, values, energy usage, work performed, and the impact of the program on the participants and their neighborhoods. The evaluation will also describe what needs to be done to replicate and expand the program to other locations if the program impacts indicate that expansion is merited. The evaluation will use qualitative data to identify major facilitators and obstacles to successful program development and implementation and will describe effective practices in the various tasks involved in offering the program, including partnering with other organizations and coordinating financing from multiple grantors.
Facilitating Collaboration Among School Boards
PI-David Salvesen, Funded by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.The purpose of this project is to improve the process and outcomes of school site selection by facilitating collaboration among school boards, county commissioners and local planners in North Carolina. We propose to collaborative planning workshops in two to three counties in North Carolina to provide an opportunity for key stakeholders in school facility planning to discuss areas of mutual interest, identify opportunities for collaboration, and most importantly, to examine the links among school location decisions, local land use regulations and the quality and character of communities. Workshops will be conducted in counties where the school board, Board of County Commissioners and local planning director(s) have agreed to participate. In the final workshop, participants will apply the knowledge gained from the preceding workshops to the selection of a site for a new school in their community or to examine whether to renovate an existing school. The project will be carried out by two nonprofit organizations: the Center for Urban and Regional Studies (CURS) at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and the Orange County Dispute Settlement Center (DSC).
Collaborative Planning for School Boards, City Councils, County Commissioners, and Local Planners
PI-David Salvesen, Funded by the John S. & James L. Knight Foundation & the Marion Stedman Covington Foundation. School boards often select sites far new schools with little input from local planners or county commissioners, despite the long-term impacts of such decisions on local communities. The lack of consultation means that school boards, planners and commissioners sometimes work at cross-purposes. The purpose of the project is to facilitate collaboration among school boards, county commissioners and local land use planners in selecting sites for new schools. The project is aimed at understanding and improving the collaboration that takes place in North Carolina in selecting sites for new public schools. The project will be carried out by the Center for Urban and Regional Studies (CURS) at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and the Orange County Dispute Settlement Center.
Building Community Through Partnerships: The Impact of Renewal Community Designation on Local Revitalization
Co-PIs-John Pickles & jon Lepfosky, Funded by US HUD. This project will examine the activities of a comprehensive community-building initiative in Chattanooga, Tennessee over the period of 1 year. The purpose will be to understand the relationship between resident participation and the definition of ‘community’ operationalized in the initiative. Research methods include archival research of initiative-related documents (documents from participating agencies, newspaper accounts of initiative related activities in target neighborhoods), publicly available administrative data (property ownership data, land use maps of target neighborhoods), and published oral histories of target neighborhood residents. Additional data will be collected through semi-structured interviews with key initiative stakeholders as well as participant observation and in-depth interviews with residents of target neighborhoods. Questions for interviews will be structured around three main lines of inquiry: how is ‘community’ defined in the initiative; what comprises the activities of ‘community-building’ in the initiative; and, how do these ‘community-building’ activities create avenues of access for target neighborhood residents to participate directly in revitalization efforts.
Threshold Effects of Neighborhood Homeownership Rates and the Impacts on Property Values and Rental Prices
Co-PIs Michael Stegman & William Ewell, Funded by the US HUD.The goal of this research proposal is to examine the threshold effects of neighborhood homeownership rates on owner-occupied housing values and rental prices. Several studies have examined the impact of homeownership rates on neighborhood housing values and rental prices; however, studies analyzing neighborhood homeownership rate thresholds are largely absent. Targeted homeownership programs, particularly in low-income neighborhoods, provide incentives and feedback effects that increase property values and length of tenure resulting in higher levels of neighborhood stability. Alternatively, a dramatic increase in house values and rental prices may result in gentrification and exacerbate low-income housing problems. If discrete thresholds could be defined for improving neighborhood quality without a substantial increase in rental prices, then policymakers could target homeownership programs to those communities where neighborhood stability could be achieved without significant resident displacement. This research will build on two distinct academic literatures including studies of neighborhood homeownership rates impacts on neighborhood effects and the non-linear neighborhood process called threshold effects. First, a hedonic estimation of house and rental prices will be calculated. The hedonic estimation uses a constant quality measure of housing stock which will control for the propensity for house prices to appreciate over time. Second, a tenure choice equation is estimated for both rental price and ownership price. The model employees both a hedonic price equation and a tenure choice equation because households self-select into ownership and this unobserved selection process could bias the estimation of the hedonic equation by itself. Finally a regression analysis with a spline specification will be employed to test for neighborhood threshold effects. This statistical method allows the regression line to model a series of linear segments with distinct slope and level.
Policymakers, planners and local housing advocates consider homeownership programs to be one of the primary methods of neighborhood revitalization due to their increased investments in housing maintenance, demand for improved public services and higher level social participation. This study will provide evidence to the question: As homeownership rates increase or decline in a neighborhood are there certain critical thresholds which cause significant non-linear impacts on housing values and rental values. This empirical analysis will have practical benefits for policymakers in determining the direction of US national housing policy and for state and local neighborhood planners to direct neighborhood revitalization strategies.
Developing a Post-Purchase Counseling Model
Co-PIs-Roberto Quercia & William Rohe, Funded by the Fannie Mae Foundation. The proposed research will address this lack of information. The primary goal of this initiative will be to design a prototypical post-purchase model(s) that incorporates the best practices in the field. Our main interest is the identification of best practices in order to propose a prototypical post-purchase counseling program. Best practices are those factors associated with successful post-purchase counseling interventions. These include staff, process, content, and funding issues. We propose to identify and propose measures of successful post-purchase interventions as part of the research.
Alternative Learning Programs and Structured Day Centers: Impact and process Evaluation
PI-James Fraser, Funded by NC Governor’s Crime Commission. Realizing the economic impact of the dropout problem, many states, communities, and school districts have established separate educational programs for at-risk students. At-risk students are described as discouraged learners, those who for whatever reason — typically poor attendance, habitual truancy, falling behind academically, or teenage parenthood -do not-achieve in the standard high school program. While the number of alternative learning programs has grown nationwide, little is known about the impact of such programs, particularly juvenile structured day centers, on the students, families, and communities they serve. The Alternative Learning and Juvenile Structured Day Centers Program is an 18-month program, funded by the Governor’s Crime Commission, to evaluate the impacts of alternative learning programs (ALPs) and juvenile structured day centers (JSDCs) on the community and youth in five North Carolina communities. Individual, in-depth interviews and surveys will be conducted with staff, teachers, and students in each site, to examine program impacts, including matriculation and recidivism rates among students. Data findings will be compiled in a “best practices” report to assist researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and localities in the development of appropriate, effective programs targeting at-risk youth.
Understanding the Links Between Neighborhood Schools and Neighborhood Quality
PI-David Salvesen, Funded by the Ford Foundation. School board decisions about whether to renovate an older school or build a new one somewhere else typically are based on a comparison of the cost of renovation versus the cost of new construction. In North Carolina, as in many other states, the analysis is often biased in favor of new construction. Neighborhood impacts are seldom, if ever, considered. Closing a school can have a devastating impact on the surrounding neighborhood. Also, once a local school board or state board of education decides that a school should be shut down, neighborhood groups typically face an uphill battle trying to convince them otherwise. Yet, some neighborhoods have been successful in keeping their local school open. We propose to examine the social and economic impacts of schools on neighborhoods. In addition, we will try to understand the factors that determine whether or not a neighborhood will be successful at their local school.
Community Development Work Study Program (2004)
Co-PIs-Roberto Quercia & Edward Feser, Funded by US HUD. The Housing and Urban Development Work Study Traineeship Program provides financial support to disadvantaged graduate students to complete the 2-year masters degree program in the Department of City and Regional Planning. Students selected for the program are required to work 10 – 13 hours per week with a public planning related agency. In exchange for their services, the student receives a stipend of $9,000 per year for two years. They also work during the summer months.
Publication of ‘Evolving Challenges for Community Development Corporations: The Causes and Impacts of Failures, Downsizings and Mergers’
PI-William Rohe, Funded by the Fannie Mae Foundation. The goal of this project is to produce and distribute a report entitled ‘Evolving Challenges for Community Development Corporations: The Causes and Impacts of Failures, Downsizings and Mergers’, which was completed under an earlier grant from the Fannie Mae Foundation. The grant funds will be used to design a cover for the report, print at least 1,000 copies and distribute the report to individuals, organizations and university libraries across the country. The goal of this project is to produce and distribute a report entitled ‘Evolving Challenges for Community Development Corporations: The Causes and Impacts of Failures, Downsizings and Mergers’, which was completed under an earlier grant from the Fannie Mae Foundation. The grant funds will be used to design a cover for the report, print at least 1,000 copies and distribute the report to individuals, organizations and university libraries across the country.
This House is Home: An Initiative to Advance Affordable Home Ownership in America
Co-PIs-William Rohe & Harry Watson, Funded by the Ford Foundation, Annie E. Casey Foundation, GE Capital, The Fannie Mae Foundation, Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta, Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas, Neighborhood Reinvestment Corp., and Washington Mutual.This House is Home, a collaboration of the University of North Carolina in partnership with the Enterprise Foundation and the National Building Museum, is a multifaceted photography, oral history, and public arts initiative that utilizes arts-based civic dialogue and other elements to foster enhanced understanding of the affordable home ownership issue. Though rooted at the intimate level of the underserved neighborhood, the initiative seeks to influence policy debate among academics and housing practitioners, to reach a wide public audience, and cumulatively to achieve a national impact.
NeighborWorks Home-Ownership Pilot Evaluation
Co-PIs-William Rohe & Roberto Quercia, Funded by the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corp. This is a proposal to evaluate the NeighborWork’s Homeownership Pilot project sponsored by the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation, a congressionally chartered, public non-profit organization. The pilot program is designed to assist 55 NeighborWorks organizations in sponsoring activities designed to assist 10,000 low and moderate income families purchase homes. The evaluation will describe and analyze the process, outcomes and impacts of the Home-Ownership Pilot program. It will involve two rounds of site visits to a sample of 8 organizations during which we will conduct key informant interviews, collect secondary data, tour the target neighborhoods and conduct focus groups with program participants. The evaluation will also involve the analysis of secondary data that will be collected at each site and provided by the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation. Finally, the study will involve a mail survey of program participants, both those who bought homes and those who did not. The final report will identify the outcomes and impacts of this program and offer recommendations for how it could be improved.
Good Schools-Good Neighborhoods: The Impacts of State and Local School Board Policies on the Design and Location of Schools in North Carolina
PI-David Salvesen, Funded by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation. Traditionally, neighborhood schools served as the focal point of communities. Since the 1960s, however, the trend has been toward building larger, consolidated schools in more remote locations. Such far-flung schools, with their large parking lots and low-slung buildings, typically are accessible only by bus or car and often resemble big box retail stores more than civic buildings. These schools discourage walking, reduce community involvement and encourage sprawl. Nationwide, fewer than one in eight kids walk to school (no figures are available yet for North Carolina). Numerous obstacles exist to building more walkable, neighborhood-centered schools. For example, school funding and design standards often create a bias in favor of building large new schools in suburban settings rather than rehabilitating existing schools. The Center for Urban and Regional Studies will conduct an analysis of state and local policies in North Carolina and their impact on the location and design of new schools. We will examine trends in the design and siting of schools in North Carolina, identify obstacles to building more walkable schools, and analyze the extent to which the construction of new schools in suburban settings exacerbates sprawl.
The Impact of Property Acquisition Programs on Participating Communities: Improving Hazard Mitigation Strategies for Economic and Social Gains
PI-James Fraser, Funded by US Federal Emergency Management Agency.The purpose of this research proposal is to conduct a national study of the various individual, neighborhood, and community-level processes and outcomes that are associated with land acquisition buyout programs in flood plains. The guiding questions include: 1) Why do buyout programs work so well in some communities but not in others? 2) What are the social and economic impacts on neighborhoods and communities that participate in a buyout program? 3) What are the main reasons why some people participate in a buyout program while others do not? and, 4) Where do people go after their property is purchased; do they stay within the community or move somewhere else? In order to examine these issues a sample of five communities who have participated in buyout programs, and one comparison site that did not participate in the buyout program will be studied (note that number of sites may be increased with multiple funding sources). Data collection strategies will include telephone surveys to a representative set of community households, in-depth interviews with key informants in each community, and focus groups comprised of neighborhood residents. We will produce two deliverables: 1) An effective practices manual for assisting entities, such as Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA to better manage buyout efforts in floodplains; and, 2) A guidebook for potential buyout participants that will highlight the experiences of buyout participants in order to heighten awareness of the benefits of relocating outside of a floodplain or other area prone to natural disasters. 1) Effective Practice Manual – This deliverable will include chapters on the following: marketing buyout programs to communities; developing local capacity to conduct successful buyout programs; tools for recruiting landowners to participate in a buyout; and, self-evaluation of local buyout efforts. 2) Guidebook for Buyout Participants – This deliverable will include chapters on the following: assessing the economic costs associated with living in a floodplain (or other natural disaster prone area); developing a personal buyout plan; understanding the process of buyout participation; what types of services do I need; and, transitioning to a new community.
A Study of the Impact of Homeownership on Opportunity for Low and Moderate Income Households
Co-PIs-William Rohe & Shannon Van Zandt, Funded by US HUD. The proposed research identifies and examines the mechanisms by which homeownership and neighborhood characteristics impact objective and subjective measures of opportunity for low and moderate-income households. The research design is longitudinal, making it possible to measure the extent to which buying a home and living in a new neighborhood has improved both subjective and objective measures of life opportunities. Data consist of primary data collected at the individual level both before and after participants have purchased, or considered purchasing, a home in eight different sites across the nation. Additional secondary data is being collected on the characteristics of the target neighborhoods, including crime rate, housing vacancy, demographics, and poverty levels. Three levels of analysis are planned. A bivariate analysis will determine if social and economic outcomes are different for owners or renters who live in the same neighborhood compared to those who have moved to a different neighborhood, Isolating the impacts of neighborhood versus those of home ownership. Second, for each comparison group, multivariate analyses will permit the examination of the extent to which household characteristics, like income, education or race, influence the level of social and outcomes achieved. These analyses pursue the question of whether low-income or minority households are benefiting from home ownership as much as households from other groups Finally, structural equation models permit the calculation of direct, indirect and total effects for each of the hypothesized causal variables on each of the various Outcomes. This analysis will permit the isolation of causal mechanisms.
Community Development Work Study Program (2003)
Co-PIs-Roberto Quercia & Edward Feser, Funded by US HUD. The Housing and Urban Development Work Study Traineeship Program provides financial support to disadvantaged graduate students to complete the 2-year masters degree program in the Department of City and Regional Planning. Students selected for the program are required to work 10 – 13 hours per week with a public planning related agency. In exchange for their services, the student receives a stipend of $9,000 per year for two years. They also work during the summer months.
Historic Preservation Training
PI-David Salvesen, Funded by the Marion Stedman Covington Foundation. The Center for Urban and Regional Studies at UNC is developing a two-day training program to provide local planners, elected officials, developers and conservationists with the knowledge, understanding and tools necessary to promote smarter growth in their communities. The program includes several modules that cover topics such as promoting infill development, preserving neighborhood schools, providing affordable housing and protecting open space. We propose to develop an additional module that will incorporate historic preservation into the training program. The proposed module will help communities better understand the importance of historic preservation and provide them with the tools necessary to convert knowledge into action. It will feature numerous examples of successful projects and innovative programs in North Carolina and describe the steps communities have taken to stimulate the redevelopment of historic properties. We will work closely with Preservation NC and the NC Smart Growth Alliance to identify projects and programs to include in the training module.
The Neighborhood Construction Company: Building Capacity -Building Community
PI-Mary Beth Powell, Funded by the City of Durham. There is a substantial demand in Southwest Central Durham (SWCD) in other areas of the City of Durham and the region as a whole, for building companies and contractors specializing in residential and commercial renovation and remodeling. Currently, there are a number of both skilled and unskilled trades people in the SWCD area who work on an ad hoc basis but have neither the necessary skills for steady employment nor the business background to start a business. The creation of a Neighborhood Construction Company (NCC) based in Southwest Central Durham will address both of these needs: the need to renovate dilapidated properties and the need to employ and empower neighborhood residents. The Community Outreach Partnership Center (COPC) a program of the UNC-Chapel Hill Center for Urban and Regional Studies is requesting $60,000 for the start up of a Neighborhood Construction Company (NCC) in Southwest Central Durham. The NCC will train and employ residents of Southwest Central Durham in the skills necessary to renovate blighted housing in this economically under served community, thus both increasing the economic status of those employed and improving the aesthetics and property values of the surrounding neighborhood.
Helping Families Build Assets: An Assessment of Individual Development Account Programs in NC (Final Summary Report) (Final Report)
Co-PIs-William Rohe & Roberto Quercia, Funded by the Corporation for Enterprise Development. This project includes both a process and impact evaluation of the two IDA demonstration programs in North Carolina. Its ultimate objective is to document the impacts of these IDA, programs and to provide information that will be useful to other organizations interested in developing IDA programs. More specifically, it will: 1. Document the characteristics of the local IDA programs in the state; 2. Identify the barriers to implementing IDA programs and means of overcoming those barriers; 3. Identify technical assistance needs of the local IDA sponsors; 4. Document the full costs of the IDA programs to the sponsoring organizations; 5. Identify effective practices in implementing and managing IDA programs; 6. Determine the characteristics of program participants who are most successful in completing the program; and 7. Assess the perceived impacts of the IDA programs on their local communities.
Can Housing Filter Without the Neighborhood Filtering?: An Empirical Investigation
Co-PIs-Roberto Quercia & Lisa Bates, Funded by US HUD. Part of the foundation of national housing strategy and the provision of affordable housing in the U.S. has been to increase construction of high-quality residential units in order to speed filtering, the process by which households “move up” in the housing market. As market values in one segment of the market fall, and occupants move up to a higher quality submarket, the vacancy triggers a chain of moves by households, eventually leaving affordable, albeit lower quality, units open for occupancy. A unit may filter down in price as it depreciates and other, new units come onto the market. However, a unit’s price decrease is probably also related to the surrounding neighborhood’s decline and deterioration. Neighborhood decline can cause a unit’s price to fall; additionally, as households move up the hierarchy of submarkets, leaving a neighborhood open to low-income occupants, the low-cost areas’ quality declines further. If this is the case, filtering is not a good strategy for providing affordable housing, as it leaves low-income households in disadvantaged locations with limited opportunity for personal development and advancement. The theory of filtering makes no conclusions about how the process might affect neighborhood. The assumption is that filtering has no impact on the aspects of a neighborhood that are important for residents’ life opportunities. This paper will explore the connections between housing value and deteriorating neighborhood conditions, which has not been well documented empirically. The main research question is: Is it possible for a housing unit to filter down in price without a concomitant decline in the quality of the surrounding neighborhood? This question will be examined through several methodologies, using data from two waves of the American Housing Survey supplemented by Census tract data. First, hedonic regression will be used to demonstrate how a unit’s price and appreciation is decomposed into its individual characteristics, including neighborhood quality measures. This procedure will determine the shadow price of the environmental conditions documented in AHS. Second, a crosstabulation matrix of neighborhood quality changes and housing unit price changes will demonstrate correlation between declining neighborhood quality and downward filtering in the housing market. Finally, a regression analysis will determine causality by regressing housing price changes on neighborhood quality changes and a number of control variables.
The Impact of State-Wide Inclusionary Land Use Laws on the Supply and Distribution of Housing for Lower Income Households
Co-PIs-William Rohe & Spencer Cowan, Funded by the US HUD. This dissertation studies the form of inclusionary land use statutes (the model) adopted in three southern New England states; laws designed to increase the supply of subsidized housing and reduce suburban exclusion. The proposed research will determine whether the laws have effectively done so.
Survey & Analytical Support for “Making Connections” Grantees
PI-Charles Usher, Funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. • Assist the Foundation in selecting a survey contractor (or contractors) to carry out survey activities in Making Connections cities;• Serve as the primary technical monitor for work by survey contractor(s), and in collaboration with ABCF Evaluation Liaisons, coordinate the work of contractor(s) to achieve the most effective allocation of survey resources across various sites;• Assess the technical quality of sample designs, survey instruments and procedures, and analysis plans by conducting technical reviews and obtaining opinions from members of the proposed national research team and other consultants with expertise in particular areas;• Identify potential members of the national research team and work with the Foundation in selecting its members;• Work with the survey contractor(s) and the national research team to develop strategies for disseminating survey findings and assisting LLPs in fully exploiting the survey database for each city; and• Promote efforts by LLPs and the national research team to integrate survey data with data from local data warehouses and qualitative research efforts. As this list of activities indicates, the CURS project team will provide an interface between various individuals and groups involved in Making Connections. Within the Foundation, this includes the Site Team Leader, Evaluation Liaison, and Technical Assistance Resource Center (TARC) Liaison for each site. The planning and execution of surveys will involve members of each LLP and other local participants, but the CURS team also expects relevant Foundation staff to participate actively in planning and developing the survey in each site. Building an effective collaboration will require a clear understanding of and due consideration to the interests and perspectives of different Foundation staff, LLPs, the survey contractor(s), and the national research team.
Community Development Work Study Program (2002)
Co-PIs-Linda Lacey & Emil Malizia, Funded by US HUD. The Housing and Urban Development Work Study Traineeship Program provides financial support to disadvantaged graduate students to complete the 2-year masters degree program in the Department of City and Regional Planning. Students selected for the program are required to work 10 – 13 hours per week with a public planning related agency. In exchange for their services, the student receives a stipend of $9,000 per year for two years. They also work during the summer months.
Evaluating the North Carolina TANF-Housing Pilot Program
PI-William Rohe, Funded by the NC Dept. of Social Services. Finding decent affordable housing is considered one of the major barriers Work First families confront in moving off welfare dependency, along with job skills, childcare and reliable transportation. In 1999, the Governor dedicated $3 million in TANF funding to a pilot program to demonstrate the value of housing assistance in helping TANF-eligible families achieve greater self-sufficiency. The pilot program ultimately funded eight diverse and innovative proposals involving coalitions of public and nonprofit organizations in counties located throughout North Carolina. The purposes of this proposal are: 1. To evaluate the extent to which these projects helped eligible families secure safe, decent affordable housing; 2. To assess the role of this housing program in helping families move off or stay off welfare, and; 3. To distill the lessons learned from the pilot projects that might be replicable in other North Carolina communities.
Evolving Challenges for CDCs: Causes and Impacts of Attrition, Downsizing and Reorientation
PI-William Rohe, Funded by the Fannie Mae Foundation. The proposed research is designed to describe and identify the factors involved in the attrition of community development corporations (CDCs) in the U.S. It will also assess the impacts of this attrition on the local community. The research methods to be used include telephone and in-person interviews with local professionals with knowledge about the attrition of CDCs in their areas, the reasons behind that attrition and the impact of the attrition on the communities served by these organizations. Phone surveys will be used to identify as many CDCs experiencing attrition as possible. Three-day site visits will be made to 12 communities that have or had CDCs that went out of business, were downsized or reoriented their activities.
Community Outreach Partnership Centers Program
PI-William Rohe, Funded by US HUD. This Community Outreach Partnership Center (COPC) proposal is designed for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to enter into a partnership with the residents of the Southwest Central (SWC) Durham neighborhoods and a number of public and non- profit organizations involved in revitalizing this once-proud area. The SWC neighborhoods includes five very low-income communities located adjacent to downtown Durham. These communities are among the most distressed neighborhoods in the city with very high rates of poverty, crime, and unemployment. As a result of a neighborhood summit recently held to look at common problems experienced by the five neighborhoods, they coordinated efforts and formed the South West Durham Neighborhood Council, an umbrella organization that will serve to foster communication and cooperation among the five neighborhoods. The Council is also being supported by important public, non-profit and private groups in the Durham area. They have identified critical issues which include housing, economic development, youth empowerment and crime, and ISMs (racism, sexism, and classism), and developed task forces to address these issues. With the COPC grant, UNC-CH proposes projects in the areas identified by the Council. The three housing related projects focus on the identification of housing units to be targeted for rehabilitation, development of a strategic plan for increasing home ownership and identification of credit needs. The proposed economic development projects involve development of a business plan for conversion of an old school to a community center and development of a job training strategy. The empowerment projects include the development of strategies for addressing the ISMs, capacity building training for citizens serving on boards of neighborhood organizations and a speaker series that would bring positive role models to the area. The crime prevention and youth empowerment projects include design of a crime reduction strategy for the area, development of conflict resolution program for local youth and a teen mentoring program that would match university students with local youth. With the COPC grant, UNC-CH would play an important role in this exciting community revitalization effort.
Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise Loan Portfolio Analysis
PI-Roberto Quercia, Funded by the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corp. The goal of this task order to twofold. First, we will prepare a complete description of the evolution of the portfolio, the evolution of the Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise (CNE) with particular attention to its homebuyer training program, and a description of housing market activities in Chattanooga during the performance period. Second, we will compile a data set containing both CNE loan portfolio data and any supplemental data needed to perform loan performance analyses.
Mobilization as a Response to Risk Perceptions and Declines in Housing Values in Communities Around Superfund Sites. HUD, 1999 Doctoral Dissertation Research
Co-PIs-Lucie Laurian & Philip Berke, Funded by US HUD, The goal of this project is to propose and test a comprehensive theoretical framework of the determinants of individuals’ responses to changing environmental conditions. I study residents’ risk perceptions and their responses to the clean-up of Superfund sites. As perceived risks affect neighborhood satisfaction, residents may modify their residential preferences, become involved in community mobilization, or remain passive (Wolpert, 1966; Hirschman, 1970; Speare, 1974; Lyons and Lowery, 1989). The study of the individual, household and community-level determinants of responses to environmental risk and to the clean-up of toxic sites (including levels of trust in governmental agencies with regard to clean-up operations) will significantly contribute to the body of theories of the socio-demographic effects of environmental change. I will conduct a survey of residents around four Superfund sites at different clean-up stages. The study communities are chosen so that two of the four have high levels of community mobilization. I will conduct a phone survey of a random sample of 400 households (100 in each community) who live within two miles of each site. Households will be surveyed about their perceptions of the clean-up process and about their trust in governmental agencies with regard to the clean-up operations, about their risk perceptions, residential satisfaction and responses to environmental change. Through interviews with key community members, I will gather data on community-level factors.
Interim Outcomes Assessment of HUD EZ/EC Program in Charlotte
PI-William Rohe, Funded by ABT Assocaites.The purpose of this study is to conduct an evaluation of the Enterprise Community Program (EC) in Charlotte, North Carolina. The evaluation will involve the following activities: (a) develop a local research design in coordination with the Abt Associates evaluation team and (b) collect data as called for in the local research design. Data collection activities include observation and documentation of key EC events; review of administrative records; periodic interviews and focus groups; and collection of secondary data. A Baseline Conditions Report prepared for Abt will include key indicators of program progress; an update on key events, partnerships, and administrative changes; an update to the local theory of change; and a description of key program activities.
Doctoral Dissertation Research: The Impact of Scattered Site Public Housing in Social Methods and Access to Opportunity
Co-PIs-William Rohe & Rachel Kleit, Funded by the National Science Foundation & US HUD. This research answers two questions: (1) do the social networks of low-income people living in predominantly low-income neighborhoods differ from those of low-income people living in more affluent neighborhoods and (2) if differences in social networks exist, are they associated with a differential access to opportunity? The design called for in-person interviews with 270 public housing residents living in two different types of housing in Montgomery County, MD. The study will compare 149 who live in entirely low- income developments and 121 who live in units that are scattered throughout more affluent areas. Analysis of variance tests will answer the first research question, and OLS regression and path analysis will answer the second. The research advances knowledge in several ways. First, it provides a detailed examination of the social networks of low-income individuals, missing from many network studies. Second, it bridges the neighborhood effects and social networks literatures, suggesting that neighborhood and social networks together impact an individual’s life chances. Third, this research examines assumptions undergirding an U.S. housing policy initiative where housing options for low-income people in more affluent communities provide them with social or economic opportunity.
Regulation and the Cost of New Residential Development
PI-Michael Luger. Funded by Housing New Jersey Inc. and New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. Click here for a free downloadable copy of this report in pdf format.
A Developmental Assessment of Community Policing in Rural Areas
PI-William Rohe, Funded by the NC Governor’s Crime Commission. The primary purpose of this project is to conduct a developmental impact assessment of community policing in four sheriffs departments in the state. This assessment will: (1) thoroughly describe the community policing program in each county; (2) identify the unique obstacles to adopting community policing in rural areas; (3) develop a baseline for measuring the effectiveness of community policing programs in reducing crime and fear of crime and improving citizen perceptions of police services; (4) identify the keys to the success of community policing in rural areas and develop an effective practices handbook specifically designed for sheriffs departments. The specific tasks will include: 1. Detailed project planning and selection of study sites (candidate counties include Caswell, Cumberland, Rockingham, Union); 2. Conduct a literature review on policing in rural areas; 3. Plan for and conduct two rounds of “key informant” interviews with sheriffs, selected deputies, county managers, other agency representatives, and citizen leaders in each county; 4. Design, conduct and code 100 citizen surveys in each county; 5. Design, implement and code 50 deputy surveys in each county; 6. Collect and analyze reported crime data in each county; 7. Write final report and conduct briefings with sheriffs and crime commission; 8. Write effective practices manual for community policing in rural areas.
A Qualitative Analysis of the Efficiency and Effectiveness of NeighborWorks Organizations: A Collaborative Project with the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation
Co-PIs-William Rohe & Jen Lobenhofer, Funded by the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corp. The objectives of this research project are: (1) to deepen our understanding of the organizational factors associated with the efficiency and effectiveness of community development corporations; (2) solicit the views of CDC directors regarding appropriate measures of effectiveness; and (3) develop more accurate measures of organizational efficiency. The study method will involve key informant interviews with representatives of 9 NeighborWorks organizations and other local persons with knowledge about the efficiency and effectiveness of those organizations. These will be in-person interviews conducted during site visits to each of these participating organizations.
Proposal to Develop an RPF and Workshop for the North Carolina TANF-Housing Pilot Program
Co-PIs-William Rohe & Chuck Bohl, Funded by the NC Dept. of Community Assistance. To develop the project and assist in the identification and selection of TANF-Housing Pilot Project communities, this proposal calls for the development of an RFP, Workshop Session, and Evaluation Strategy by staff at the Center for Urban and Regional Studies (CURS) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Below is a proposed schedule of tasks to be completed and a budget. CURS staff will work closely with the Division of Social Services, the Division of Community Assistance, and the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency and their partners in the completion of each of these tasks.
Risky Neighborhoods? House Appreciation in Underserved Areas
PI-Roberto Quercia, Funded by The Fannie Mae Foundation. In order to address the issue of house appreciation in underserved areas, the goal of this project is to develop and test a methodology to determine what part of the value of a home over time (appreciation) is due to structural and neighborhood effects, and what part may be attributable to other factors such as the homeowner’s actions. We propose to identify these impacts across different submarkets (high, medium, and low-priced), and for high risk and low risk borrowers. We propose to rely on TRW-REDI property data for Dade County, Florida for the 1985-1993 period. We propose a three-person research team for the study. Roberto Quercia will be the principal investigator and Ayse Can of the Fannie Mae Foundation will be the co-principal investigator. George McCarthy of the Jerome Levy Economics Institute will be the third member of the project team.
Evaluation of Individual Development Account Programs in North Carolina
PI-Roberto Quercia, Funded by the NC Working Group on IDAs and Asset Building. IDAs are a new and promising approach to assisting low-income persons achieve economic independence. To achieve their full potential, however, we must learn how best to implement these programs and document their success. The project team will examine barriers to implementation and administration of the North Carolina IDA programs, identify best practices, measure their success and assess the long-term sustainability of IDAs beyond the demonstration stage. We propose a number of steps to achieve these objectives. First, based on extensive onsite interviews and document collection, we will develop a detailed description of each of the eleven IDA demonstration programs including characteristics and responsibilities of the local sponsors, program components and procedures, and characteristics of the participants. Second, we will complete a preliminary analysis of the IDA implementation process for each site. This will describe the steps, obstacles and methods of overcoming obstacles to program implementation. Third, we will examine preliminary program costs and any early results such as the number of program participants and the amount of participant savings. Fourth, we will conduct focus groups with participants to find out what they think about the program and what impacts they have had on their lives. Finally, we will also be tracking the number of participants that bought homes, secured additional education or job training, and opened businesses.
The Siting of Assisted Housing and its Impact of Neighborhood Racial Transition
PI-William Rohe, Funded by US HUD & Mathematica. The Siting of Assisted Housing and its Impact of Neighborhood Racial Transition The proposed research will answer two questions: (1) What role neighborhood racial composition played in the siting of assisted housing during the 1980s, and (2) How the siting of assisted housing affected neighborhood racial transition during the 1980s. Although there have been several case studies examining the links between neighborhood racial composition, the siting of assisted housing, and subsequent neighborhood racial transition, there has yet to be a rigorous nationwide study of these links. Nor has there been any studies examining the role race plays in the siting of development built under the Low Income Tax Credit Housing program and their impact on neighborhood racial transition. The proposed research will answer the above questions by using multivariate statistical methods to assess the impact of neighborhood racial composition on the siting of assisted housing, and the subsequent impact of the siting of assisted housing on neighborhood racial transition. Geographic Information Systems technology will be used to measure the spatial relationships between assisted housing and minority neighborhoods, and to map the relationships between neighborhood racial composition, the siting of assisted housing, and neighborhood racial transition. Data for this study will come from HUD’s Picture of Subsidized Housing to determine the siting of assisted housing, and Summary Tape File 3a from the 1970, 1980 and 1990 decennial censuses. The findings of the proposed research will inform policy makers of the effectiveness of existing policies designed to deconcentrate assisted housing recipients, and what role, if any, assisted housing plays in resegregating assisted housing recipients.
Evaluation of After School Projects Funded by the North Carolina Governor Crime Commission
PI- Gordon Whitaker, Funded by the NC Dept. of Crime Control and Public Safety.The purpose of this project is to conduct an assessment of six after school projects funded by the Governor’s Crime Commission. This assessment will describe the institutional settings and operating activities of each project, determine which activities and practices are more effective at making a positive difference in children’s lives and reducing crime, and determine which institutional settings seem most effective at supporting effective practices. The results of this assessment will be disseminated through a final report and an effective practices manual.
Assessment of the Empowerment Zone/Enterprise Community Initiative
PI-William Rohe, Funded by The Research Foundation of State University of NY. This project is part of a national evaluation of the Empowerment Zone/Enterprise Community program. Under this subcontract with the Rockefeller Institute of the State University of New York at Albany, we will conduct an assessment of the Enterprise Community project in Charlotte, North Carolina. This will involve visits to Charlotte to discuss program design, program progress and program impacts with city officials, members of the non-profit organizations set up under the program and other key informants. We will also be collecting information for secondary sources such as program records and program documents. Four reports will be prepared over the two year project.