Data and Neighborhood Revitalization
(Housing and Community Development)
Thursday, November 2, 2017: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
Wright (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
Roundtable Organizers: Paul Joice, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Moderators: Susan Popkin, Urban Institute
Speakers: Luke Tate, Arizona State University, Amy Khare, University of Chicago, Paul Joice, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Gary Painter, University of Southern California
At least since the 1987 publication of William Julius Wilson’s The Truly Disadvantaged, concentrated poverty has been one of the greatest challenges in urban policy. It has become widely accepted that the effects of poverty are compounded at extreme levels, and severely distressed neighborhoods reinforce the intergenerational transmission of poverty. Concentrated poverty – commonly defined as a neighborhood where the poverty rate is 40% or higher – declined substantially during the 1990s; the number of people living in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty by 2.5 million. But since 2000, those gains have been erased. Between 2000 and 2010-2014, the number of people living in concentrated poverty more than doubled, to 13.7 million.
Policymakers and practitioners of the past 30 years have sought to overcome concentrated poverty through a combination of mobility programs, which help poor families move to better neighborhoods, and neighborhood revitalization programs. Programs such as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) HOPE VI and Choice Neighborhoods programs have focused on rehabilitating, or demolishing and rebuilding, distressed assisted housing. Other place-based initiatives, such as the recent Promise Zones program, encourage a comprehensive approach that goes beyond “bricks and mortar” to include an array of social services. In this roundtable, researchers and practitioners from government, non-profits, and academia will discuss their experience with these innovative revitalization strategies, with a particular emphasis on the essential role of data. While it is difficult to establish a counterfactual for a true evaluation of neighborhood revitalization efforts, there are many valuable data sources that can be used to track performance on an ongoing basis. Presenters will discuss these data sources, including many produced by the government, and demonstrate how they can be used to measure performance. They will discuss a new database that tracks mixed-income developments across the country. They will also share new evidence about the extent to which these programs are successfully transforming distressed communities, including the Woodlawn neighborhood on the south side of Chicago.
This roundtable will address questions such as:
• What sources of local, state, and federal administrative data are most valuable for monitoring neighborhood revitalization? How can researchers and practitioners overcome challenges related to data access, quality, and security?
• What do data reveal about the experience of assisted households living in developments undergoing transformation? How can practitioners overcome challenges like attrition and dislocation?
• How have recent revitalization strategies incorporated lessons learned from research on earlier efforts, such as HOPE VI? What evidence is there about the success of recent revitalization programs such as Choice Neighborhoods?
• Moving forward, how can federal, state, and local policies do a better job of improving distressed neighborhoods and providing greater opportunity for residents?