Also by Reinvestment Fund

Policy Solutions Blog

Archive: 2016

Using Market Categories to Assess and Further Fair Housing
Posted December 13, 2016
By Emily Dowdall

In 2015, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) created a new requirement that jurisdictions conduct an Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) planning process in support of the Fair Housing Act’s mandate to “affirmatively further fair housing.” Policy Solutions—along with Enterprise Community Partners, Abt Associates, and PolicyMap—was part of the technical assistance team that aided the City of Philadelphia with data and analysis to inform the local AFH. The MVA was a critical tool in this effort and I wanted to share just a few of the ways that the City incorporated the MVA into the AFH:


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Market Value Analysis, Practitioners, and Private Investors: A Story from St. Louis
Posted November 11, 2016
By Karl Guenther

A reflection on St. Louis’ journey to embed neighborhood market types into our private sector community development practice and a summary of our journey to date, while unfinished, is at the following link:

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Homeownership and Neighborhood Markets in New Orleans
Posted September 28, 2016
By Bill Schrecker, MBA/MSW

One commonly held view among housing practitioners and policymakers is that building homeownership is essential to building strong communities. Home equity has historically helped build wealth, and homeowners are stabilizing forces, who are more likely to invest in home maintenance. However, our experience building MVAs suggests that rental markets can also be sources of opportunity and strength, especially when they are near job centers, transportation hubs, or other amenities.

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A New Look at Middle Neighborhoods
Posted September 8, 2016
By Jacob Rosch

“Middle Neighborhoods” or middle markets are an important focus for many of the cities in which we have conducted MVAs. These areas fall somewhere on the MVA spectrum from relatively strong to showing only modest levels of distress. They are home to many city residents, oftentimes the majority of a city’s population, and they tend to be more racially integrated than other parts of cities. But they are generally not places where federal programs or philanthropic attention is focused.

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Interesting Publication on Preserving Housing Affordability in Changing Neighborhoods
Posted August 15, 2016
By Ira Goldstein

Back in May, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia hosted a conference titled “Gentrification and Neighborhood Change.” Other sponsors of the event were the NYU Furman Center, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and HUD. There were several pieces of research presented on topics related to gentrification. (Conference website:

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Using the MVA to Inform Delaware State Housing Authority Programs
Posted July 8, 2016
By Anas Ben Addi

As part of the State of Delaware’s 2015-2020 Housing Needs Assessment, the Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) partnered with Reinvestment Fund to complete an MVA covering the entire state of Delaware.

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The MVA as a Vehicle of Community and Governmental Engagement: Jessie Ball duPont Fund’s Experiences in Jacksonville, FL
Posted June 19, 2016
By Mary Kress Littlepage

In many of the cities where we work, the MVA is both a strategic tool to guide community investment and a framework to raise data-informed awareness about housing and community development needs and opportunities. The MVA we completed in Jacksonville, FL last year was an exemplary case of a foundation (Jessie Ball duPont Fund) and city officials using the creation of an MVA to engage local stakeholders in new ways and to lay the groundwork for a re-energized approach to housing and community development efforts.

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SBA Loans in MVA Cities
Posted June 15, 2016
By Jacob Rosch

The US Small Business Administration (SBA) is a federal agency created through the Small Business Act of 1953. In the Act, Congress stated:

“The essence of the American economic system of private enterprise is free competition. Only through full and free competition can free markets, free entry into business, and opportunities for the expression and growth of personal initiative and individual judgment be assured… It is the declared policy of the Congress that the Government should aid, counsel, assist, and protect insofar as is possible the interests of small-business concerns in order to preserve free competitive enterprise…”

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Calculating “Condo Adjusted Sales Prices” for the MVA
Posted June 2, 2016
By Al Parker

We’re always looking for new ways to improve the MVA. Most recently, owing to issues observed during our field validation in Indianapolis and Philadelphia, we made an adjustment to the way we calculate median home values to account for the growing number of condos appearing in our data. This post gives some background behind our new methodology; we call it “condo adjusted sales prices.” This is not something we’ll do in every city, but where the market calls for it, we have a new tool in our box.

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