Emily Dowdall is Policy Director for Reinvestment Fund’s Policy Solutions group. Ms. Dowdall helps civic leaders and government officials use data to make programming and investment decisions that support vibrant and equitable communities. She has conducted research on housing stability and neighborhood change in several cities, including Philadelphia, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, and Richmond, VA. Ms. Dowdall also has co-authored recent briefs on fair housing and blight remediation. Prior to Reinvestment Fund, she researched critical issues facing Philadelphia and other cities for the Pew Charitable Trusts, producing major reports on gentrification and the role of public libraries in big cities, among other topics. She has a B.A. in Metropolitan Studies from New York University and Master of City Planning degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where she is also a lecturer in housing policy and urban redevelopment.
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: https://goo.gl/lmkMnL
A study just released by the Pew Charitable Trusts (http://goo.gl/S2Mufe) uses Reinvestment Fund’s Displacement Risk Ratio (DRR) to analyze gentrification and other types of neighborhood change in Philadelphia since the year 2000. The report found that gentrification, when defined as a neighborhood’s shift from a mostly low-income population to a middle or high-income one, was relatively limited. It also found that the speed and scope of the process varied substantially from one gentrified neighborhood to another. The DRR (referred to as the ‘affordability index’ in the report), was essential to understanding those variations, and the implications for longtime residents
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