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Research & Data

Housing Research and Analysis


An affordable home in a healthy neighborhood is fundamental to safety, stability and opportunity. Reinvestment Fund’s research advances the understanding of housing market trends, issues that impact access to affordable housing, and the systemic factors that affect households, neighborhoods, and their cities. We have worked with public, nonprofit and private partners to identify practical interventions and investment approaches to improve the quality of local residential real estate markets and, in turn, strengthen communities. 

Advancing Equity in the Eviction Process

The growing recognition of eviction as a pervasive social problem has increased interest in policy and programs intended to promote housing stability for tenants. Reinvestment Fund’s research on evictions in Philadelphia began in 2016 in support of the City of Philadelphia’s Assessment of Fair Housing. Since then, we have researched many aspect of the eviction process and its effects.  

Our eviction research has led to changes in policy and practice to minimize the impact of evictions on not only families but on their neighbors, and  broader communities. Our related work has touched on a wide array of topics such as renter stabilization efforts during the pandemic, access to legal counsel for tenants, and the relationship between evictions and  price-based displacement risk (i.e. gentrification). We have explored policy changes around how eviction cases are handled by the Courts as well as best practices for landlords who provide rental housing to minimize evictions. 

Fair Lending and Appraisal Practices

Homeownership is the most common way households in America build wealth but many members of classes protected by the federal Fair Housing Act (e.g., race, national origin) struggle to achieve or maintain homeownership. We conduct research to gauge the extent of disparities, identify solutions, and measure progress toward fair housing-related policy goals.  

Despite recent encouraging signals for the mortgage market overall,  we find that trends in loan volume, the kinds of loans being made, and where and to whom loans are made, indicate that notable variation persists in how effectively different groups can access credit. 

Additionally, research shows that homes in neighborhoods of color are often valued below comparable homes in White neighborhoods. And that contributes to the wealth gap between Black and White households and can be a barrier to purchasing a home. Our mixed-method analysis concluded that race bias in home appraising is an issue that must be addressed by all levels of government. 

Guiding Neighborhood Investment Strategies

Our most effective tool for guiding neighborhood investment and related programs is the Market Value Analysis (MVA). The MVA provides stakeholders with a common understanding of market types that allows public, nonprofit, and community organizations to engage in productive dialogue around the creation of a coordinated investment and service-delivery strategy.