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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.

Using Smart Data to Restore Market Viability

Our most effective tool for guiding revitalization strategies is the Market Value Analysis (MVA). The MVA is an evidence-based tool to inform community revitalization and manage neighborhood change; it identifies different types of markets, and those places where strategic intervention can stimulate private market activity or capitalize on larger trends. It is a unique approach using spatial and statistical analysis that is field validated and reviewed by local subject matter experts to identify and characterize local conditions throughout a locality, creating an internally-referenced index of residential real estate markets.

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. The MVA also provides a baseline against which community change over time can be measured. We have completed over 40 MVAs for city, county and state governments including Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, PA; New Orleans, LA; Kansas City, MO; Jacksonville, FL; and the state of Delaware.

Each MVA is unique. While many studies compare neighborhoods to neighborhoods, the MVA analyzes conditions not only at the community level, but at the block group level. Our experience in cities across the U.S. is that conditions vary significantly within neighborhoods. By looking below traditional neighborhood boundaries, the MVA can highlight market challenges and critical nodes of strength to inform investment strategies.

 
 
MVA Baltimore
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MVA New Orleans
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MVA Philadelphia
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Advancing Equity in the Eviction Process

The growing recognition of eviction as a pervasive social problem has contributed to policy and programmatic changes concerned with promoting housing stability and providing legal protections 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 evictions with the goals of supporting and informing ongoing efforts to reduce its effects on households and communities.

Our eviction research has led to changes in policy and practice to minimize the long-term impact of evictions on not only families but their neighbors, and broader economy. Our evictions research work has touched on a wide array of topics such as the relationship between evictions and local code enforcement (or lack thereof), housing conditions, discrimination, and displacement risk. 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.