To Address and Study Recent Increases in Gentrification, the Causes of Neighborhood Change Must Be Understood

Reposted from How Housing Matters.

Understanding the causes of recent gentrification can help guide analyses of and responses to neighborhood change, according to a report by Jackelyn Hwang and Jeffrey Lin in Cityscape. The authors define gentrification “as the process in which neighborhoods with low SES [socioeconomic status] experience increased investment and an influx of new residents of higher SES.” The authors document changes in the prevalence of gentrification in downtowns and outlying neighborhoods of small and large metropolitan areas using an SES index that compares census tracts in metropolitan areas by the percentage of residents over age 25 with at least a college degree and average household income. Hwang and Lin identify causal factors of this phenomenon by reviewing the available literature.

Their review also reveals additional opportunities for research to expand the scope of factors that contribute to gentrification. But some causal factors of gentrification may be difficult to identify, such as small changes in development activity leading to a change in neighborhood composition and amenities, which could create a “self-sustaining cycle for gentrification in gentrifying neighborhoods.”

Key findings

  • Between 1970 and 2010, the number of big cities that contain at least one downtown neighborhood experiencing gentrification increased from 25 percent to more than 50 percent. In small metropolitan areas, this figure increased from almost 0 percent to 15 percent. The share of downtown tracts that were gentrifying rose sharply between 2000 and 2010.
  • Recent literature indicates that changes in access to jobs and amenities are causal factors for gentrification. While the literature suggests mixed evidence for the effect that job access has on gentrification, there is more of a consensus that changes in amenities play an important role in understanding gentrification.
  • Evidence fails to demonstrate the causal effects of public policies; new technologies; race, ethnicity, and diversity; family structure and demography; housing finance; and housing supply on gentrification.

Homeless advocacy groups to study racial disparity in central Ohio housing needs

By Rita Price
The Columbus Dispatch  •  Monday December 5, 2016 2:30 PM
Nearly three-quarters of families served in Franklin County homeless shelters are black, a share deeply disproportionate to the overall population, which is just 22 percent black.
Local and national advocates for the homeless gathered last week at the King Arts Complex to discuss the disparity and to start what they see as a long overdue conversation about race and housing stability in central Ohio.

Read the full story.

What Helps Families Who Are Experiencing Homelessness?

BETHESDA, MD — How do we best help families experiencing homelessness, and how do we keep them from becoming homeless again? Three-year findings from a major study released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Abt Associates show that long-term housing subsidies, particularly housing vouchers, are the best strategy.

Providing priority access to long-term housing subsidies to homeless families helps keep families from becoming homeless again and has a variety of positive benefits – from keeping families out of shelters and off the street, to preventing food insecurity and intimate partner violence and reducing school moves for children in homeless families.

From September 2010 through January 2012, 2,282 families with 5,397 children enrolled in the Family Options Study across 12 communities after spending at least seven days in emergency shelter. Researchers from Abt Associates and Vanderbilt University followed the families for 37 months, gathering evidence about which types of housing and services interventions worked best for homeless families. Participating communities were Alameda County, Calif.; Atlanta; Baltimore; Boston; Bridgeport and New Haven , Conn.; Denver; Honolulu; Kansas City, Mo.; Louisville, Ky.; Minneapolis; Phoenix and Salt Lake City.


Read the full story.

Shipping containers as low-income housing?

Check out the Cargominiums coming to Columbus

Columbus Business First, Evan Weese


A nonprofit, faith-based housing developer has a quirky solution for tackling homelessness: Shipping containers.

Nothing Into Something Real Estate Inc. is building a 25-unit housing complex out of recycled steel shipping containers in Columbus, just north of Interstate 670 from the city’s near east side.

Check out the full article here!

2016-2017 Housing Dialogue Schedule

  • September 27
  • October 25 – Youth Homelessness
  • November 29 – Natasha Slesnik, PhD; Professor in Human Ecology (OSU), preliminary research results on the impact of subsidies for women experiencing homelessness.
  • January 24
  • February 28
  • March 28
  • April 25

Topics we are working on for fall are Affordable Housing Issues in the Suburbs and Housing Young Homeless Mothers: Some Findings.  We will be looking for topics for January through April and will have that discussion at our first meeting in September.

Scioto Conference Room
Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC)
100 W. Liberty Street
Columbus, OH 43215

Free parking in spots marked “M”

Webinar on Financing and Operating Affordable Housing for Extremely Low Income Households

NLIHC will host a webinar for advocates and developers on Monday, August 15 at 12:30 pm ET on options and considerations related to financing and operating affordable housing for extremely low income (ELI) households – those with incomes at or below 30% of the area median income.

Developing rental units affordable to ELI households without relying on vouchers can be very challenging. NLIHC’s national Housing Trust Fund (HTF) Developer Advisory Group recently published two briefs on strategies for funding ELI housing and on options and considerations related to using operating assistance and operating assistance reserves for HTF projects to achieve 30-year ELI affordability without depending on vouchers.

NLIHC’s Ed Gramlich and Paul Kealey will provide an overview of the Advisory Group’s papers.  Former Homes for America President and CEO Nancy Rase and Community Frameworks Senior Housing and Community Developer Ginger Segel, both members of the HTF Developer Advisory Group, will be on hand to share reflections and answer questions.

HTF requires that at least 80% of a state’s allocation must be used to produce, rehabilitate, or preserve rental housing, that 100% of a state’s allocation in 2016 must benefit ELI households, and that HTF-assisted units must remain affordable for at least 30 years. Learn how this can be accomplished and what the pitfalls are. 

Register for this webinar at:

For accessibility accommodations, contact James Saucedo at or 202-507-7452.

Ohio Awards Over $31 Million in LIHTCs

Read the full story here.

By Christine Serlin

The Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) has reserved more than $31 million in low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs) for the creation of 2,593 units in 41 affordable housing developments.

Columbus, Ohio’s capital city, has four developments that received low-income housing tax credits in the latest funding round, including Poindexter Phase III, the new construction fourth phase of a mixed-income, multigenerational transformation plan that received a Choice Neighborhoods Initiative Implementation Grant through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Four additional developments in Franklin County also received reservations.

The LIHTCs will help fund the construction, acquisition, and rehabilitation of affordable housing communities that will serve families, seniors, and individuals with disabilities in rural, suburban, and urban areas of the state. Twenty of the state’s counties will be served.

“The housing tax credit program doesn’t only create quality affordable housing for Ohioans. It’s also a valuable resource that leverages private-sector participation, creates jobs, and improves communities,” said Doug Garver, OHFA executive director, in a statement.

To see the full list of the 2016 reservations, visit