A DATA-BASED NARRATIVE SUPPORTING HOUSING AS A PLATFORM

Building to Impact 

 
 

A good home provides more than shelter. A good home offers comfort, dignity, and the foundation for a good life.  Affordable homes that are safe and well-maintained lower stress and bolster health. They reduce transiency, enabling children to perform better in school, adults to retain jobs, and neighbors to feel connected and safe. An affordable, quality home is one of the fundamentals of an equitable society.

When affordable rental housing is enriched with services – from wellness programs to GED classes to after-school and summer programs for kids – the benefits are often even greater. 

Those in need of primary care are more likely to receive it, preventing costly emergency room visits. Home services for seniors allow them to age in place, and at far less expense than a nursing home.  Kids get educational supports, better nutrition and a safe place to live – reducing their stress and supporting their future potential.  Quality housing and services  improve lives and benefit taxpayers and society.

In late 2013, with support from the Kresge Foundation, Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future (SAHF) launched an initiative to begin collecting data on the impact of service-enriched affordable housing from its members, all multi-state affordable housing providers working to improve the health, education, economic mobility and well-being of their residents.  Providing stronger data to policy makers and investors on the benefits of service-enriched housing is key to increasing the funding available to support it.

 
 
POAH Woodlawn Lester 2.jpg

In this report, SAHF presents data from its members as part of the first stage of the Outcomes Initiative. Already, some evidence links service-enriched housing to improved outcomes for residents, including increases in income, assets, and rates of homeownership.  A sense of safety and civic participation are also on the rise at some SAHF properties. Other data illustrates challenges and provides a baseline for measuring future growth. This initiative has contributed toward SAHF members’ efforts to conduct more comprehensive data collection and analysis, supporting their work to deliver better, more cost-effective programs. 

 

(Photo credit POAH)

 
 
 
 

Communities SAHF Members Impact

 

SAHF members provide quality rental homes across the country, in urban, suburban, and rural communities. Countering the belief that affordable housing concentrates poverty, our members provide homes in communities that span the economic spectrum from extremely distressed to prosperous. Service-enriched affordable housing can benefit residents in communities of all kinds.

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To illustrate the diversity of the communities our members serve, SAHF categorized its member properties using the Economic Innovation Group’s 2017 Distressed Communities Index, which measures the economic well-being of zip codes, communities, counties and congressional districts nationwide. This index uses seven indicators to determine each location’s rating: percentage of adults without a high school diploma, poverty rate, percentage of the prime-age population (age 25-64) not working, housing vacancy rate, median income ratio, change in the number of jobs, and change in the number of business establishments. The Distressed Communities Index groups locations evenly into five different tiers based on their performance on the index: prosperous, comfortable, mid-tier, at risk, and distressed.


% of SAHF Portfolio in the Economic Innovation Group's Distressed Communities Index Tiers

The chart below shows that 15% of SAHF properties are located in areas labeled “Prosperous” (top quintile of properties nationwide), and 28% of SAHF properties are located in areas labeled “Distressed” (bottom quintile of properties nationwide).    

   
  
   
   
  
    
  
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    N = 1,874 properties owned by SAHF members.   
  
   
   
  
    
  
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  More information about The Economic Innovation Group (EIG)’s 2017 Distressed Communities Index can be found  here .  The findings expressed in this report are solely those of SAHF and not necessarily those of EIG.  The Economic Innovation Group does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of, or necessarily agree with, the information provided herein.

N = 1,874 properties owned by SAHF members. More information about The Economic Innovation Group (EIG)’s 2017 Distressed Communities Index can be found here.  The findings expressed in this report are solely those of SAHF and not necessarily those of EIG.  The Economic Innovation Group does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of, or necessarily agree with, the information provided herein.

 
 

SAHF PORTFOLIO WITH DISTRESSED COMMUNITY INDEX (DCI) SCORES

The map below shows where SAHF member properties are located and the surrounding zip code’s rating on the Distressed Communities Index.  SAHF properties are located in communities with varying levels of economic prosperity or distress.  Even in distressed communities it’s important to have affordable housing that supports families and leverages additional investment in the neighborhood.

 Photo by BRIDGE Housing

Photo by BRIDGE Housing

Another similar community-specific index has been developed by Enterprise Community Partners.  Launched last year, Enterprise’s Opportunity360 platform compiles census tract-level data to measure a community’s quality-of-life in five areas: housing stability, education, health and well-being, economic security, and mobility (transportation). Whereas the Distressed Communities Index focuses primarily on economic and financial indicators, Opportunity360 evaluates the relative strength of a neighborhood in a variety of ways, recognizing that community well-being is not solely determined by its economic health, but also by factors such as the availability of mass transit, health care, and housing. Each neighborhood’s quality-of-life indicators are rated on a 1-100 scale (100 indicating the highest degree of opportunity).

SAHF collaborated with Enterprise Community Partners to perform a portfolio-wide analysis to help SAHF members better understand what opportunity looks like in the neighborhoods in which they own properties. For SAHF’s purposes, the Opportunity360 index was divided into percentiles.  The chart below shows how the census tracts in which SAHF properties are located measure-up against the index on each quality-of-life indicator. For instance, in the area of Economic Security, 10 percent of SAHF properties are located in census tracts rated “Opportunity Rich” (top 20 percent of all census tracts across U.S.), while 37% are located in census tracts rated “Opportunity Limited” (bottom 20 percent of all census tracts across U.S.).  Therefore, SAHF properties are disproportionately located in areas with limited economic opportunity (as well as limited health, educational and housing opportunities), but SAHF properties can also be found in every type of neighborhood in the U.S., from opportunity-rich to opportunity-poor. The measures used to create each indicator can be found here


% SAHF Overall Portfolio by Enterprise Opportunity360 Categories

   
  
   
   
  
    
  
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    N = 1,844 properties matched to Enterprise Community360 census tract data.  “Opportunity Limited” = census tracts with index scores 0-20; “Moderate Challenges” = census tracts with index scores 21-40; “Tipping Point” = census tracts with index scores 41-60; “Emerging Opportunity” = census tracts with index scores 61-80; “Opportunity Rich” = census tracts with index scores 81-100.  

N = 1,844 properties matched to Enterprise Community360 census tract data.  “Opportunity Limited” = census tracts with index scores 0-20; “Moderate Challenges” = census tracts with index scores 21-40; “Tipping Point” = census tracts with index scores 41-60; “Emerging Opportunity” = census tracts with index scores 61-80; “Opportunity Rich” = census tracts with index scores 81-100.  

 
 

Filling the affordability gap