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Housing Research Synthesis Project



Steps in the research synthesis protocol

Actionable Knowledge: A Research Synthesis Project For Affordable Housing Design Practice

To date, there is no established agenda for organizing, disseminating, and advancing the state of knowledge of how good design is best employed to create long-term economic and social value in affordable housing. Building upon and adapting evidence-based design practices in health care, this project proposed developing the first stage of an effective web-based strategy to help foster evidence-based design among those involved in affordable housing and mixed-income developments.The web resource will provide a framework that users can use to “answer” questions relevant to design issues of affordable housing.

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How Does Affordable Housing Affect Surrounding Property Values?

It isn’t enough to ask whether or not affordable housing impacts the property values of surrounding homes. Key to understanding this conundrum is identifying those particular conditions of the housing, neighborhood, or regional economy that can depress or, in many cases, even stabilize and strengthen neighboring property values. A clearer delineation and understanding of these conditions enables developers, builders, and public officials to make better informed decisions that will result in better quality affordable housing and the surrounding community as well.

This research synthesis is based on a review and analysis of 21 recent studies measuring the impact of various forms of affordable housing on property values. It addresses the following research questions:

  • Under what conditions and circumstances does affordable housing decrease property values?
  • Under what conditions and circumstances does it increase or stabilize property values?

Search Protocol
List of Studies
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Health Consequences of Shared Housing Arrangements

Conventional wisdom holds that when economic times are tough, many households start sharing homes with family, friends, sometimes even boarders. Yet with increasing numbers of people sharing homes—sometimes by necessity, sometimes by interest—housing providers are concerned about the potential health impacts of such living arrangements.

We conducted a search of research articles addressing prevalence and health impacts of shared housing arrangements in the United States, identifying 26 studies.

We asked:

  • Why do people live in shared housing arrangements?
  • How pervasive are such arrangements in the United States?
  • What do we know about the effects of shared housing arrangements on the economic, psychological, and physical health of residents?
  • What environmental factors mediate health outcomes?

List of Studies
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Does Mixed-Income Housing Affect Surrounding Property Values?

In the last couple decades, there has been momentum among housing policymakers, practitioners and advocates to press for mixed-income housing developments as the preferred model for developing affordable housing. Nowhere is this more prominent than in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s HOPE VI program, having allocated about $6.25 billion between 1993 and 2006 for the demolition and redevelopment of distressed public-housing projects into mixed-income housing developments.

Newly-constructed mixed-income housing has also been constructed by for-profit and non-profit developers (and partnerships between these), using a variety of financing mechanisms and in some cases spurred on by inclusionary zoning regulations. Mixed-income developments have raised hopes of social integration and advancement, neighborhood stabilization, better quality living arrangements for lower-income households, and greater community acceptance of affordable housing. There is growing research on the impact of mixed-income developments, particularly HOPE VI, on these factors. This synthesis report looked at the research addressing the impact that mixed-income housing has on surrounding property values.

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Download the research brief