Sustainable Affordable Housing in Shrinking US Cities

Sustainable Affordable Housing in Shrinking US Cities

This project will develop an analytic tool that establishes benchmarks for siting affordable housing in shrinking cities. There is a need for such a tool since shrinking cities are among the most distressed in the US, and identifying neighborhoods of opportunity for targeted development is critical to the promotion of sustainability affordable housing.

This study will focus on identifying the boundaries of neighborhoods of opportunity near shrinking core cities located in the ten cities (and their surrounding metropolitan regions) in the US with the fastest declining populations between 2000 and 2010. These places represent the most distressed in the country due to decades of population and economic decline at the local and regional levels. The cities included in this study are:

  • New Orleans, LA (-29.1%)
  • Detroit, MI (-22.2%)
  • Youngstown, OH (-18.3%)
  • Cleveland, OH (-17.2%)
  • Dayton, OH (-14.8%)
  • Birmingham, AL (-12.6%)
  • Buffalo, NY (-10.7%)
  • Cincinnati, OH (-10.4%)
  • Pittsburgh, PA (-8.6%)
  • Toledo, OH (-8.4%)

The broader implications of this research are that it will provide HUD with a decision-making tool for allocating funds for affordable housing development. This tool will allow local housing officials to take a broad spectrum of neighborhoods and institutional characteristics into consideration when siting subsidized housing. This will allow housing officials to balance initial cost consideration associated with affordable housing development against factors linked to long-term sustainability such as proximity to: employment, high performing schools, a spectrum of retail establishments, anchor institutions, cultural institutions, and recreational amenities. Moreover, the development of an analytic tool for siting affordable housing in neighborhoods of opportunity will promote broader equity goals and assist HUD in affirmatively furthering fair housing. This is because an emphasis on siting subsidized housing in neighborhoods of opportunity will help assure that the inventory of affordable units is sustained over time in stable areas of shrinking cities and regions.