Recently, the Public and Affordable Housing Research Corporation (PAHRC), a program of HAI Group, released its report Strategies for Investing in Opportunities: An Assessment of the Assisted Housing Portfolio, Neighborhood Quality, and Opportunity Capital. The report maps neighborhoods with assisted housing and analyzes them in relation to a specific community’s Opportunity Capital. Opportunity Capital refers to a community’s resources available to the residents that live in them.
According to the report, the indicators of Opportunity Capital include labor market access, education opportunity, health outlook, and transit access. These indicators are considered in determining the outlook of the economic mobility of residents, overall neighborhood quality, and neighborhood trajectory. The researchers also emphasize that neighborhoods and “place” are more than what upward opportunities they hold. The report acknowledges that one's relationship with their place may be more than if they have upward mobility.
Lastly, the report provides several recommendations outlining ways to improve neighborhoods scoring low on the Opportunity Capital scale. The data demonstrates that in neighborhoods with the most assisted housing, the Opportunity Capital indicators score 39% lower than those with less assisted housing, with the exception of transit access. PAHRC recommends providing more supports for expanding assisted housing into areas with higher opportunities and integrating more opportunity in lower performing neighborhoods.
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