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  • Assignment 7 - McQuillin
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  1. Write a description of what you would like to do on your project (what is the question or questions you would like to answer, the issue you are tackling, etc.)


            The focus of my final project has changed slightly due to a difficulty acquiring the necessary data sets.  I would like to complete an analysis focusing on housing choice for people with disabilities.  Programs such as the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program and the Alternative Housing Voucher Program (AHVP) have been used to increase affordable housing choices for low income people and people with disabilities by allowing them to rent apartments in the private market.  It can be argued, however, that significant barriers still exist, especially in cases where an individual or family is in need of an apartment with accessibility features.  I plan to do an exploratory study to see if the location of affordable, accessible housing units in the city limits the choice of people with disabilities.

            Questions that I would like to address include:

 -Where are affordable and accessible housing units located?
-What type of building is the accessible unit in (multi-fam., single-fam, high rise, etc.), and, if it is a multi-family building, how many affordable accessible units are there?
-If there are concentrations of units for people with disabilities, do they tend to be located in proximity to public housing developments or other low-income housing?
-If there are concentrations of affordable and accessible housing units within certain census tracts, are these units located near important services or amenities?
-What is the location of market-rate accessible units compared to the location of affordable accessible units?

-Based on the above findings, does housing choice seem to be limited for low-income people with disabilities?  Does this also seem to be true for all people with disabilities in need of an accessible unit, or are barriers more significant for low-income individuals with disabilities? 

  1. Provide at least four briefly annotated examples of similar analyses (some or all of these should come from peer-reviewed journals if possible) - briefly annotated means that you have a paragraph about each example - if you cannot find examples of exactly what you are doing, find examples at least in the same general field or one using similar data sets.      Massachusetts is one of the few states that actually keeps track of available accessible units.  As far as I know, no other studies have been conducted that look at housing choice for people with disabilities in this way (Using GIS).  Similar studies have been done, however, for low-income people with Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers.

Analysis of Fair Housing Impediments to Fair Housing Choice in the District of Columbia, 2005.
Lahr, Michael L. and Robert M. Gibbs.-This study maps Section 8 Voucher Holders in the District of Columbia, showing that there are indeed concentrations of voucher holders.  It also shows that voucher holders still tend to live in low-income neighborhoods near public housing developments.  The study further discusses why these concentrations exist, and ways to improve housing choice and housing mobility.
2002.  Los Angeles Fair Housing Impediments Study:  How Land Use and Zoning Regulations and Practices impact Housing for Individuals with Disabilities.  Prepared by Kim Savage, Mental Health Advocacy Services, Inc.-This study  identifies land use and zoning regulations, practices and procedures that act as barriers to the development, siting and use of housing for individuals with disabilities in the LA area.  A spatial analysis was not done, although the study examines barriers that could affect the location of housing for people with disabilities.
2007.  "Analysis to Impediments to Fair Housing Access and Actions to Mitigate Impediments."  Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD)
- According to the executive summary of this report, the purpose of the study is to exam a variety of indicators and to "illuminate the extent and complexity of impeded fair housing access in Massachusetts. Such indictors include: the economic (housing tenure, housing related cost burdens); the geographic (residential segregation); the socio-structural (discriminatory housing practices and the lack of, or perceived lack of, community openness to certain types of households); and the personal (awareness and exercise of fair housing rights and housing opportunities)."   This study found mobility for voucher holders with disabilities was particularly challenging because of substantial rental market barriers.  It also found that units for disabled were most likely to be concentrated by community.

2003.  "Housing Choice Voucher Location Patterns: Implications for Participant and Neighborhood Welfare."  HUD Office of Policy Development and Research.
-This publication documents the extent to which vouchers have been used in neighborhoods containing affordable housing and the degree to which other assistance programs accompany tenant-based subsidies.  It looks at those communities where HCV holders actually rent and how that relates to where affordable private market rental housing exists.  The study focuses on the 50 most populous Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs).
 # Describe the methods you think you will use _(because we haven't covered analysis in detail yet, this may be very preliminary)_

The first part of this project will just include mapping affordable accessible units throughout the city.  Next, an analysis using census data may be used if there seem to be concentrations of units in certain areas.  Finally, I will need to use proximity tools to determine if the affordable and accessible units are located near important services and amenities.

  1. List the data layers you will need for this project (if you know where you will get them from, list the source, otherwise indicate that you will need help locating this data set) and include the minimum accuracy you will accept (e.g., for the location of a stream, does it need to be within 500 feet of its actual location or within 10 feet? Your answer will depend on your analysis purpose and the scale of your project). Note: This section of your report could take the form of a table with each data layer occupying one row. 

The accessible housing registry maintains a list of accessible housing units throughout Massachusetts.  Tabular data would have to be created from this accessible housing registry, and then that data could be linked to either streets or parcel data.  The MassAccess accessible housing registry can be found at:

Other basic data layers will be needed including public transit lines, hospitals, schools, parks, etc.

Ideally, the minimum accuracy I will accept is within 25-50 feet, although the closer the better! 

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