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About the Project: About


The policy/decision models we wish to develop will yield acquisition policies that are (1) more efficient, i.e. they make best use of organization resources and social subsidies,  (2) more effective, i.e. they ensure that foreclosed properties that are acquired and redeveloped provide high-quality and affordable shelter for low/ moderate income families and assist in neighborhood social and economic development, and (3) more equitable, i.e. they ensure that stakeholder groups and the communities see the foreclosure acquisition process as transparent, consistent and fair.

This project seeks to implement a collaborative, interdisciplinary view of community-based decision modeling. We wish to develop theory, models and methods that benefit from the knowledge of practitioners yet provide practitioners with novel tools and perspectives that enable them to better achieve their organizations’ missions. We hope to achieve this goal in four ways.

First, we will use interactive, participatory methods to build new theory about the process, decisions and impacts of foreclosed housing acquisition and redevelopment. Second, we will adapt and extend current research to estimate values for attributes of the decision problem that are important to practitioners, such as the dollar-valued social impact of a foreclosed unit chosen for acquisition and redevelopment. Third, we will develop innovative decision models that address the tactical question of the choice of specific foreclosed units to acquire and redevelop, and the strategic question of development of portfolios of foreclosed housing acquisition opportunities as a basis for longer-term planning. Fourth, we will adapt methods from multiple analytic disciplines to assess the impact of the use of these decision models on practices of community-based organizations, as well as the communities they serve. 

Our work will enable practitioners to explicitly identify and quantify decision problems and solve these problems to generate evidence-based recommendations for provision of key services. Policy-makers and funders will have increased resources to modify strategies, priorities and funding criteria based on the effectiveness of decision models for community-based service provision. Researchers will be better able to provide expert analysis to advance the theory and practice of community-based operations research. Students who work on this project will be exposed to decision problems with community impact and will perform public service through operations research. The project will also improve university-community partnerships through collaborative projects using quantitative methods and information technology. 

Our project received funding from the National Science Foundation for August 2010 - July 2012. We have received two one-year no-cost extensions, through July 2014. During this time, we continue to collect & analyze data and write research products related to our project's mission.

NSF Grant and Award Details

Healey Library | University of Massachusetts Boston | 100 Morrissey Blvd | Boston, MA | 02125-3393 | 617-287-5900