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Decision Models for Foreclosed Housing Acquisition and Redevelopment: Home

Book Release!

Our book, Decision Science for Housing and Community Development: Localized and EvidenceBased Responses to Distressed Housing and Blighted Communities, represents a breakthrough in the theory and practice of Operations Research/Management Science (OR/MS) by examining, testing and demonstrating the ways OR/MS can be applied to critical and vexing societal problems that are resistant to centrally developed solutions. These problems can only be solved by putting local communities at the center of the process. Our analysis uses a mixed-methods, community-engaged decision modeling approach to a contemporary issue in urban affairs: the late-2000s housing foreclosure crisis that resulted in losses of millions of homes and trillions of dollars in equity. This approach is unique in open literature regarding range of decision modeling strategies applied to a significant public-sector problem, and brings community-based operations research (CBOR) to the mainstream of OR/MS. It embodies a core value of cross-disciplinary collaboration that connects urban planning and urban affairs to practice, connects operations research and management science to housing and economic development, and enables analytic methods to provide real value to resource-constrained nonprofits.

Description and downloads available at,subjectCd-PO73.html

Decision Models for Foreclosed Housing Acquisition and Redevelopment

Project Description

The recent housing foreclosure crisis has had devastating impacts on individuals, communities, organizations and government. In response, several community development corporations (CDCs) have sought new ways to assist neighborhoods suffering from the myriad effects of high foreclosures, including neighborhood instability, increased vandalism and crime, lower property values, and economic disinvestment. This research project is particularly interested in the activities of community-based organizations that acquire and redevelop foreclosed properties to support neighborhood stabilization and revitalization. However, the costs of pursuing this strategy far exceed the resources available to typical CDCs. Thus, this project seeks to solve the following decision problem: What subset of a large number of available foreclosed properties should be acquired for neighborhood stabilization and revitalization? What activities should be pursued with which properties, when should they be pursued, and to what degree? The decision models we intend to develop will yield acquisition policies that are more efficient, effective, and equitable for CDCs and their community residents. Our goal is to develop theory, models and methods that benefit from the knowledge of practitioners while providing practitioners with novel tools and perspectives that enable them to better achieve their organizations’ missions.

Our project began in August 2010 with funding from the National Science Foundation. Our work was completed in 2015, with the publication of Decision Science for Housing and Community Development: Localized and Evidence‐Based Responses to Distressed Housing and Blighted Communities, by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


Principal Investigators:

Research Assistants:

  • Armagan Bayram, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Rachel Bogardus Drew, University of Massachusetts Boston
  • Emily Vidrine, University of Massachusetts Lowell
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