“We need innovative housing programs that can address this problem and expand housing choices for all families. Pittsburgh is the second largest city in Pennsylvania and is a natural site for a housing program designed to reduce racial segregation,” he said. “African Americans represent 26% of the population of Pittsburgh, but they make up 85% of voucher recipients, resulting in a disproportionate impact. We hope our findings can inform efforts to improve housing choice and increase racial equity throughout Pennsylvania, as many communities share social and economic characteristics with Pittsburgh.”
Ortiz and Fenelon will apply a mixed-method, community-engagement research study design that moves systematically from formative processes to the collection and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data, coalition building and research dissemination. Through this project, they will focus on the landlord as well as the voucher recipient, which will provide more data about mobility voucher programs. The Center for Health Care Policy and Research will assist with planning and project management.
Ortiz emphasized the study’s focus on the landlord, which will provide an in-depth examination of the mobility voucher programs.
“Our study recognizes the essential role that landlords play within the rental market,” Ortiz said. “Since landlord participation is crucial to the success of housing policies and interventions, it is critical to understand why landlords participate, or choose not to participate, in the mobility voucher or counseling programs.”
Fenelon added, "This project represents a chance to improve housing choice and opportunity, and our hope is to help stakeholders meet their goals of reducing housing inequity and racial segregation. With this research and through establishing these connections, we strive to have a more direct impact on policy with the goal of making change.”
This gift will advance "A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence," a focused campaign that seeks to elevate Penn State’s position as a leading public university in a world defined by rapid change and global connections. With the support of alumni and friends, “A Greater Penn State” seeks to fulfill the three key imperatives of a 21st-century public university: keeping the doors to higher education open to hardworking students regardless of financial well-being; creating transformative experiences that go beyond the classroom; and impacting the world by serving communities and fueling discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more about “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” visit greaterpennstate.psu.edu.