A Data Driven Look at Affordable Housing

Robin Bachin, UM’s assistant provost for civic and community engagement, discusses the new Miami Affordability Project, or MAP.
By Andres Tamayo

Robin Bachin, UM’s assistant provost for civic and community engagement, discusses the new Miami Affordability Project, or MAP.

A Data Driven Look at Affordable Housing

By Andres Tamayo
University of Miami officials launch a new digital tool for identifying and predicting affordable housing needs.

University of Miami officials this week officially launched the Miami Affordability Project, or MAP, an interactive online tool that provides rich data about affordable housing and development.

In a meeting at The Beacon Council, more than 100 community officials, executives, and local media turned out for the event, which has been more than a year-and-a-half in the making and was spearheaded by UM’s Office of Civic and Community Engagement and the Center for Computational Science.

The MAP program is free to use and visualizes neighborhood-level housing market dynamics, and assists in developing data-driven strategies for housing and community development.

“The overall goal of our housing and community development work is to increase the availability of affordable housing and to promote balanced, people- and place-based revitalization strategies that are sensitive to the history and culture of neighborhoods,” said Robin Bachin, assistant provost for civic and community engagement.

The project, which focuses on improving housing opportunities for residents of low- to moderate-income Miami neighborhoods, was funded through grants from JPMorgan Chase and the Jessie Ball DuPont Fund.

Miami ranks first in the nation in severe cost burden, meaning that more people in Miami than in any other metropolitan area spend 50 percent or more of their income on housing.

“With the development of MAP, courtesy of Dr. Bachin and her team at the CCE, we will now be able to better measure, better manage, better provide for affordable housing because our basic assumptions will be right, not wrong. It will be based on empirical data and analysis not on myth and anecdote,” said Michael Liu, director, Miami-Dade Public Housing and Community Development.

Liu joined fellow community officials Arden Shank, president and CEO, Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida, and Barbara “Bobbie” Ibarra, executive director, Miami Coalition for the Homeless, as speakers. The launch also featured speakers from JPMorgan Chase and The Beacon Council.

The innovative project is only the second of its kind – the first was done in New York. For more information on the MAP and its capabilities, visit http://comte.ccs.miami.edu/housing/.