Neighborhood Change Project

After decades of research, scholars have determined that where you live matters. Now, we need to explore how place affects individuals and families. The Neighborhood Change Project represents a group of academics and researchers at the University of Washington (UW) and the University of British Columbia (UBC) who are investigating the effects of neighborhood change and segregation on racial and socioeconomic differences in health, housing, migration, and poverty. Using interdisciplinary methodologies in data urban analytics, statistics, sociology, health, and policy research, the project examines both macro-level and micro-level dynamics in the rapidly changing cities of Seattle, Vancouver, and Surrey.

On May 9th, 2019, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee signed Senate Bill 5600 into law, bringing a series of amendments to landlord-tenant law, including an extension of the notice to vacate from 3 to 14 days for evictions based on overdue rent. This followed testimony by Dr. Timothy A. Thomas, co-lead of the CUAC Neighborhood Change Project, in front of the Senate Housing Stability & Affordability Committee and other government entities. Thomas, a former UW researcher, is the Research Director for the University of California (UC) Berkeley’s Urban Displacement Project, and lead researcher for The Evictions Study, a collaboration between UW and UC Berkeley.

In April 2020, the Urban Displacement Project received a grant from the newly created Digital Transformation Institute to investigate and address housing insecurity and displacement risks related to COVID-19, in collaboration with the Eviction Lab at Princeton University and the Data-Intensive Development Lab at UC Berkeley. The grant is led by Karen Chapple and Joshua Blumenstock at UC Berkeley, and Matthew Desmond at Princeton University. The project utilizes cloud computing and machine learning to predict and identify neighborhoods with high risk of evictions due to circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

In May 2020, researchers for The Evictions Study (Ian Kennedy, Alex Ramiller, Ott Toomet, & Jose Hernandez) expanded their work to the east coast, releasing the Baltimore Eviction Map. This followed the February 2019 release of The State of Evictions: Results from the University of Washington Evictions Project, which provided data analysis of eviction patterns in Washington State.

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