Investing in the Middle: A New Approach to Deliver on the Promise of Equitable Neighborhood Development

Principal Investigators
Funded on

Early research suggests Middle Neighborhoods (MNs), communities that offer affordable housing that is not a result of specific affordable housing policy and access to many outlets that positively shape health and well-being, are opportunity-rich with place-based resources, and policy innovations at the city level hold the potential to increase this existing housing affordability and stability.  

This study will investigate MNs across the Industrial Heartland, seeking to understand:  

  1. Do low-income households achieve overall better life outcomes and experiences (e.g., health, education, wealth attainment, recreation) in MNs?  

  1. To what extent do housing policies such as CDBG, LIHTC, Residential Tax Abatement, or LTV policy promote MN affordability and stability?  

  1. How does the application of these policies impact the MNs across the Industrial Heartland? 

  1. What are the factors of success and failure leading to improved equity and health in MNs across the Industrial Heartland?  

The qualitative and quantitative assessments that result from this work will aim to inform the development of policy outcomes to determine best practices and effective policy interventions that will increase the understanding of the benefits of MNs, often referred to as an overlooked asset, and ensure a balance between keeping these neighborhoods from falling into further decline, and preventing displacement and gentrification.