Housing Solutions Lab

Helping cities plan, launch, and evaluate equitable housing policies

On this page

On this page

Our grant awardees

Image used to illustrate grant awards for the Our Awardees Page

February 8, 2024

2022 grant awardees

The Lab selected three teams to receive $25,000 each for research focusing on community land trusts in immigrant gateways, solutions for youth homelessness in rural communities, and remote sensing as a tool for code enforcement.

Modernizing code enforcement using remote sensing

This team is assessing the potential of remote sensing and machine learning techniques to gauge the prevalence of informal ADUs, with the aim of helping policymakers craft improved strategies for their permitting and legalization.

Daniel Ho and Jennifer Suckale (Stanford University)

In recent years, California has passed a series of laws to ease barriers to the permitting and construction of accessory dwelling units (ADUs), which offer a potential source of affordable housing amidst a severe statewide housing crisis. Yet despite these laws, studies suggest that unpermitted ADUs may remain widespread. These “informal” ADUs are never inspected for health and building code compliance and may pose safety and legal risks to their owners and occupants.

Researchers at Stanford University’s Regulation, Evaluation, and Governance Lab (RegLab) have developed a cutting-edge approach to identifying informal ADUs. Using San Jose as a case study, they trained a computer vision model to identify backyard construction and used local permit data and tax assessors’ maps to determine whether they were likely to be permitted or unpermitted ADUs.

The team is testing whether this remote sensing and machine learning method can help them determine how common informal ADUs may be, and help policymakers develop more effective strategies for permitting and legalizing them. Learn more about this research here

Community land trusts in Welcoming Cities

This team’s research highlights a rise in community land trusts (CLTs), with a focus on those serving immigrants. Qualitative analysis in select cities investigates CLTs’ potential for supporting immigrant homeownership through inclusive strategies.

Aujean Lee (University of Utah), Shakil Kashem (Kansas State University), and Dwayne Baker (Queens College, CUNY)

As cities across the country welcome immigrants and refugees, local governments and nonprofits are challenged to meet the housing needs of their new residents. One potential tool for building housing stability and wealth for new immigrants is community land trusts (CLTs). 

To explore this possibility, the research team built a comprehensive database of CLTs across the U.S. Their analysis suggests that a substantial share of CLTs were founded in the last five years but that individual CLTs tend to be small and grow slowly. Notably, the researchers also found that ten percent of all CLTs specifically mentioned serving new immigrants. Using three Welcoming Network cities (Boise, ID; Grand Rapids, MI; and Minneapolis, MN) as case studies, the team also conducted qualitative research to explore if and how CLTs can meet the needs of new immigrants and how more targeted outreach, multilingual materials, and other strategies can turn CLTs into a powerfully inclusive housing model. 

Read more about CLTs, immigrant homeownership, and the researchers’ findings here.

Connecting unaccompanied homeless youth with housing

The University of Missouri and the Missouri Balance of State Continuum of Care are partnering to develop and evaluate a tool to remove barriers to housing and homeless services for rural Missouri’s minor youth.

Hsun-Ta Hsu (University of North Carolina) and Sarah Myers Tlapek (Community Partnership of Southeast Missouri)

Across the country, young people experiencing homelessness wait longer than other groups to receive rapid rehousing. This is especially true of unaccompanied youth in rural communities. The State of Missouri has an unusual statute that entitles minors aged 16-17 to housing and homelessness services if they have “qualified status,” i.e., have parental consent, have parents who fail to meet their basic needs, or suffered domestic abuse. But both minors and providers may be unaware of this law or unsure about how to verify their status.

In response, an academic-community partnership between the University of Missouri and the Missouri Balance of State Continuum of Care evaluated a tool that could remove barriers to housing and other homeless services for minor youth in rural Missouri. Learn more about their research here

2023 grant awardees

The Lab selected two teams to receive $30,000 each for research focusing on how smaller local courts process evictions and on the impact of home repairs on housing and financial stability and health. Two additional teams received seed funding for research on zoning reform and source of income discrimination.

Information on each of the team’s research efforts will be added soon. Areas of study will include: 

  • Uncovering Hidden Eviction Practices
  • Measuring the Impact of Home Repairs
  • Engaging the Community in Zoning Reform
  • Understanding Source of Income Discrimination 

The Lab will release periodic new calls for research proposals and invites innovative housing policy research proposals at any time. We seek to be a resource in connecting researchers with practitioners and vice versa.  

If you are interested in partnering with the Lab to engage in housing research, please contact Claudia Aiken, Director of New Research Partnerships, at claudia.aiken@nyu.edu.

How useful was this page?
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Stay Informed

Stay up to date on the latest research, events and news from the Local Housing Solutions team:

Sign up for LHS newsletter and register for a free My Account which allows you to save LHS resources and Housing Strategy Review Results: