Beginning in 2020, we collaborated with the Price school to begin a series we’re calling Community Impact from Price Research. We wanted to find a way we could share how research initiatives begin, how we involve communities & stakeholders, and what impacts policymakers and communities should think about.
How do Renters Cope with Unaffordability?
Jovanna Rosen led a team of researchers at the Price Center for Social Innovation in an in-depth survey of Angeleno renters to better understand the housing affordability crisis impacts on families in the region. The Survey was an in-person, door-to-door survey of 800 Los Angeles renter households. A daunting undertaking, given the fractured and fast paced lives families live today.
Researchers wanted to understand how rental affordability operates, discover how it impacts residents in Los Angeles specifically, and how its effects differ across populations. Teams of students conducted interviews in Spanish and English, across two neighborhoods in Los Angeles: Promise Zone (LAPZ), in Central Los Angeles, and the South Los Angeles Promise Zone (SLATE-Z).
In 2019, the team found that 73% of households surveyed were rent-burdened, meaning that the households spent over 30% of total income on rent and utilities. Importantly, 48% of these households were severely rent-burdened, spending over 50% of household income on rent and utilities.
Families in these households were forced to cut back on spending for basic necessities, like food or clothing, in order to meet their rent needs. The additional hardship brought be the COVID-19 pandemic serves to deepen the need for policymakers to address the deeply embedded problems within the rental market.
NDSC Criminal Justice Data Initiative
Researchers at the Price Center for Social Innovation and the Safe Communities Institute worked with local sources to create a public data set on criminal justice.
A key in creating the dataset was defining both community and law enforcement ideals of "public safety." Through engaging communities across Los Angeles, the team was able to determine some sets of data that could help answer some of the questions. Then, working with a few law enforcement agencies, the data collected was added to the Neighborhood Data for Social Change platform.
Police Brutality & Bias
In rethinking policing in the United States we must revisit the idea of public safety. Communities define public safety as issues of nourishment, where law enforcement views the issue only through crime and punishment.
This project, in its beginning stages brings to light the canyon that lays between a public understanding of what it means to be safe within communities and a policing understanding. Further work on this project will look to collecting data from more law enforcement agencies and collaborating with them alongside communities to better work together toward better understanding, less biased policing, and more just communities.