Credit Claims For Boston Education And Training Professionals: Legal Strategies For Income Stability – The BARI Conference is a unique forum for community leaders, practitioners, researchers, and policymakers to share how they are advancing data-driven research and policy in Greater Boston—and how we can do more through collective action. The conference highlights efforts to leverage all types of data (from qualitative stories and experiences to quantitative “big data”) and from all perspectives, including the public, nonprofit, and private sectors, as well as academia.
The Cooperative Development Institute (CDI) recently released a report on the state of revenue-constrained cooperatives and tenant-controlled developments in Boston. This research was made possible thanks to funding from the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC) and the Boston Mayor’s Office of Housing (MOH), as well as through the participation of board members from these 17 cooperatives. Through open interviews and collaboratively created statements, board members can share their expertise, generational knowledge, and life experiences. The results of this study show that these cooperatives provide high-quality subsidized housing that is affordable and fair to many Bostonians – and that these cooperatives could use some additional support to ensure their continued existence. This report adds to a growing body of research showing a lack of affordable and equitable housing opportunities at crisis levels, including in communities of color in Boston, which are facing unprecedented pressures of gentrification. The report found that (1) The cooperative housing model has provided benefits to the community beyond those enjoyed by the residents of the property; (2) Boston’s income-restricted, renter-controlled/cooperative development model provides a pathway to affordable housing, homeownership, and community stabilization; and (3) additional efforts should be made (a) to provide increased support for existing cooperatives and (b) to develop additional housing of this kind.
Credit Claims For Boston Education And Training Professionals: Legal Strategies For Income Stability
The pandemic exacerbated housing stability challenges for many segments of society, prompting state action on new programs to provide emergency rental assistance (ERA). While these new programs provide valuable assistance for housing stability, access to these resources remains a challenge for many at-risk households. Confusing applications, burdensome documentation requirements, and lack of language access mean that many renters need help using these programs. Fortunately, government and private sector support is making it possible for community-based organizations (CBOs) across Massachusetts to help renters apply for rental assistance. When many of these emergency rental assistance programs ended, MAPC; in collaboration with the Citizens Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA), United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, and The Boston Foundation, conducted a mixed methods research project to evaluate this ERA program. This research project was designed and implemented in consultation with key stakeholders, including CBOs, regional governing bodies (RAAs), and landlords. Through a series of meetings that took place throughout the project, stakeholders contributed to the research design, recruitment, and recommendations. This research consisted of three elements: literature review; analysis of data on households applying for ERA with the assistance of CBO; and focus groups with key constituencies including tenants, landlords, RAA, and CBO. Focus groups with renters were conducted in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, and Mandarin, representing the largest language groups among renters who applied with the help of our stakeholder CBO. Focus group conversations were translated, transcribed, coded, and summarized using qualitative methods that support strong public policy recommendations.
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This presentation reports some key findings from a recent survey of 430 residents in Cambridge. The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which residents of affordable Inclusion Housing Program (IHP) units feel a sense of inclusion in the community, social exclusion, bias, and/or differences in how they are treated compared to others in their building and housing complex (i.e. households at market prices). Respondents reported an attachment to Cambridge and high levels of satisfaction with the local environment. Many IHP affordable units did not report experiencing bias or discrimination in their buildings in the past year (based on the Everyday Discrimination Scale). However, a large number of residents in these units experienced bias (40%). Race was most frequently identified as a reason for bias, followed by housing status, income, having children, and gender. Property managers and residents of market-rate buildings were most frequently identified as sources of bias. Residents in affordable IHP units experienced significantly greater exposure to frequency bias than residents in market-rate units in their buildings. We consider the implications and recommendations for the City of Cambridge to strengthen the IHP and advance a welcoming, diverse and inclusive community.
Transforming Indoor Air Quality Data From K-12 School Sensor Networks Into Decision Making Tools: A Case Study In Boston Public Schools
Widespread installation of indoor air quality (IAQ) sensors in K-12 schools offers an opportunity to inform investment decisions and policies related to IAQ, climate resilience, adaptation, mitigation, and sustainability, and change what we know about how indoor air impacts on absenteeism, health, and learning. Although real-time data is used to make operational decisions to fix problems and improve IAQ, challenges in recording, standardization, and data volume need to be overcome to conduct long-term research and analysis. Boston University collaborated with Boston Public Schools to create a dataset and analyze IAQ data from ~4,500 sensors installed in classrooms across Boston’s K-12 schools. The sensor measures carbon dioxide levels, particulate matter, temperature and relative humidity in small quantities, generating ~2.4 billion data points per year. We standardize data for longitudinal research and analysis, and create data visualizations and newsletter content for schools. At the local level, results from these projects can be used to inform prioritization of school infrastructure investments, as proposed in the City of Boston’s Green New Deal. More broadly, the developed protocol can be utilized by schools and researchers to maximize the usefulness of K-12 school IAQ sensors for actionable research and policymaking.
Olin College’s Air Partners, in collaboration with Roxbury-based advocacy group Alternatives for Community & Environment (ACE), is working to develop and pilot a replicable model for community-based air justice in the Roxbury, MA community. The project strategy centers on an approach that brings together three pillars: Air Monitoring – Collecting data to identify the main sources of indoor and ambient air pollutants in the neighborhood, with an emphasis on the area around Nubian Square, and to measure their proportional contribution. on overall exposure, Air Pollution Mitigation – Piloting effective intervention strategies through HEPA filtration at the community level, and Data to Action – Effectively translating distributed local air quality data into local, tangible impacts, driving targeted short-term air pollutant mitigation and long-term, ongoing air justice policy initiatives at the city, state, and federal levels. This ongoing project was originally designed with a period of 2 years, and is now entering the middle of its second year. In this presentation, we will explore the project’s progress, lessons learned, initial insights, next steps and how ACE hopes to make an impact in the long term.
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Airborne ultrafine particles (UFP) are an emerging public health problem. Aircraft emissions contribute to overall ambient air pollution, including UFP. However, accurately ascertaining the contribution of aviation to UFP is challenging due to the high spatiotemporal variability and intermittent aviation emissions. Our aim is to differentiate the contribution of UFP from different transport activities. Methods: UFP was measured using stationary locations in Boston, Chelsea, Milton, Revere and Winthrop during two different study monitoring periods: 1) pre-pandemic (January 2017 – September 2018) and 2) during the pandemic (April 2020 – June 2021). We measured particle number concentration (PNC; a proxy for UFP) and meteorology from stationary locations at various distances from arriving and departing flight paths. We applied GLM and RF to identify key covariates and optimize PNC predictions. Results: The model shows that UFP can be predicted from transportation and meteorological activities (R2 0.40 – 0.67). Important predictors of UFP are the wind direction of the airport, the number of arriving flights, and total flight activity. Conclusions: Our results suggest that aircraft contribute occasionally, but significantly to UFP concentrations in communities near flight paths. Collection of PNC and flight activity data allows us to quantify contributions from aircraft, and machine learning approaches account for complex interactions between predictors.
Chelsea, Massachusetts, a city of 40,000 people north of Boston, is one of the places in the country most impacted by COVIC-19, both from a health and economic perspective. In April 2020, local community organizations and the City of Chelsea responded to the economic crisis facing unemployed Chelsea residents by undertaking an unprecedented food distribution effort. After five months of running its food distribution site, the City decided to shift its efforts in September 2020 to channeling financial support so residents could buy their own food using cash cards through a program called Chelsea Eats. By combining city general revenue funds, state aid, and philanthropic contributions, the City raised enough resources to distribute Chelsea Eats cash cards to approximately 2,000 households and to refill the cards monthly for a total of six months. A research team from the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston at the Harvard Kennedy School led by Professor Jeff Liebman has conducted an analysis of this cash transfer effort to study the impact of the project. This paper explains the results of the Rappaport Institute’s analysis of
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