5
The Role of Partnerships

The complexity of housing and urban issues necessitates wide-ranging interagency partnerships if HUD is to share relevant data, to identify emerging issues, and to develop policies for response and intervention. Partnerships can improve data quality, facilitate information gathering and data sharing across scales, and make data resources available for researchers to develop more sophisticated models of housing and urban issues. HUD’s Office of Policy, Development, and Research (PD&R) has a goal of working through interagency groups to address housing and urban issues, and PD&R is in the forefront of HUD’s efforts to use GIS to achieve this goal.

HUD produces and disseminates data on housing and housing conditions, but most are point data that tell us little about the neighborhoods and neighborhood characteristics, cities, metropolitan areas, and regions in which these data points are situated. In addition, there is uncertainty about the accuracy of these data sets, as a result of factors including difficulties with geo-coding, failure to maintain data standards, and poor program reporting.

To broaden the dialog and achieve consensus on housing and urban issues, HUD needs strong internal and external relationships, horizontally with other federal agencies and vertically with partners from the local to the national level. Table 2.1 shows the diverse responsibilities of the many partners in the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) for providing data to the nation. HUD’s vertical relationships include citizens and community groups, local organizations such as city governments, agency employees, and the urban planning and research community. This chapter discusses the



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5 The Role of Partnerships The complexity of housing and urban issues necessitates wide-ranging interagency partnerships if HUD is to share relevant data, to identify emerging issues, and to develop policies for response and intervention. Partnerships can improve data quality, facilitate information gathering and data sharing across scales, and make data resources available for researchers to develop more sophisticated models of housing and urban issues. HUD’s Office of Policy, Development, and Research (PD&R) has a goal of working through interagency groups to address housing and urban issues, and PD&R is in the forefront of HUD’s efforts to use GIS to achieve this goal. HUD produces and disseminates data on housing and housing conditions, but most are point data that tell us little about the neighborhoods and neighborhood characteristics, cities, metropolitan areas, and regions in which these data points are situated. In addition, there is uncertainty about the accuracy of these data sets, as a result of factors including difficulties with geo-coding, failure to maintain data standards, and poor program reporting. To broaden the dialog and achieve consensus on housing and urban issues, HUD needs strong internal and external relationships, horizontally with other federal agencies and vertically with partners from the local to the national level. Table 2.1 shows the diverse responsibilities of the many partners in the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) for providing data to the nation. HUD’s vertical relationships include citizens and community groups, local organizations such as city governments, agency employees, and the urban planning and research community. This chapter discusses the

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array of partnerships HUD has with other agencies at various levels, and makes recommendations for the maintenance and expansion of these relationships for the mutual benefit of HUD and its partners. BUILDING INTERAGENCY PARTNERSHIPS TO SHARE DATA Within HUD, GIS provides a framework for organization across the agency’s many programs and for communication among the geographically decentralized field offices. The staffs of more than 3,400 public housing authorities, which are primarily responsible to the cities in which they are situated, also work to carry out HUD’s goals. Centrally, HUD maintains a variety of databases, primarily for program management (Chapter 2). The data could be centralized and made more accessible to these groups to improve HUD’s program performance through assessment and to better address housing and urban issues. HUD can use GIS to facilitate the agency’s efforts to interact with organizations beyond its institutional boundaries to build vertical and horizontal networks to share data, discuss housing and urban issues, and ultimately create public policy to respond to these issues. In this way, HUD can contribute to national data initiatives and carry out its mission to improve the accessibility and affordability of housing and contribute to urban development. GIS can help HUD engage both communities and a variety of other actors in discussions about local and national urban public policy. Maps are very effective tools for communicating information and fostering debate on critical issues. Maps have the power to inform local planning, engage and empower community residents and organizations, promote data sharing and interagency coordination, and support public policy development and implementation. It is significant that HUD is one of the few federal agencies working directly with cities, communities, and neighborhoods. Because of these relationships, the agency can promote public participation in decision making, narrow the divide that prevents disadvantaged communities from participating in urban and housing policy setting, and bring the capabilities of GIS to bear on issues of local and national relevance. The following section discusses the range of HUD’s relationships with other organizations at local, regional, and national levels and how the use of GIS could influence those relationships.

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HUD’S PARTNERS AND RELATIONSHIPS HUD’s structure and mission necessitate a wide range of relationships among the many partners that support community development. The agency interacts directly with public and private entities from the local to the national scale. In some instances, these relationships are dictated by statutory requirements; others are voluntary relationships. Even within these general categories, relationships may be long-term or ad-hoc. HUD’s relationships with communities and local agencies are very important. For example, lessons learned from a fair housing demonstration program describe patterns of residential mobility and outcomes of families participating in a program aimed at upward mobility of low-income families. The findings of that demonstration program underscore the importance of cooperation and commitment of local agencies including counseling agencies, and provision of related information and referral services in the success of such programs (Goering et al., 1999). Relationships Within HUD HUD is an organization of 9,000 employees with a complex structure involving a central office in Washington, D.C., and more than 80 field offices throughout the United States. It is the field offices that deal most directly with HUD’s potential and actual grant recipients. Because of the spatial quality of HUD’s investments, the field offices can use GIS in their work of building relationships and empowering communities. GIS can help HUD develop and disseminate new approaches including policies to dealing with the housing conditions of the very poor. Communities are employing place-based strategies for managing growth and GIS can be instrumental in the development, dissemination, and replication of these innovative local, community-based solutions across the nation (NRC, 2002c). Many local governments at the city and county level have developed sophisticated GIS-based data systems for planning, community development, economic development, and housing. HUD can function as a clearinghouse of information including lessons learned and best practices in the use of GIS. Within HUD, GIS could also be used to test the effectiveness of the voucher program and to define the appropriate geographical areas for various government programs (see Box 5.1).

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BOX 5.1 Concentration of Poverty and GIS HOPE VI and Section 8 vouchers are two HUD programs aimed specifically at dispersing poverty. HOPE VI grants pay for the demolition of public housing units, or rehabilitation of these units, the building of new units, relocation of units, and service provision for the community. The program favors public-private partnerships in these ventures. Critics point out that under HOPE VI more than 115,000 public housing units have been demolished but only 66,000 have been or will be replaced, and many of new units are not available to the previous low-income residents. The program’s intent is to serve displaced residents with the Section 8 voucher program through which HUD supplements the rent of low-income residents to provide access to better housing. An Urban Institute study documents that HOPE VI residents relocating with Section 8 vouchers are indeed moving to less distressed neighborhoods and that the de-concentration of poverty achieved by this program since its inception in 1993 is substantial (Kingsley et al., 2001). But the report goes on to ask whether the distribution of relocated residents exacerbates or counters the clustering problems that result from the Section 8 program and suggests that important knowledge gaps must be overcome before the HOPE VI program can be fully assessed. The replacement of Chicago’s Cabrini-Green public housing complexes is a famous example of the HOPE VI program in practice. HUD committed to $50 million in HOPE VI Urban Revitalization Demonstration funds and $19 million in Public Housing Development funds to build 493 replacement public housing units. Slated for construction are 2,000 new mixed-income housing units (row housing, duplexes, and mid-rise buildings), but only 30 percent of the new housing is reserved for previous Cabrini-Green residents. Although the new mixed housing will offer a commercial district, new schools, and more integrated demographics for 30 percent of current residents, 70 percent of Cabrini-Green residents will be displaced in other parts of the city.1 Assessing the regional scale effects of this displacement of thousands throughout Chicago will be facilitated by spatial analysis, the application of GIS, and maintenance of geo-coded address records. 1   See <http://pubweb.northwestern.edu/~smc365/final/final.html> for details.

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Statutory Relationships with Local Agencies HUD exercises statutory authority over agencies that receive HUD funding (grantees) across the nation. Grantees should provide follow-up information and progress reports to maintain HUD monetary awards. HUD can influence these relationships and gain the cooperation of grantee organizations. Grantees are largely local-level organizations. Consequently, HUD has a singular influence at the national level to mandate that collection of local data be consistent with FGDC standards for inclusion in vital national data structures, such as the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) and Homeland Security databases. Local and Metropolitan Partners Local actors are significant sources of spatial data. Datasets that communities collect and maintain locally include building permits, demolitions, property assessment, code violations, and vacant and abandoned properties. Local knowledge is often superior to knowledge derived from national datasets (Barndt, 2002). People in their neighborhoods know about the context and networks that lie behind the points on a map. They know what the vacant land is used for, whether it is a playground, a community garden, or not really a vacant lot at all. They know the street corners to avoid because of drug dealing, and they know the schools that are in good repair and those with crumbling paint and broken windows. High-resolution spatial and temporal data such as characteristics of householders, property owners, and neighborhood quality are important to the development of the NSDI and to other federal data initiatives. Local data are needed to complement federal data to address issues such as crime prevention, growth management, and land use decisions (NRC, 2002c). Demonstration projects conducted by the FGDC, the National Partnership for Reinventing Government, and five other federal agencies in 2000 found that federal standards can enhance a given community’s ability to acquire comparable data from neighboring communities (FGDC, 2000). HUD can encourage and support the recipients of HUD funding so that their data conform to FGDC standards, are comparable across the nation, and can be used to update national databases. Conclusion: HUD can use GIS as a tool to strengthen the agency’s commitment to engaging communities by taking advantage of local knowledge about housing and urban development through more effective public participation in the development of local data sets. This is notably important

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for HUD’s efforts in the colonias (Box 3.1) where local housing and development issues can be understood only in the context of labor and property markets operating at multiple levels from local to international. Recommendation: HUD should facilitate the integration of local datasets and the development of mapping applications using the shared data; encourage public participation in the development and use of local data sets; and partner to develop local and in-house GIS capability. Cooperative, Voluntary Relationships Many of HUD’s relationships are voluntary and cooperative. These include relationships with other federal agencies for data acquisition and dissemination. Voluntary relationships occur because both sides desire them and agree to them. If cooperative, voluntary relationships are to exist, each partner must find something of value in the relationship. A description of several of HUD’s voluntary relationships follows. The E-Government Act of 2002 The major goal of E-Gov1 is to integrate management performance and budget through the development of an electronic government. Sometimes called Electronic or E-government, E-Gov was created by the E-Government Act of 2002 and has the potential to increase agency productivity, reduce redundancy, and improve service delivery. The act strives to bring together all levels of government, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations in an effort to integrate data across institutional boundaries in service to the common good. Realizing that, these goals require community-level participation to help build national data resources from the bottom up. This will include elements of statutory, hierarchical relationships as well as cooperative, voluntary relationships. Sharing Information in Voluntary Relationships On what basis do organizations share information when such activity is voluntary? First, organizations share information when each has something 1   See <http://www.e-gov.com/>.

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that the other organization desires, and the groups can use complementarities as the basis for a quid pro quo. A second reason is a sense of professional responsibility. In the case of federal agencies, all share a common responsibility to promote the welfare of the people of the United States. In particular, federal agencies with data collection mandates have the responsibility to contribute to the NSDI. Efforts to share data can encounter barriers. Organizations may be at varying stages in their development of GIS, and in building their datasets for their own institutional needs. Some organizations have fully functional, comprehensive GIS; others are still working to achieve this. Still others are content to maintain the status quo, or are without the financial ability to make the leap to GIS. When organizations at different stages of GIS development come together, achieving cooperation may be difficult even if the parties are willing in principle to share data. As HUD develops its GIS initiatives, it will have to understand the many and varied voluntary and cooperative arrangements that will help it succeed. Although, in many instances, the agency may be able to establish quid pro quo with other organizations, this will not always be possible. In other cases, especially in its work with small local and neighborhood organizations, HUD may encounter challenges that will require creative strategies to advance its GIS aspirations (Obermeyer, 1995). Addressing privacy considerations to encourage data sharing is one of these challenges. HUD Client Groups (a Special Relationship) HUD was established for the purpose of making housing affordable, revitalizing urban areas, and encouraging home ownership. HUD’s mission is challenging largely because it embodies issues of scale. The overall force of HUD’s institutional mission suggests that cities are HUD’s primary client, yet, in fulfilling its mission, HUD directly affects smaller communities, individuals, and families. Responsibility between HUD and its client groups flows both ways. HUD has responsibility toward the client groups, and these client groups in return can be a significant source of support for HUD. Each organization that comes into being and flourishes does so because it identifies and develops relationships with specific groups of people who benefit from the efforts of the organization (Obermeyer, 1990, 49). HUD provides its clients with a means to access “the system” in order to promote their objectives. GIS at the community level provides an opportunity to strengthen this link.

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Data and GIS Intermediaries Data and GIS intermediaries provide technical assistance or training in the use of geographic data. The work of these intermediaries demonstrates collaborations developed in the process of creating city and metropolitan data centers. Intermediaries provide a setting that enables groups to gather, clean, and present data in a comprehensive, timely, and detailed manner. Data and GIS intermediaries can bring public and private data together and build on local knowledge. Such partnerships can increase awareness of environmental justice issues such as the location of hazardous waste sites and transportation routes for the waste in relation to residential areas. An example is the Urban Strategies Council in Oakland, California,2 which integrates 19 agencies to share data and create maps to reduce poverty and help transform low-income neighborhoods into healthy and thriving communities. HUD’s Relationship with States HUD works primarily with groups and individuals at the local and metropolitan level, but states also have an interest in seeing that cities and communities within their borders maintain their viability. In this common interest shared by HUD, the 50 states, and localities across the nation are the seeds of a relationship that includes an expanded role for states. HUD provides funds to states through Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and the Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME), but also through the agency’s Rural Housing and Economic Development program, Emergency Shelter Grants, and Housing Opportunities for Persons with Aids (HOPWA) funds. HOME funds create affordable housing for low-income families. The CDBG program, traditionally focused on affordable housing, now targets economic development activities (job and business development) in low-income neighborhoods. Similarly, the rural development program funds promote jobs, housing construction, and business development. Community development efforts are facilitated by establishing and strengthening local, non-governmental agencies in metropolitan areas and by a strong role for federal and state governments as supporting partners (Kingsley et al., 1997). Because the statutory and hierarchical links between HUD and states remain relatively weak, the agency will have to be creative in enhancing its relationship with the states. One way for HUD to strengthen its 2   See <http://www.urbanstrategies.org/> for details.

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relationships with states is to partner with the Department of Transportation (DOT). DOT’s relationships with state governments through the state DOTs is strong, and its mission—to promote access to transportation to enhance the quality of life in the United States—intersects with HUD’s mission to support community development and increase access to affordable housing.3 HUD may also find it valuable to strengthen relationships with state-level actors such as the state I-Teams,4 for example, in New Jersey where the I-Team is building a statewide digital parcel-level layer. This effort includes state health data and incorporates neighborhood efforts to conduct parcel surveys recording local conditions (Hank Garie, New Jersey I-Team coordinator, personal communication, 2002). HUD will have to make a deliberate voluntary effort to expand its influence at the state level if it wishes to work more extensively with state agencies in the future. Partnerships with Universities HUD can use GIS as a tool to strengthen the agency’s understanding and analysis of housing and urban issues through the agency’s support of the work of university- and non-university-based research partners. Examples of ongoing work include HUD’s international efforts with the University Consortium for Geographic Information Sciences (UCGIS) in urban indicators (Box 5.2) and community development grants to historically black colleges and universities (HBCU). The HBCU grants are used to revitalize communities surrounding the universities through estate acquisition, demolition, and rehabilitation; to provide homeownership assistance to low- and moderate-income persons; and for community economic development. HUD also provides grants to university researchers, for example, to low-income graduate students in community development, urban planning, public policy, and public administration. Working with academic researchers, HUD can incorporate new methods of spatial analysis into the agencies research agenda and pass on the benefits of new tools and methods to partners and clients. HUD can use GIS to integrate the methodological expertise housed in universities and the local expertise of communities and local governments. At the same time, with HUD as a conduit to local community groups, academic researchers can gain access to local data and local knowledge about relevant urban and housing issues. Localities and local governments can develop research questions, analyze research results, and use the results of multivariate techniques to develop appropriate local solutions. 3   <http://www.dot.gov/mission.htm>. 4   Implementation-Teams.

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BOX 5.2 Global Urban Indicators Global Urban Indicators is a joint project between HUD and the University Consortium of Geographic Information Sciences (UCGIS) to “establish and develop an international collaborative network between American universities and universities in the developing world using GIS-based urban indicators for urban policy analysis” (UCGIS RFP 0002). One of the major goals of the initiative is to establish mechanisms for the systematic collection of data for more than 100 indicators for major cities in the developing world in format comparable to PD&R’s State of the Cities data. The program links to the United Nations Habitat Program through its urban indicators project. The program issued a draft report to HUD in May 2002 that identified “difficulty in reconciling the need for uniform and consistent urban indicators from the top down or global perspective, while developing a bottom-up perspective of developing useful data for local planning and policy analysis” (Dueker and Jampoler, 2002). The authors recommend building local capacity to collect and use policy-related indicators, thus increasing capacity of participants to continue urban indicator analysis on a long-term basis. Proposed next steps include comparison of the experience and results of analyzing urban indicators using GIS, assessment of strengths and weaknesses of various measures and approaches, and exploration of opportunities for increasing consistency. Conclusion: HUD, through PD&R, can be the liaison between local governments and community groups and academic researchers to further the agency’s research agenda and to define new ways for researchers to extend their skills to building local capacity and addressing local needs. Recommendation: PD&R should build relationships with university and unaffiliated researchers to engender participation of local groups in policy analysis, research, and community building; and to promote the use of advanced spatial analysis in urban housing policy research to address the complexities of modern urban dynamics. HUD’s Federal Partners HUD is an important link between the federal government and communities. The agency has an important role to play in ensuring that local

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data and community priorities are included in federal data initiatives and those concerning housing and urban development. Urbanization is on the rise at an unprecedented rate (Brennan, 1999). In 20 years, more than 60 percent of the world’s population will be living in cities and that rate is even higher in the United States (Bugilarello, 2001). Cities and particularly neighborhoods are vitally important organizing units of human behavior, including economic activity and environmental impacts. Urban and neighborhood-level data will be needed to address issues ranging from water and air quality to crime and security. No other federal agency has HUD’s history of contact and connection with cities and communities across the nation. HUD’s primary federal data-sharing partner is the U.S. Bureau of the Census, but there are many others including the federal Environmental Protection Agency, Health and Human Services, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (see Table 5.1). Cooperating with other federal efforts will bring HUD as an institution into ongoing dialogue with other federal agencies and important state and local partners. This will ensure that HUD knows and follows federal data procedures and fully employs the developing spatial data infrastructure to benefit HUD as an agency, HUD’s clients, and communities across the country. TABLE 5.1 HUD’s Federal Partners and Potential Areas of Collaboration Agencies with Urban/Community Mandates Potential Data Collaboration Areas EPA Environmental health, growth management, environmental justice DOT Public transit access, transportation planning, community development, welfare to work FEMA Emergency evacuation routes, Homeland Security HHS TANF information, addiction treatment and mental health services locations, Head Start services, Meals on Wheels BLS Unemployment and layoff rates, labor force status of persons by residence, jobs and wages by place of work, price and living conditions

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Conclusion: GIS provides HUD with an opportunity to insert housing and urban issues onto the national agenda. HUD can partner with other federal agencies with responsibility for providing and managing data relevant to urban, community, and housing issues. Transportation, social services, and employment are intimately linked to housing and community development. Recommendation: PD&R should take the lead in HUD in building interagency relationships with federal data-providing agencies that have responsibilities related to urban and community issues, notably the Department of Transportation, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Environmental Protection Agency. SUMMARY Partnerships can facilitate many of HUD’s goals described in this report. Developing, maintaining, and disseminating reliable spatial data is a major challenge for HUD. The agency’s efforts will be more efficient and productive when carried out in coordination with other federal data initiatives, notably the NSDI. The creation of an urban spatial data infrastructure as a component to the NSDI is a major recommendation of this committee. Achieving this goal will depend on relationships among the federal agencies with data collection and dissemination responsibilities, and with local groups that are the best sources of relevant, accurate local data. The needs of HUD’s data users and stakeholders in urban and community development are best identified in the context of ongoing relationships for data collection and best addressed by building local capacity for spatial analysis. Support is essential for local governments and other local-level users to develop capability in spatial analytical research and for more advanced research taking place inside HUD and in universities and other urban research centers. GIS tools, such as an online clearinghouse for spatial data research and urban simulation models, can be used to promote analysis of complex urban issues spanning geographic scales of neighborhood, community, region, state, and nation, which are at the heart of HUD’s mission. In summary, HUD can use GIS to work through interagency groups to achieve consensus on housing and urban issues and promote a coherent urban development policy in the United States in the following ways: HUD can use GIS to facilitate the agency’s efforts to interact with organizations beyond its institutional boundaries. GIS can facilitate the development of vertical and horizontal networks to share data,

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discuss housing and urban issues, and ultimately create public policy to respond to these issues. HUD can use GIS as a tool to strengthen HUD’s commitment to engaging communities by taking advantage of local knowledge about housing and urban development through more effective public participation. HUD can use GIS as a tool to strengthen the agency’s understanding and analysis of housing and urban issues by supporting the work of university and non-university-based researchers to develop multivariate spatial analysis techniques. HUD can use GIS to integrate the methodological expertise housed within universities with the local expertise of communities and local governments. Localities and local governments can develop research questions, analyze research results, and use research findings to develop appropriate local solutions. GIS can help HUD to think about housing and urban issues at different scales. Building relationships with local data producers and actors can facilitate this process. GIS offers HUD an opportunity to insert housing and urban issues onto the national agenda by participating fully in the federal data initiatives including the FGDC, NSDI, and E-Gov. HUD can further these goals by fostering partnerships among local groups and urban researchers, and by cultivating relationships with other federal agencies that share HUD’s responsibility for the future of American cities and the well-being of those who live there.

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