LSU PAI Receivers $1.2 Million Research Grant
BATON ROUGE – The LSU Public Administration Institute, or LSUPAI, recently received a $1.2 million research grant from the Louisiana Housing Corporation, or LHC, for a study of housing needs in Louisiana. Roy Heidelberg, an assistant professor in LSUPAI, is the principal investigator. LSUPAI Director Jim Richardson is the study’s co-investigator.
“The initial study will focus on the population and demographic profile of the state, employment trends within each region, in and out migration in each region of the state and current and projected availability of housing stock,” Heidelberg said.
According to Heidelberg, the research will assist in preparing a housing needs assessment to assist in the design of policy that will directly address Louisiana housing needs, as well as focus on community engagement as a method for enhancing the understanding of housing and related community needs within the state. The focus of the study will be especially focused upon the community and housing needs for low-income households and regions of the state with housing vulnerability, such as the delta.
Heidelberg noted that a major component of the grant is to develop a process for better understanding need in communities by engaging residents.
“This engagement effort will go beyond questions of housing in order to assess, for example, how a community is connected to food markets, what transportation options are available to residents, access to parks and recreation and the ability of aging populations to stay in their homes,” Heidelberg said.
According to Heidelberg, housing assessments are an important instrument for designing federal and state housing policy. Public policy designs responsive to the unique needs of each community can better promote effective policy implementation. To achieve such successful designs, it is necessary to appreciate the varying conditions of each community and to give community residents the opportunity to help define and determine policy.
LHC’s mission is to ensure that every Louisiana resident has an opportunity to obtain safe, affordable and energy-efficient housing. To fulfill this mission, LHC needs community and housing information and analysis. Richardson indicated that LHC asked him if anyone with LSUPAI could assist.
“Roy (Heidelberg) is a graduate of our MPA program and had returned to LSU after finishing his doctoral degree at the Ohio State University and working with the Ohio Housing Finance Agency when LHC approached me about this,” Richardson said. “He had previously presented studies at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland regarding housing financing issues in Ohio, and I knew he would be well-suited to take the lead.”
LSUPAI is scheduled to issue its first report June 30, 2014. Additional reports will be provided over a five-year period.
The Public Administration Institute at LSU’s E. J. Ourso College of Business offers a 42-hour degree program that emphasizes management and financial skills for those leading public agencies, nonprofit and healthcare organizations and for-profit organizations that interact with governmental agencies. LSUPAI’s faculty members are student-oriented and nationally-recognized for expertise in their fields. For more information, visit www.business.lsu.edu/pai or call 225-578-6743.