11/06/2013 03:42 PM
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.
Posted on Wednesday, November 6, 2013