A better understanding of the detailed nature of our housing affordability challenges is more important than ever as the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the finances of millions of Americans which will further exacerbate the shortage of workforce housing that pre-dated the virus.
The Filtering of Apartment Housing between 1980 and 2018 study is the first thorough and in-depth analysis of apartment filtering—the aging and obsolescence that produces naturally-occurring affordable rental homes. The authors—Dr. Dowell Myers, professor of policy, planning, and demography in the Sol Price School of Public Policy at USC and Dr. JungHo Park, postdoctoral researcher at the USC Population Dynamics Research Group—make a major contribution to our understanding of this critical process and we expect it to provide significant value not only to the industry, but also to policymakers and researchers.
The study found that in past decades the substantial flow of new construction, largely targeted to middle- and higher-income groups, enabled the filtering process to operate and create affordable housing opportunities for low-income households. However, following the Great Recession low-income occupancy declined as affordability challenges increased. Importantly, the review determined that a continued stream of new construction, even if it enters in higher price brackets, is important to the success of filtering in providing low-income shelter.
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About the Authors
DOWELL MYERS, PH.D.
Dowell Myers is a professor of policy, planning, and demography in the Sol Price School of Public Policy at USC. He is a leading expert on changing demographics in California and the United States and how those dynamics interact with markets, politics and policy making. Dr. Myers is the most recognized specialist in the U.S. on how demographic trends drive housing and real estate. He was designated Dean of Demographics for HanleyWood’s HIVE conference (2016), served 8 years as an Academic Fellow of the Urban Land Institute, and also served on the professional advisory committee to the Census Bureau. Dr. Myers has been the leading scholar of housing needs in California since the 1990s. As part of the California experience, he grew to be an expert on immigration, assimilation, and the dynamics for housing, including both overcrowding and homeownership. Dr. Myers was recently recognized with the Dale Prize for Excellence in Planning Scholarship (2017) and his studies on demographics and housing have twice received the Best Article award from the Journal of the American Planning Association. Dr. Myers holds his PhD from MIT, a Master of City Planning from UC Berkeley, and a BA from Columbia University. Many of his publications are available at https://sites.usc.edu/popdynamics/.
JUNGHO PARK, PH.D.
JungHo Park is a postdoctoral researcher at the USC Population Dynamics Research Group. His research is based in the field of housing demography, focusing on housing shortages, rental affordability, housing needs assessment, and spatial distribution of subsidized housing. Before joining USC, Dr. Park was a researcher of the national forecasting and projections team at the Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements (KRIHS). He has been an engineer at the Samsung Construction Group and the Hyundai Development Company in South Korea. Dr. Park holds his PhD from the University of Southern California.