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The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Policy Brief: As foreclosures continue to gradually decline, the effects of the protracted period of lending uncertainty and lowered property values are likely to persist. The negative outcomes of the real estate market crash cannot be fixed with a simple reversal of bad policies or the remediation of bad banking/lending behaviors. Communities face devalued and "underwater" (housing with market values below the amount owed to mortgages) properties that complicate the process of cleaning the backlog of delinquent properties. Major Federal initiatives to address these issues have been...

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Open Data Race Winners Publish Data

In October, The Public School Notebook won OpenDataRace, OpenDataPhilly's  contest in which local nonprofit organizations nominated civic-oriented city datasets that if released would help them accomplish their missions and improve our region.  Winning the contest opened up a conversation between The Notebook and the School District of Philadelphia and contributed to the release of the National Student Clearinghouse for the 2005-06 cohort.

Neighborhoods and Charters

Policy Brief: The Spatial Consequences of Philadelphia's Shifting Enrollments. Philadelphia's Mayor Michael Nutter has identified the rebuilding of the city's education system, along with fighting crime and violence, as the highest priorities of his second term in office. The education crisis was pushed to the top of the list of policy priorities by the turmoil surrounding the departure of Superintendent Arlene Ackerman and the massive deficits in the 2011-2012 budget of the School District of Philadelphia (SDP).

Among the factors contributing to the education crisis is...

(Click here for full report including three city maps and major city comparisons)

MPIP Releases Charter School Policy Brief: "From Neighborhood Schools to Charter Schools"

The Spatial Consequences of Philadelphia's Shifting Enrollments: Philadelphia's Mayor Michael Nutter has identified the rebuilding of the city's education system, along with fighting crime and violence, as the highest priorities of his second term in office. The education crisis was pushed to the top of the list of policy priorities by the turmoil surrounding the departure of Superintendent Arlene Ackerman and the massive deficits in the 2011-2012 budget of the School District of Philadelphia (SDP).

Among the factors contributing to the education crisis is...

Click here for a pdf of the full report.

Foreign Population Growth

Policy Brief: "An analysis published some years ago by the Brookings Institution classified Philadelphia as one of the nation's "Former" immigrant gateways, that is, places that had attracted immigrants early in the 20th century but experienced drops in immigration by the middle of the 20th century. (Philadelphia was grouped in this category with places like Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit and Pittsburgh). The study contrasted these "Former" gateways with other "Continuous" gateways (for example, Boston and Chicago) that have always drawn large numbers of newcomers from abroad. Still other urban regions like Minneapolis and Phoenix were classified as...

Legislative Reapportionment

Policy Report: "Why the Conventional Wisdom about Reapportionment Reform May Be Wrong: The Case of 'Safe' and 'Competitive' State Senate Districts in Southeastern Pennsylvania." In a process fraught with political complexities, partisan battles, and potentially enormous consequences, state lawmakers in Harrisburg and across the country are redrawing the boundaries of congressional and state legislative districts to take account of population shifts recorded by last year's Census. This process, called reapportionment, or redistricting, is required by the US Constitution to insure that districts are as equal as possible in population and that Americans are equally represented in the US House of Representatives and state legislative chambers.

MPIP Work On Subrime Mortgages and Foreclosures Featured in Urban Institute's MetroTrends Report

The Metropolitan Philadelphia Indicators Project's David Bartelt, authored a report on the current impact of subprime mortgages and foreclosure rates both within the Philadelphia region and across other major metropolitan areas.

The report can be accessed on the Urban Institute's MetroTrends website: A 'report card and toolkit for researchers, students, journalists, elected officials and the public on the state of metropolitan economies.'

Click here to view the report.

American Community Survey

Policy Brief: Since January, we have seen an increasing number of reports on recent census results describing how the nation, states, regions, municipalities, and census tracts have changed since 2000. Some of these reports compare 2000 figures with those from the 2010 Census, but others compare 2000 data with data from what is called the American Community Survey (ACS) of 2005-2009. In this report, we explain why we are seeing two recent sources of data. The answer lies in a fundamental shift in the design of the 2010 Census and the substitution of information gathered in the ACS for data that had previously been collected in the decennial censuses. In the future, everyone will increasingly rely on the ACS for information about how American society is changing.

Continuing Foreclosure Saga

Policy Brief: This report addresses the pattern of foreclosure risk in the greater Philadelphia region that existed as of December, 2010. Using data and information provided by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and the Urban Institute, we are able to map the patterns of foreclosure risk and housing market strength across the region. In addition, we are able to compare Philadelphia's experiences of foreclosure with MPIP's comparison metropolitan areas, suggesting that the region's experiences with foreclosure are less pronounced than in many metropolitan areas. Nonetheless, there are reasons for concern, especially with respect to foreclosure of subprime mortgages.