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Center for Community Capital’s Best MP in the Area of Economic Inclusion

This prize is awarded annually to a graduating student from the Department of City and Regional Planning to recognize outstanding work about economic inclusion.


2017 Inaugural Award Winner: Annie Baumann-Mitchell

Annie Baumann-Mitchell was recognized at the Department of City and Regional Planning’s graduation ceremony on May 12, 2017 for her Master’s Project (MP) on Housing Choice Vouchers.

Annie’s project, entitled “Fair Housing Policy Effects on Housing Choice,” addresses the important question of whether adopting “source of income protections” positively impacts the range of neighborhoods in which Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) holders live.

One of the major criticisms of the Federal HCV program is that it concentrates the program participants in high poverty, high minority areas. One suspected cause of this is that many landlords in higher income, whiter areas refuse to rent to voucher holders. To address this problem several cities and counties have added source of income to the list of “protected classes” to their local anti-discrimination ordinances.

There is very little research, however, as to whether this strategy is effective in deconcentrating HCV households. Thus, Annie’s research was designed to assess whether the spatial pattern of HCV households improved after the adoption of source of income protections. The results of her analysis indicate that the concentration of HCV holders in the two cities that adopted source of income protections actually went up between baseline and follow-up. She concludes the paper suggesting why these ordinances may not have been effective and what else might be done to reduce the concentration of HCV households.

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