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Strategies for Strengthening Housing Markets in Ypsilanti + Ypsilanti Township
Urban Planning Capstone 2015
Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning
University of Michigan
CONTRIBUTORS
Danielle Jacobs
Carolyn Lusch
Gregg May
Katie Moss
Douglas Plowman
Charles Tso
David VanDeusen
Brad Vogelsmeier
Nan Yu
With:
Eric Dueweke
Dr. Richard Norton
University of Michigan Engaging Community
through the Classroom (MECC)
TheprojectElevateispartoftheUniversityofMichigan’s
multi-unit initiative, Michigan Engaging Community
through the Classroom (MECC). The goal of MECC is
to leverage ongoing community-oriented professional
undergraduate and graduate courses that are offered
routinely at UM by coordinating a selection of those
courses on a given locality and set of related problems.
The initiative also seeks to simultaneously improve the
learningopportunitiesforthestudentsinvolvedandthe
outreachserviceprovidedtothecommunitiesinvolved.
Acknowledgments
The students and faculty at Taubman College of
Architecture and Urban Planning would like to thank our
client and stakeholders who made this project possible.
Client
Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic
Development (OCED)
Mary Jo Callan
Teresa Gillotti
Brett Lenart
Stephen Wade
Participating MECC University of Michigan Units
College of Engineering
School of Public Health
Urban and Regional Planning Program, Taubman College
of Architecture + Urban Planning
All photos were taken by the contributors unless otherwise sourced
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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Foundation
Neighborhood Market Types
Housing Market Strength
Preventing Displacement
Push / Pull Factors
Recommendations
Conclusion
Executive Summary
Appendices
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
ELEVATE: Strategies for Strengthening Housing
Markets in Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township is a
capstone project created by Master of Urban Planning
students at the University of Michigan. Elevate builds
off a recent report, the Housing Affordability and
Economic Equity Analysis created by the consulting
firm czb, which confirms that Washtenaw County has
a divergent housing market with stark contrasts in
affordability and equity.
Our report has one overarching goal: to promote and
maintain thriving, mixed-income neighborhoods in
the city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township. To reach
that goal, the report provides recommendations
to attract middle-income residents to the city of
Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township while minimizing
displacement of residents.
Neighborhood Market Strength
This report classifies all neighborhoods into three
market strength types: hot, warm, and cool. We use
neighborhood boundaries as our unit of analysis
to closely reflect the realities of housing market
variation throughout the jurisdictions.
We calculated market strengths using four indicators:
(1) Sales Price per Square Foot, (2) Median Household
Income, (3) Housing Cost Burden, and (4) Vacancy
rate. These indicators were combined into an index,
which was then broken into hot, warm, and cool
market types.
Rentals
Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township have a high
percentage of renters due to the student population
and significant economic changes following the Great
Recession. We reviewed the rental market through a
separate analysis from the market strength. We found
a small correlation between high renter concentration
and cool market neighborhoods.
Neighborhood Profiles
To show the variation within a single market type,
we created six individual neighborhood portraits.
These portraits review a city and township
neighborhood for each market type. Portraits show
the neighborhood’s performance on each of the four
indicators and demonstrate the variability between
neighborhoods in the same market type.
Gentrification and Displacement
We also address strategies for mitigating
displacement, an implicit challenge when
encouraging neighborhood investment. Because
gentrification is often a precursor to displacement,
we measured gentrification levels in the city of
Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township using a previous
study of gentrification in Chicago. The measure uses
the change in demographic variables over time to
evaluate neighborhood investment. Results of this
index showed that no neighborhoods in the city or
township are gentrifying in 2015, but that one in
the city and one in the township are vulnerable to
gentrification.
Regional Benchmarks
In an effort to recognize the regional nature of
the economy, we compare the city and township
to nearby cities that house the greatest number of
Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township employees, and
nearby cities that employ the greatest number of
Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township residents. The
comparison shows that Ypsilanti Township in
particular is regionally competitive for attracting
middle-income residents. The city of Ypsilanti is in a
good position to compete with other jurisdictions with
small improvements in market strength.
Push/Pull Factors
Based on stakeholder feedback regarding factors
that may attract middle-income residents, we
reviewed how schools, diversity, safety, environment,
walkability, neighborhood groups, and transit vary
across hot, warm, and cool market types. These
factors influenced our final recommendations.
Recommendations
We find that the city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti
Township are in a position to compete for middle-
income families. Based on the analysis of market
strengths, push/pull factors, stakeholder interviews,
and case studies, this report recommends a variety
of short, medium, and long-term strategies to attract
middle-income residents to the city of Ypsilanti and
Ypsilanti Township while preventing displacement.
We make recommendations for each of the pull/push
factors, as well as for displacement and local and state
policy. Many of these recommendations pertain to
specific neighborhoods. Included is a sample of short,
medium, and long-term recommendations. A full
table of these recommendations can be found on page
118.
Short Term (2015-2016)
_Create a Realtor Advisory Group to establish
collaboration between local governments, schools,
and realtors to market the community as a package
_Reduce vehicle speed on major arterials by
decreasing speed limits and right-sizing streets
Medium Term (2017-2021)
_Business Innovation Zones, encourage
entrepreneurial endeavors in the City
_Establish Community Land Trust organizations
Long Term (2022+)
_Foster and maintain relationships with multifamily
developers to encourage developing LIHTC units in
high-opportunity areas
These recommendations are a starting point for
future collaboration between various stakeholders in
Washtenaw County. We hope this report will be used
to help balance the housing market, and promote
health and equity for all residents.
Depot Town in Ypsilanti, looking east.
1CHAPTER
FOUNDATION
Goals
Report Overview
City of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti
Township History
Foundation10
Washtenaw County is growing, but the benefits
of growth are not finding their way to the city
of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township. Desirable
neighborhoods in Ann Arbor are becoming more
expensive, but residents are not looking to Ypsilanti
for housing options. This report provides a rich
analysis of the various forces impacting the housing
market, as well as strategies to strengthen the markets
and elevate Ypsilanti as a desirable option for middle-
income families.
In 2014, Washtenaw County, Michigan commissioned
the consulting firm czb to conduct a study of
housing affordability throughout the county. A key
finding from this study, published in the Housing
Affordability and Economic Equity - Analysis report,
was that Washtenaw County has a divergent housing
market with stark contrasts in affordability and
equity. Despite a relatively healthy housing market
overall, the study identified two distinct submarkets:
a fundamentally weak housing market in the city
of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township, and a stronger
housing market in Ann Arbor. The report found
that the city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township
can no longer function as the “de facto affordable
housing policy” for the county without risking
further decline.1
Furthermore, disproportionate
numbers of subsidized housing units, low rents,
FOUNDATION
The goal of this report is to
provide Washtenaw County
with recommendations to
promote and maintain thriving,
mixed-income neighborhoods
in the city of Ypsilanti and
Ypsilanti Township.
and lower housing values must be addressed before
the economic stability of the entire county becomes
compromised. In response, the Housing Affordability
report urged Ann Arbor to increase its supply of
affordable housing and encouraged the city of
Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township to focus on creating
demand for working, college-educated, middle-
income households. Implementing these strategies
requires identifying housing submarkets within the
city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township and directing
recommendations to each market type.
The following report was prepared by a team of
urban planning students as part of a capstone course
at the University of Michigan Taubman College of
Architecture and Urban Planning. Planning students
worked in conjunction with the Washtenaw County
Office of Economic Development (OCED) for guidance.
Goals
Given the potential of a continually weakening
housing market in the city of Ypsilanti and
Ypsilanti Township, the goal of this report is to
equip Washtenaw County with recommendations
to promote and maintain thriving, mixed-income
neighborhoods in the city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti
Township.
11
Accordingly, this report provides:
_Recommendations for attracting middle-income
residents to the city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti
Township
_Strategies for minimizing displacement of existing
residents
Report Overview
The following chapters elaborate on our methodology,
analysis, and final recommendations.
Chapter 2 discusses the methodology used to create
our three market types, including neighborhood
boundaries, market type indicators, and the
calculation of the market strength scores for each
neighborhood. Chapter 3 displays the analysis of
our market indicators in each of the neighborhoods.
This chapter also highlights several selected
neighborhoods from each market type, makes
comparisons to benchmark cities from the region, and
explains our analysis of the rental market. Chapter
4 describes our methods of measuring gentrification
and analyzes current levels of gentrification on
a neighborhood and city level. Chapter 5 details
push and pull factors, such as transit and safety,
which influence neighborhoods. Chapter 6 provides
recommendations for our neighborhood market types
organized by the push and pull factors.
City of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township
The remainder of Chapter 1 introduces our study
area. Historical context is important to understand
how housing markets formed and the current
influences that shape the existing market today.
Our study area includes both the city of Ypsilanti
an Ypsilanti Township. Appropriate strategies
and recommendations account for the differences
between these jurisdictions.
The city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township, shown
in Figure 1.1, are located in the southeastern portion
of Washtenaw County. These areas, while close in
proximity, differ demographically, economically,
and spatially. Table 1.1 shows key demographic
information about the city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti
Township.
Foundation12
Map of Washtenaw County Demographic Comparison
Figure 1.1: Map of Washtenaw County, city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti
Township. Sources: Ann Arbor Data Catalog (AADC).
Table 1.1: Ypsilanti Demographic Comparison. Sources: US
Census 2010, ACS 2009-2013.
Demographics
City of
Ypsilanti
Ypsilanti
Township
Washtenaw
County Michigan
19,453 53,362 344,791 9,883,640Population
Area (Sq. Mile) 4.5 31.8 706.0 56,538.9
Population Density
(People/Sq. Mile)
4,319 1,678 439.7 174.9
Median Household
Income ($)
33,406 44,129 59,055 48,411
Racial Breakdown (%)
White
African American
Other Races
Tenure (%)
Renter
Owner
Education Level (%)
Less than
High School
High School
Bachelor’s
Degree (+)
61.5 58.4 74.5 79.0
29.2 32.8 12.7 14.2
9.3 8.8 12.8 6.8
65.8 44.6 39.2 27.9
34.2 55.4 60.9 72.2
10.9 11.6 6.0 11.3
52.2 59.7 42.8 63.1
36.9 28.7 51.2 25.6
HitchinghamRd.
I-94
Washtenaw Ave.
Michigan Ave.
MungerRd.
Water
miles
Jurisdiction
Boundary
Roads
Textile Rd.
Bemis Rd.
0 1 2
13
The city of Ypsilanti has had several major
institutions, including Eastern Michigan University
(EMU), Ford Motor Company, and formerly the
Peninsular Paper Company, which helped shape the
growth of the city’s neighborhoods. EMU opened in
1849 as the Michigan State Normal School, and is a
public university with nearly 20,000 students. EMU is
both a major employer and an important destination
for many residents.
In its formative years, the city was famous for
its mineral water, a valuable resource for paper
production. The Peninsular Paper Company operated
a plant on North Huron Drive from 1856 to 2001,
using this mineral water for its paper production.
Another key employment institution was Ford Motor
Company, which opened a major industrial plant in
1932 on Factory Street. These institutions contributed
to in-migration to Ypsilanti and shaped the growth of
Ypsilanti’s neighborhoods.2
In 1941, the Ford Motor Company acquired land in
Ypsilanti Township that later became the Willow
Run Bomber Plant, designed for mass production of
military aircraft. This industrial complex employed
over 42,000 people and spurred economic growth.3
This economic boom led to the construction of
Willow Run Village, a large residential complex and
commercial facility designed to house workers and
their families.4
The inflow and outflow of employers
and their employees has had significant impacts on
the health and vitality of neighborhoods in the city
and township.
Ypsilanti is home to numerous historically African-
American communities. The origins of several
African-American neighborhoods can be traced to
Ypsilanti’s key involvement in the Underground
Railroad. Some examples of these neighborhoods
can be seen around Emmet and Ballard, Depot Town,
Oakwood and Washtenaw, and the corner of Buffalo
and South Adams.5
Although the city once functioned as a center for
automotive production and manufacturing, Ypsilanti
has not maintained the same level of economic
vitality since the post-war era. Since 2001, Ypsilanti
has lost nearly 1,600 manufacturing jobs.6
This
economic shift caused both a reduction in real and
personal property tax revenue and an increase in
vacant or under-utilized industrial space.
Foundation14
Endnotes
1. Czb, Housing Affordability and Economic Equity – Analysis.
Prepared for the Office of Community and Economic Develop-
ment (2015): 4.
2. Baker, Mary Wallace. The Second Fifty Years, Fairfield, Barba-
ra A. The Last Fifty Years, and Thomas N. Tobias. The History of
Ypsilanti: 150 Years. Ypsilanti, MI: Sesquicentennial Committee,
1973. Print.
3. Ibid
4. Ibid
5. Siegfried, Matthew. “South Adams Street @ 1900.” South Ad-
ams Street 1900. Eastern Michigan University’s Historic Preserva-
tion Program, n.d. March 17, 2015.
6. City of Ypsilanti (2013). Shape Ypsilanti, Draft Plan:2. Re-
trieved from http://shapeypsi.com/assets/ShapeYpsiDraftMaster-
Plan-Aug-1.pdf
7. City of Ypsilanti (2010). Non-motorized Transportation Plan:7.
Retrieved from http://cityofypsilanti.com/Portals/0/docs/Plan-
ning/NonMotorizedPlan/FINAL_ADOPTED.pdf
“Young singles or couples are
moving to the area, typically
working for a local major
employer or in the “Maker” or
“Craft” worlds.”
Tyler Weston
Local Realtor
Spatially, the city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township
differ in several ways. The city of Ypsilanti’s land
use was shaped before the creation of automobiles,
resulting in a dense grid-style network of roadways
that are pedestrian friendly.7
The urban landscape
and small size clustered the city’s housing around
its major institutions. In contrast, Ypsilanti
Township is predominately rural and suburban.
Township residents require an automobile to reach
most destinations. Individual subdivisions create
neighborhoods with little connection to one another
besides jurisdictional boundaries. These subdivisions
provide owners with larger lot sizes and access to
newer housing stock.
The historical and spatial differences between the city
and township make designing recommendations and
strategies challenging. The city maintains a strong
urban environment with many desirable amenities
including greater access to transit, proximity to public
parks, and walkable neighborhoods with dense
housing. The township has larger homes and lots,
and is close to amenities in Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor.
To develop recommendations that fit the city and
township we must understand the housing markets
in each environment through the analysis outlined in
Chapter 2.
Peninsular Paper Company
Foundation16Mapleview Subdivision in Ypsilanti Township
2CHAPTER
NEIGHBORHOOD
MARKET TYPES
Neighborhood Boundary
Identification
Market Type Indicator Selection
Market Strength Score Calculation
Neighborhood Market Types18
The Housing Affordability report categorized the
majority of housing markets in the city of Ypsilanti
and Ypsilanti Township as ‘very weak’ or ‘weak’
with few exceptions. To accomplish the goals stated
in Chapter 1, further research was required to
comprehend the nuances across housing markets
within the city and the township. Recommendations
that promote and maintain thriving, mixed-income
neighborhoods require a strong understanding of
the housing market.1
As the Housing Affordability
report indicates, housing markets vary significantly
across a city and over time. Neighborhood housing
markets tend to fall along a continuum, with stronger
neighborhood markets associated with higher
demand and prices.
To address the variety of opportunities and challenges
across the city and township, it is important
to analyze the housing markets in particular
neighborhoods. Ypsilanti has diverse housing market
types that require distinct recommendations. Creating
simple market type categories for city and township
neighborhoods, allows us to make recommendations
for each neighborhood market type that apply to most
or all neighborhoods within that category. Through
familiarity with neighborhood housing markets,
residents and public officials can work to lead change,
rather than react to it.
NEIGHBORHOOD MARKET TYPES
“It is difficult to develop an
effective strategy either to
move the housing market or
mitigate its effects unless one
understands the neighborhood’s
market conditions and
dynamics.”
Alan Mallach
National Housing Institute
To provide strategies and recommendations that
correspond with current market conditions of the city
of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township, we characterized
three distinct market types: hot, warm, and cool.
This delineation of market types represents a key
component of our methodology because it provided
the framework for developing appropriate, targeted
recommendations. In order to classify the city of
Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township into three distinct
market types, we completed the following four steps:
_Identified neighborhood boundaries
_Chose four market-type indicators
_Calculated a market strength score for each
neighborhood
_Classified all neighborhoods into one of three
market types: hot, warm, or cool
Neighborhood Boundary Identification
Quality neighborhoods are an important component
of successful urban areas. Local residents understand
their community better than anyone, which is
why changes should be tailored and respectful to
existing boundaries. Information gathered at the
neighborhood level offers a current snapshot of the
dynamics of each community.
19
We defined the neighborhood boundaries so that
we could later assign each neighborhood into a hot,
warm, or cool market type. These boundaries were
based on neighborhood associations, neighborhood
watches, certain demographic characteristics, and
feedback from local stakeholders. The boundaries
may not reflect all residents’ experiences with their
neighborhoods, but they provide a starting point
for analysis. For more details on the division of
neighborhood boundaries, see Appendix A.
Using a neighborhood as our unit of analysis is
important for several reasons:
_Creates a manageable scale for our
recommendations
_Provides a current snapshot of the area’s strengths
and weaknesses
_Enables recommendations to be implemented at a
small scale
Alan Mallach, a housing, economic development,
and urban revitalization expert notes, “It is difficult
to develop an effective strategy either to move the
housing market or mitigate its effects unless one
understands the neighborhood’s market conditions
and dynamics. Without that information, many
neighborhood strategies are little more than
guesswork. In contrast, an understanding of the
area’s market features can help practitioners and
policymakers to craft informed decisions about goals
and strategies for guiding neighborhood change.”2
See Figures 2.1-2.3 for the map of neighborhood
boundaries. These neighborhood boundaries can be
used for future analysis of the city of Ypsilanti and
Ypsilanti Township.
Park Estates neighborhood in Ypsilanti Township
Neighborhood Market Types20
City of Ypsilanti Neighborhoods
0 .5 1
mile
Neighborhood
Water
Jurisdiction Boundary
Major Road
C1
C2
C3
C4
C5
C6
C7
C8
C9
C10
C11
C12
C13
C14
C15
C16
C17
C18
C19
C20
C21
C22
C23
C24
C25
C26
C27
C28
Industrial Park
EMU Stadium
College Heights
Gerganoff Road
Estabrook
East Prospect Park
Depot Town
Miles
Prospect Park
Lower River Street
Downtown
Prospect Gardens
South Prospect Street
Water Street Industrial Corridor
Historic South Side
Michigan Avenue
Forest Knoll/Arbor Manor
Stadium Meadows
Riverside
EMU
Railroad Street
Leforge Road
Normal Park
Historic East Side
Ainsworth
Worden Gardens
Heritage Park
MidtownN
I-94
Washtenaw Ave.
Holmes Rd.
Packard Rd.
Michigan Ave.
Packard Rd.
Michigan Ave.
C3
C2
C20
C23
C1
C6
C9
C15
C14
C19
C27
C22
C5
C12
C8
C24C7
C25
C28
C10
C4
C16
C26
C11
C21
C13
C17
C18
Figure 2.1: City of Ypsilanti Neighborhood Boundaries. Sources: AADC (Roads/Water), City of Ypsilanti (Neighborhoods)
21
Ypsilanti Township Neighborhoods
Merritt Rd.
Martz Rd.
Bemis Rd.
WhittakerRd.
HitchinghamRd.
RawsonvilleRd.
Textile Rd.
I-94
Washtenaw Ave.
Holmes Rd.
US-12 Ecorse Rd.
RidgeRd.
Packard Rd.
Michigan Ave.
WiardRd.
MungerRd.GolfsideRd.
0 1 2
miles
Neighborhood
Water
Jurisdiction Boundary
Major Road
T1 Golfside
T2 The Lawn
T3 Roundtree
T4 Fairway Drive
T5 Firwood Elder
T6 Hickory Woods
T7 Crane Road
T8 Merritt Road
T9 Rolling Hills
T10 Pineview
T11 Paint Creek
T12 Oakridge
T13 Paige
T14 West Branch
T15 Schooner Cove Apartments
T16 New Meadow
T17 Trillium Drive
T18 Creekside West
T19 Creekside East
T20 Willis
T21 Harbor Cove
T22 Lake Pointe
T23 Lake Drive
T24 Swan Creek
T27 Huron Meadows
T28 Huron Valley
T29 Wendell Park
T30 Clark East
T31 Bud Blossom
T32 Appleridge
T33 Park Estates
T34 Lay Garden
T35 Anderson Apartments
T36 Thurston
T37 Hawthorne
T38 Oaklawn
T39 Parkwood
T40 Gault Village
T41 The Cliffs
T42 Sugarbrook Grove
T43 The Clif Condos
T44 West Willow
T45 Lakeview
T46 Lake Shore Apartments
T47 Grove Common
T48 Eastern Green
N
T2
T11
T34
T12
T4
T14
T6
T44
T16
T8
T1
T9
T40
T18
T29
T10
T20
T42
T13
T46
T17
T45
T19
T37
T36
T28
T7
T47
T38
T23
T3
T39
T48
T27
T24
T15
T5
T41
T32 T33
T35
T31
T21
T43
T30
T22
* T25 and T26 are large districts; see Appendix
Figure 2.2: Ypsilanti Township Neighborhood Boundaries.
Sources: AADC (Roads/Water), Ypsilanti Township (Neighborhoods)
Neighborhood Market Types22
City and Township Neighborhoods
Figure 2.3: All neighborhood boundaries for the study area.
Sources: AADC (Roads/Water), City of Ypsilanti (Neighborhoods), Ypsilanti Township (Neighborhoods)
Merritt Rd.
Martz Rd.
Bemis Rd.
WhittakerRd.
HitchinghamRd.
RawsonvilleRd.
Textile Rd.
I-94
Washtenaw Ave.
Holmes Rd.
US-12 Ecorse Rd.
RidgeRd.
Packard Rd.
Michigan Ave.
WiardRd.
MungerRd.GolfsideRd.
0 1 2
miles
Neighborhood
Water
Jurisdiction Boundary
Major Road
N
C3
C2
C20
C23
C1
C6
C9
C15
C14
C19
C27
C22
C5
C12
C8
C24C7
C25
C28 C10
C4
C16
C26
C11
C21
C13
C17
C18
T2
T11
T34
T12
T4
T14
T6
T44
T16
T8
T1
T9
T40
T18
T29
T10
T20
T42
T13
T46
T17
T45
T19
T37
T36
T28
T7
T47
T38
T23
T3
T39
T48
T27
T24
T15
T5
T41
T32 T33
T35
T31
T21
T43
T30
T22
23
Market-Type Indicator Selection
We selected the four key indicators shown below to
assess the housing market strength.
Table 2.1 explains how the indicators are used to
determine whether neighborhoods are hot, warm, or
cool.
We chose these variables based on literature review
and stakeholder input. Our initial literature review
identified many commonly used market variables,
each linked to housing market conditions. For a more
detailed look at this initial indicator list, see Appendix
B. Using feedback from housing policy experts, we
developed several criteria to help narrow down this
list to a useful set of indicators.3,4
Overall, we sought
a combination of variables that would give a holistic
view of market health. For further details on our
selection process, see Appendix C.
SALES PRICE PER SQUARE FOOT
INDICATORS INDEX WEIGHT
HOUSING COST BURDEN
MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME
VACANCY RATE
40%
30%
15%
15%
After selecting a list of variables based on literature
review and stakeholder input, we used statistical
modeling techniques to first, confirm that our
selection of variables was not redundant, and second,
see which of the indicators best explained market
conditions.
The statistical analysis was important for several
reasons. First, it helped us prevent indicators that
were closely correlated from skewing our analysis.
Second, it helped us identify how heavily each
variable contributes to the overall market strength,
INDICATOR HOT WARM COOL
SALES PRICE
MEDIAN
HOUSEHOLD
INCOME
HOUSING COST
BURDEN
VACANCY RATE
Sales prices are higher
than average as
demand meets or
exceeds supply.
Sales prices are
moderate.
Sales prices are much
lower than average.
Supply greatly
exceeds demand.
Median household
incomes tend to be
very high.
Median household
incomes tend to be in
the middle to upper
range.
Median household
incomes tend to be
below average.
Housing costs are
high relative to
median household
income.
Housing costs are
moderate relative to
median household
income.
Housing costs are low
relative to median
household income.
Vacancy rate is
relatively low.
Moderate vacancy rate. High vacancy rate.
Many blocks see at
least several vacant
properties.
Table 2.1: Indicator characteristics for each housing market type.
Neighborhood Market Types24
informing our index weighting system described
below. For a more thorough description of how
statistical analysis informed our indicator selection,
see Appendix C.
Market Strength Score Calculation
In order to determine if a neighborhood was hot,
warm, or cool, we calculated a market strength
score for each neighborhood on a scale from 0 to 1.
This score was based on how each neighborhood
performed against each of our four indicators. Each
indicator weighted differently into this calculation, as
shown in Figure 2.4.
We used an open weighting system as part of the
calculation in determining the market strength of
each neighborhood. Thus, the indicators that have
a greater influence over the market (i.e. sales price)
factor more heavily into the calculation of the market
strength score. The result is a market strength score
computed through an index, where higher numbers
represent a hotter market and lower numbers
represent a cooler market.
_Hot Market Index Score - 0.70 - 1.0
_Warm Market Index Score - 0.40 - 0.69
_Cool Market Index Score - 0.0 - 0.39
We chose an open weighting scheme because it is
easily repeatable by the OCED and other stakeholders.
In addition, this method builds upon the Housing
Affordability report by adding indicators into the
calculation of market strength. As that report only
relied on sales price to determine market strength,
the method employed here provides a richer analysis.
It not only considers additional indicators that affect
the market, but also gives more weight to indicators
that more strongly influence the market. Steps for
replicating this analysis are outlined in Appendix C.
After identifying neighborhood boundaries, selecting
the four market indicators, and calculating a market
strength score, we were able to determine whether
each neighborhood identified as a hot, warm, or
cool market. Chapter 3 takes a closer look at how
each neighborhood is identified in terms of market
strength and discusses several of these neighborhoods
in depth. The chapter also makes comparisons with
other benchmark cities from the region to broaden
our scope of analysis.
SALES PRICE PER SQUARE FOOT
INDICATORS INDEX WEIGHT
HOUSING COST BURDEN
MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME
VACANCY RATE
40%
30%
15%
15%
SALES PRICE PER SQUARE FOOT
INDICATORS INDEX WEIGHT
HOUSING COST BURDEN
MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME
VACANCY RATE
40%
30%
15%
15%
BALTIMORE NEIGHBORHOOD
INDICATORS ALLIANCE (BNIA)
The concept of applying market indicators
to neighborhoods is not new.The BNIA
created a comprehensive public process
to gather data and track neighborhood
change.
BNIA developed indicators through a
public process.
BNIA organized these indicators into
12 vital signs for each neighborhood.
These indicators are publicly available
on a Geographic Information Systems
(GIS) database and is free to download.
The city and neighborhood groups
use the data to develop strategic
recommendations.
Figure 2.4: Market Strength Indicator Weights
25
Endnotes
1. Mallach, Alan. “Managing Neighborhood Change.”
National Housing Institute, (2008): 4. http://www.nhi.org/pdf/
ManagingNeighborhoodChange.pdf
2. Ibid.
3. Margaret Dewar, University of Michigan. personal
communication, February 17, 2015.
4. Eric Seymour, University of Michigan. personal
communication, March 16, 2015.
Historic Homes in Ypsilanti
3CHAPTER
HOUSING MARKET
STRENGTH
Overall Trends
Sales Price Per Square Foot
Median Household Income
Housing Cost Burden
Vacancy Rate
Rental Market
Neighborhood Portraits
Regional Comparison
The overall market strength score of each city and township
neighborhood reflects the combined strengths of the four
indicators – (1) Sales Price per Square Foot, (2) Median
Household Income, (3) Housing Cost Burden, and (4)
Vacancy Rate. Based on their total score, each neighborhood
was categorized into one of three market types: hot, warm,
or cool. These market types allow us to compare market
strengths in city and township neighborhoods, but are not
intended to determine the “livability” of a place or if one
neighborhood is better than another. This chapter will
review our findings of overall market strength and analyze
the variation among the four distinct indicators.
Housing Market Strength28
Market Trends
Figure 3.1 shows that the overall housing market is
generally stronger in the township than in the city.
Specifically, 15 out of 48 township neighborhoods
(31%) are in hot market neighborhoods whereas three
out of 28 city neighborhoods (11%) are in hot market
neighborhoods.
Most of the township’s hot market neighborhoods are
concentrated in the southern part of the township.
Most warm market neighborhoods are in the
northeastern part of the township and adjacent to
Ford Lake. Hot township neighborhoods generally
border major roads and have good access to the
highways and other auto-oriented destinations.
There are only three hot market neighborhoods in the
city: Estabrook (C5), Prospect Park (C9), and College
Heights (C3). Estabrook and College Heights are
both located near the city’s western border between
Washtenaw Avenue and Michigan Avenue. These two
city neighborhoods are smaller than the hot market
neighborhoods in the township and have different
housing and design characteristics. These differences
shows that hot markets do not necessarily correlate
with suburban neighborhoods and large lot sizes.
Urban and historic neighborhoods in the city can do
well in the housing market as demonstrated by the
Prospect Park neighborhood.
HOUSING MARKET STRENGTH
“Ypsilanti has a lot of interesting
neighborhoods and beautiful
housing stock. Right now
people can get a good house for
affordable prices, it’s got a lot of
exciting things.”
Wendy Carty-Saxon
Avalon Housing
Warm market neighborhoods are scattered
throughout the study area. In the city, warm market
neighborhoods are located north of Michigan Avenue
on the western and eastern borders. In the township,
most warm market neighborhoods are located on the
north side of Ford Lake. The warm markets are mostly
urban environments with single-family homes and
neighborhood amenities such as parks.
The cool market neighborhoods are concentrated in
the city south of Michigan Avenue and in the western
part of the township. At first glance, the city appears
to have more cool market neighborhoods than the
township, though in actual numbers, the city has
11 cool market neighborhoods and the township
has 10. This demonstrates that the level of market
strength is more polarized in the township with many
hot market neighborhoods and many cool market
neighborhoods. Cool market neighborhoods generally
border the highways and tend to be located between
Michigan Avenue and I-94. These high-speed and
auto-centric roads isolate neighborhoods and hinder
movement and access to opportunities for those
who do not own a car. The correlation between cool
market neighborhoods and major roads implies that
transportation policy and infrastructure may have a
significant impact on the local housing market.
29
Overall Housing Market Strength
Figure 3.1: Overall housing market strength by neighborhood.
Sources: AADC (Roads/Water), MLS Listings, Zillow.com, Esri Projections (Market Strength), City of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township (Neighborhoods)
Merritt Rd.
Martz Rd.
Bemis Rd.
WhittakerRd.
HitchinghamRd.
RawsonvilleRd.
Textile Rd.
I-94
Washtenaw Ave.
Holmes Rd.
US-12 Ecorse Rd.
RidgeRd.
Packard Rd.
Michigan Ave.
WiardRd.
MungerRd.GolfsideRd.
0 1 2
miles
Water
Jurisdiction Boundary
Major Road
Insufficient Data
HOT
COOL
WARM
N
C3
C2
C20
C23
C1
C6
C9
C15
C14
C19
C27
C22
C5
C12
C8
C24C7
C25
C28 C10
C4
C16
C26
C11
C21
C13
C17
C18
T2
T11
T34
T12
T4
T14
T6
T44
T16
T8
T1
T9
T40
T18
T29
T10
T20
T42
T13
T46
T17
T45
T19
T37
T36
T28
T7
T47
T38
T23
T3
T39
T48
T27
T24
T15
T5
T41
T32 T33
T35
T31
T21
T43
T30
T22
Housing Market Strength30
Proximity to major roads does not explain all of
the cool market neighborhoods. Other cool market
neighborhoods in the township include Harbor Cove
(T21), Swan Creek (T24), Appleridge (T32), and Park
Estates (T33), which mainly consist of manufactured
homes, separated from other neighborhoods. On
the other hand, the city has a pocket of cool market
neighborhoods both in and around Depot Town.
Despite Depot Town’s positive image, its for-sale
housing market is fairly weak. There are not many
owner-occupied units in the neighborhood and
sales price per square foot is lower than other
neighborhoods in the study area.
Although each neighborhood is classified as hot,
warm, or cool overall, the strength of the indicators
often vary within each market type. In other words,
two hot neighborhoods may be hot for different
reasons, based on the strength of each of the four
indicators. So, while each neighborhood is given
an overall classification of hot, warm, or cool, each
indicator that makes up this classification is also
hot, warm, or cool, depending on the neighborhood.
In the following sections, we describe each of these
indicators and how they vary across market types.
Sales Price per Square Foot (40%)
The indicator sales price per square foot is the
absolute home price. This metric was identified
during our stakeholder outreach as the most
important market indicator and as such received the
greatest value (40%) in our weighting scheme. Sales
price per square foot has a positive relationship with
the neighborhood market types, meaning hot market
neighborhoods have higher sales prices. We obtained
sales price and square footage data from Zillow.com
and Multiple Listing Services.
Figure 3.2 shows higher sales prices in the township
than in the city. A neighborhood with a sales price
between $100 and $118 per square foot is classified as
high. In general, there are more high and moderate
priced neighborhoods in the township and more
low priced neighborhoods in the city. Using price
per square foot accounts for variation in house size.
Therefore, while homes are larger in hot market
neighborhoods in the township, these homes are
also selling at higher prices than other neighborhood
markets. There are no neighborhoods in the city with
high sales price per square foot.
31
Figure 3.2: Sales price per square foot by neighborhood.
Sources: AADC (Roads/Water), MLS Listings and Zillow.com (Sales), City of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township (Neighborhoods)
Sales Price Per Square Foot
Merritt Rd.
Martz Rd.
Bemis Rd.
WhittakerRd.
HitchinghamRd.
RawsonvilleRd.
Textile Rd.
I-94
Washtenaw Ave.
Holmes Rd.
US-12 Ecorse Rd.
RidgeRd.
Packard Rd.
Michigan Ave.
WiardRd.
MungerRd.GolfsideRd.
0 1 2
miles
In dollars ($)
Water
Jurisdiction Boundary
Major Road
Insufficient Data
100 to 118.00
0 to 59.99
60 to 99.99
N
C3
C2
C20
C23
C1
C6
C9
C15
C14
C19
C27
C22
C5
C12
C8
C24C7
C25
C28 C10
C4
C16
C26
C11
C21
C13
C17
C18
T2
T11
T34
T12
T4
T14
T6
T44
T16
T8
T1
T9
T40
T18
T29
T10
T20
T42
T13
T46
T17
T45
T19
T37
T36
T28
T7
T47
T38
T23
T3
T39
T48
T27
T24
T15
T5
T41
T32 T33
T35
T31
T21
T43
T30
T22
Housing Market Strength32
Neighborhoods with high sales prices are the most
frequent across the study area, present in both the
city and township. Moderately priced neighborhoods
average between $60 and $99 per square foot.
In general these neighborhoods are widespread
throughout the southern and western parts of the
township and north of Michigan Avenue in the city.
Neighborhoods with a low sales price per square
foot are located primarily in the city and the east
side of the township. These neighborhoods have
sales prices between $0 and $59.99, and are located
mostly south of Michigan Avenue and east of the city
in the township. Several of these neighborhoods are
predominantly manufactured housing developments,
such as Lake Drive (T23), Swan Creek (T24), and Park
Estates (T33).
Median Household Income (30%)
Median household income impacts a household’s
ability to acquire a mortgage or make home repairs,
making it a strong indicator of market strength. This
quantitative indicator can be calculated through
American Community Survey (ACS) data. Based on
stakeholder feedback, median household income is
the second-best predictor of overall market strength
and is, therefore, 30% of our weighting scheme.
Figure 3.3 shows the distribution of median
household income. There are many neighborhoods
with high median household income in our
study area. The majority of the higher income
neighborhoods are in the southern areas of the
township and western part of the city. We defined
a median household income of at least $50,000 as
high. The maps show that neighborhoods with higher
median household income also have high sales price
per square foot. Twenty one neighborhoods classify as
high median income neighborhoods.
Neighborhoods with moderate median household
income are concentrated in the eastern parts of the
township. These are neighborhoods where median
household income is between $30,000 and $49,999,
totaling 25 neighborhoods.
Neighborhoods with low median household income
are almost exclusively in the city, south of Michigan
Avenue and in the majority student markets close
to EMU. These are neighborhoods where median
household income is below $30,000. Only 13
neighborhoods fall into this category.
33
Median Household Income
Figure 3.3: Median household income by neighborhood.
Sources: AADC (Roads/Water), Esri Projections (Income), City of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township (Neighborhoods)
Merritt Rd.
Martz Rd.
Bemis Rd.
WhittakerRd.
HitchinghamRd.
RawsonvilleRd.
Textile Rd.
I-94
Washtenaw Ave.
Holmes Rd.
US-12 Ecorse Rd.
RidgeRd.
Packard Rd.
Michigan Ave.
WiardRd.
MungerRd.GolfsideRd.
0 1 2
miles
N
C3
C2
C20
C23
C1
C6
C9
C15
C14
C19
C27
C22
C5
C12
C8
C24C7
C25
C28 C10
C4
C16
C26
C11
C21
C13
C17
C18
T2
T11
T34
T12
T4
T14
T6
T44
T16
T8
T1
T9
T40
T18
T29
T10
T20
T42
T13
T46
T17
T45
T19
T37
T36
T28
T7
T47
T38
T23
T3
T39
T48
T27
T24
T15
T5
T41
T32 T33
T35
T31
T21
T43
T30
T22
In dollars ($)
Water
Jurisdiction Boundary
Major Road
Insufficient Data
50,000 and above
0 to 29,999
30,000 to 49,999
Housing Market Strength34
Housing Cost Burden (15%)
Housing cost burden measures the cost of housing
relative to household income. Higher housing cost
burdens are associated with weaker markets under
the assumption that residents will be less able to
afford, food, clothing, transportation, and other
necessities. Housing cost burden is calculated using
a combination of data from ACS and Esri Business
Analyst. Some cities include transportation costs into
housing cost burden to calculate a complete picture
of living costs in a given location. However, after
calculating housing cost burden using transportation
costs, we found little difference and opted to remove
transportation costs. Housing cost burden is a factor
in our study area, but is not the top indicator of
market strength. We assigned housing cost burden a
lower weight in our index of 15%.
Figure 3.4 shows that low housing cost burdens
are found exclusively in the township. Every
neighborhood with a low housing cost burden is
found in the township, though several of these
markets are predominately manufactured homes
that tend to have low housing costs. The generally
accepted threshold for a low housing cost burden
is defined as under 33% of household income spent
on housing costs. County planners should note with
concern that only eight of 61 neighborhood markets
have a low housing cost burden.
The majority of neighborhoods in the study area have
a moderate housing cost burden, where the average
household spends between 34 and 50% on housing.
When attempting to improve market conditions in
neighborhoods, it is important to avoid an increase in
residents’ cost burden.
Neighborhoods with high cost burdens, between
50 and 73%, are exclusively located within the city,
south of Michigan Avenue. Five neighborhoods are in
this category and are dangerously overburdened by
housing costs.
“Families who pay more than
33 percent of their income
for housing are considered
cost burdened and may have
difficulty affording necessities
such as food, clothing,
transportation and medical
care.”
U.S. Department of Housing
and Urban Development
Definition of Housing Cost Burden
35
Housing Cost Burden
Figure 3.4: Housing cost burden by neighborhood.
Sources: AADC (Roads/Water), Esri Projections (Cost burden), City of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township (Neighborhoods)
Merritt Rd.
Martz Rd.
Bemis Rd.
WhittakerRd.
HitchinghamRd.
RawsonvilleRd.
Textile Rd.
I-94
Washtenaw Ave.
Holmes Rd.
US-12 Ecorse Rd.
RidgeRd.
Packard Rd.
Michigan Ave.
WiardRd.
MungerRd.GolfsideRd.
0 1 2
miles
Percentage of income spent on housing, by household
Water
Jurisdiction Boundary
Major Road
Insufficient Data
0 to 33.99
51 to 73
34 to 50.99
N
C3
C2
C20
C23
C1
C6
C9
C15
C14
C19
C27
C22
C5
C12
C8
C24C7
C25
C28 C10
C4
C16
C26
C11
C21
C13
C17
C18
T2
T11
T34
T12
T4
T14
T6
T44
T16
T8
T1
T9
T40
T18
T29
T10
T20
T42
T13
T46
T17
T45
T19
T37
T36
T28
T7
T47
T38
T23
T3
T39
T48
T27
T24
T15
T5
T41
T32 T33
T35
T31
T21
T43
T30
T22
Housing Market Strength36
Vacancy Rate (15%)
Vacancy rate is the ratio of empty units to the total
number of housing units. A higher vacancy rate is
associated with a weaker housing market because
high vacancy is a signal of low demand. Vacancy rate
is calculated using ACS data and accounts for 15%
of our index. While vacancy rates are important,
additional statistical analysis indicates that the
vacancy rate is not as strong of a predictor of market
strength as sales price per square foot and median
household income.
Figure 3.5 displays the distribution of vacancy rates
throughout the study area. In general, vacancy
rates in our study area are relatively low. We define
low vacancy rate as neighborhoods between 0-10%
vacancy. The majority (38) of neighborhoods have low
vacancy rates.
A neighborhood with rates between 10.1-20% is
classified as having moderate vacancy. Nearly all of
the neighborhoods with moderate vacancy rates (16)
are located north of I-94 in the city and township.
Vacancy rates above 20.1% place a neighborhood in
the high vacancy category. Only seven neighborhoods
in the study area have high vacancy rates, with four
of these located in the city south of Michigan Avenue.
Table 3.1 on page 39 categorizes all city and township
neighborhoods by their market type- hot, warm, or
cool- and also displays each neighborhood’s ratings
for the four indicators- (1) Sales Price per Square
Foot, (2) Median Household Income, (3) Housing Cost
Burden, and (4) Vacancy Rate. The neighborhoods
are listed in order from highest to lowest market
index score. This table allows a deeper look into the
variation within each market type, as not all hot,
warm, and cool market types are identical.
These four indicators do not take into account the
rental market, which is a significant percentage of
the market in parts of the city and township. The
following section includes a separate analysis of
rental properties in our study area.
NEIGHBORHOODS IN BLOOM
RICHMOND,VA
This project aimed to strengthen
neighborhoods by removing blight,
restoring historic buildings and increasing
homeownership.City planning staff
funded the project directing both
CDBG and HOME grants towards
these neighborhoods,and has since
won numerous national awards.They
completed the following:
Planners assessed the condition and
potential for revitalization by collecting
neighborhood level data.
Richmond included data on vacancy,
crime,poverty,homeownership,and
housing quality.
The data was distributed to three
separate groups: civic leaders,housing
providers,and city staff.The groups
determined areas where concentrated
investment could have positive
impact and encourage private sector
investment.
37
Vacancy Rate
Figure 3.5: Vacancy rate by neighborhood.
Sources: AADC (Roads/Water), Esri Projections (Vacant Units by Tenure), City of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township (Neighborhoods)
Merritt Rd.
Martz Rd.
Bemis Rd.
WhittakerRd.
HitchinghamRd.
RawsonvilleRd.
Textile Rd.
I-94
Washtenaw Ave.
Holmes Rd.
US-12 Ecorse Rd.
RidgeRd.
Packard Rd.
Michigan Ave.
WiardRd.
MungerRd.GolfsideRd.
0 1 2
miles
By percentage of vacant non-rental units
Water
Jurisdiction Boundary
Major Road
Insufficient Data
0 to 10
20.1 to 30
10.1 to 20
N
C3
C2
C20
C23
C1
C6
C9
C15
C14
C19
C27
C22
C5
C12
C8
C24C7
C25
C28 C10
C4
C16
C26
C11
C21
C13
C17
C18
T2
T11
T34
T12
T4
T14
T6
T44
T16
T8
T1
T9
T40
T18
T29
T10
T20
T42
T13
T46
T17
T45
T19
T37
T36
T28
T7
T47
T38
T23
T3
T39
T48
T27
T24
T15
T5
T41
T32 T33
T35
T31
T21
T43
T30
T22
Housing Market Strength38
Harris Street in Ypsilanti Township
39
Table 3.1: Neighborhood Indicators by Market Strength
Neighborhood
Market
Index
Price Per Sq.Ft.($) Median Household
Income ($)
Housing Cost
Burden (%)
Vacancy Rate (%)
HOT
T-18 Creekside West
PaigeT-13
T-12 Oakridge
T-10 Pineview
Crane RoadT-07
T-14 West Branch
T-09 Rolling Hills
T-17 Trillium Drive
Merritt RoadT-08
T-06 Hickory Woods
Paint CreekT-11
T-19 Creekside East
WillisT-20
C-03 College Heights
EstabrookC-05
T-16 New Meadow
T-02 The Lawn
Prospect ParkC-09
0.922
1.000
0.957
0.931
0.917
0.899
0.845
0.894
0.815
0.795
0.783
0.750
0.749
0.743
0.737
0.748
0.710
0.709
101.62
107.77
97.29
115.16
107.52
98.72
97.64
90.24
91.76
93.96
77.27
117.98
98.36
99.50
86.00
94.74
90.47
91.60
Median Household
Income ($)
97,315
101,583
101,651
77,943
79,306
86,472
77,943
101,770
77,943
75,761
86,683
41,089
51,388
55,999
75,863
63,511
58,647
50,981
Housing Cost
Burden (%)
32
31
31
33
33
34
33
32
33
34
34
43
33
35
36
36
36
34
Vacancy Rate (%)
7.7
3.4
1.9
3.0
0.0
0.0
3.0
6.1
3.0
6.1
1.8
0.0
0.8
4.7
7.9
4.5
3.9
0.9
RMHOT
High
Moderate
Low
Housing Market Strength40
T-40 Gault Village
Normal ParkC-23
T-15 Schooner Cove Apts.
Huron MeadowsT-27
C-04 Gerganoff Road
East Prospect ParkC-06
Huron ValleyT-28
C-24 Historic East Side
Stadium MeadowsC-18
OaklawnT-38
HawthorneT-37
T-23 Lake Drive
Fairway DriveT-04
Grove CommonT-47
MilesC-08
T-45 Lakeview
The CliffsT-41
Wendell ParkT-29
T-03 Roundtree
MidtownC-28
The Cliff CondosT-43
C-11 Downtown
0.699
0.680
0.660
0.648
0.644
0.642
0.613
0.546
0.533
0.524
0.504
0.504
0.489
0.488
0.466
0.452
0.440
0.434
0.426
0.421
0.416
0.403
89.41
91.20
104.83
92.48
79.80
74.70
91.75
75.20
74.20
61.08
58.88
50.82
87.52
86.32
72.10
61.32
63.19
59.09
54.45
80.00
54.72
68.40
55,216
61,586
33,894
43,966
48,169
56,489
43,856
41,603
47,919
54,154
47,314
51,551
35,093
40,645
32,796
39,503
36,017
39,706
31,919
29,309
37,461
27,259
35
35
37
34
34
34
35
36
34
32
31
33
41
31
39
36
36
35
40
48
34
46
3.0
12.6
6.1
7.2
0.0
2.2
11.6
6.8
14.0
10.6
7.9
2.7
18.7
29.0
9.3
9.6
10.6
11.6
0.0
14.6
10.2
7.9
WARMOL
Neighborhood
Market
Index
Price Per Sq.Ft.($) Median Household
Income ($)
Housing Cost
Burden (%)
Vacancy Rate (%)
HOT
High
Moderate
Low
41
T-42 Sugarbrook Grove
Harbor CoveT-21
T-39 Parkwood
Lay GardenT-34
T-36 Thurston
Swan CreekT-24
C-19 Riverside
West WillowT-44
C-10 Lower River Street
Prospect GardensC-12
C-25 Ainsworth
Firwood ElderT-05
C-07 Depot Town
Water StreetC-14
T-31 Bud Blossom
AppleridgeT-32
C-15 Historic South Side
South Prospect StreetC-13
C-16 Michigan Avenue
Worden GardensC-26
C-27 Heritage Park
0.399
0.396
0.375
0.364
0.360
0.345
0.340
0.332
0.315
0.290
0.285
0.277
0.268
0.260
0.250
0.244
0.179
0.132
0.098
0.093
0.000
51.34
62.35
37.22
56.07
45.03
19.50
57.80
34.51
45.50
34.50
40.00
49.42
29.80
70.60
43.32
47.45
57.80
22.70
35.20
36.80
29.30
37,958
32,616
44,954
35,626
34,700
51,644
25,631
40,170
32,753
32,545
23,807
24,371
28,185
23,953
29,270
29,700
21,296
27,066
14,732
18,115
17,805
36
38
30
37
35
33
44
34
39
39
39
40
40
60
38
38
73
38
53
54
54
9.1
13.7
10.7
16.6
8.9
3.4
10.0
9.4
12.6
7.5
6.7
15.6
3.5
21.5
20.0
25.0
13.4
21.2
17.9
21.7
31.1
COOL Neighborhood
Market
Index
Price Per Sq.Ft.($) Median Household
Income ($)
Housing Cost
Burden (%)
Vacancy Rate (%)
HOT
High
Moderate
Low
Housing Market Strength42
Background
Based on the concentration of EMU students in
Ypsilanti as well as stakeholder feedback regarding
rental housing, we analyzed the rental markets in the
city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township but did not
include this analysis in our market strength index.
Previous research provides no definitive answer as
to whether the presence of renters strengthens or
weakens an area’s housing market. The presence
of renters can have different implications in
different markets, making it difficult to establish a
causal relationship with overall market strength.
A 2003 study by the Journal of Housing Research
demonstrated a possible link between high home
ownership rates and higher home values and
suggested that the benefits of a government entity
subsidizing homeownership outweighed the
costs.1
A 1996 study showed a $1,600 increase in
an area’s property values for each 0.1% increase
in homeownership over the course of a decade.2
Alternatively, a report from MIT in 2005 stated that
the introduction of large-scale mixed income rental
development in single-family neighborhoods had no
effect on surrounding property values.3
“We need to support quality
rental opportunities in our
neighborhoods and around
downtown and Depot Town;
give students the chance to fall
in love with Ypsi and decide to
put down roots.”
Richard Murphy
Michigan Municipal League
Those against the presence of rental housing insist
that rentals decrease property values ,property
upkeep, and involvement in the community.4
Proponents of rental housing counter that housing
preferences are changing, particularly among
millenials, and that many middle-income residents
no longer desire to own a home as soon as they can
afford it. Regardless of perception, the point at which
renters change a neighborhood or affect property
values remains inconclusive.
Methods
For our analysis of the Ypsilanti rental market,
we compared the rental market to our index of
overall market strength using rent per square foot.
Unfortunately, the majority of the rental housing
data within the last twelve months was limited and
fell within a very small rent per square foot range
($0.80 - $1.30). Due to these two limiting factors we
could not make determinations or recommendations
on a neighborhood level based on rent per square
foot. Instead, we analyzed rent per square foot on a
city and township scale and compared these to rent
per square foot in benchmark cities. See Table 3.2
on page 53 for rental rate per square foot in regional
benchmark comparison cities.
RENTAL MARKET
43
We analyzed the city and township rental market
on a neighborhood level based on percentage of
renter households. We tested the correlation between
the percent renter households and our four index
variables as an objective determinant of market
strength. We found that there is a moderately strong
to strong negative correlation between both sales
price per square foot and median household income
as it relates to the percentage of renter households.
This implies that as sales price per square foot and
median household income decrease within an area,
the percentage of renter occupied units in the same
area increases. A breakdown of renter occupancy by
neighborhood is shown in Figure 3.6.
Given the inconclusiveness of previous research,
our analysis does not provide conclusive evidence
of renters’ effect on a housing market. It does,
however, reveal trends and allow us to make
targeted recommendations, particularly for
those neighborhoods that fall into cool market
neighborhoods and have a high proportion of renters.
Renter Occupancy by Neighborhood
Figure 3.6: Percentage renter occupied by neighborhood.
Sources: AADC (Roads/Water), City of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township (Neighborhoods), Esri Projections (Tenure)
0 1 2
miles
By percentage of households
Water
Jurisdiction Boundary
Major Road
Insufficient Data
0 to 20
40.1 to 86.2
20.1 to 40
N
Merritt Rd.
Martz Rd.
Bemis Rd.
WhittakerRd.
HitchinghamRd.
RawsonvilleRd.
Textile Rd.
I-94
Washtenaw Ave.
Holmes Rd.
US-12 Ecorse Rd.
RidgeRd.
Packard Rd.
Michigan Ave.
WiardRd.
MungerRd.GolfsideRd.
Housing Market Strength44
For example, no hot market neighborhoods in either
the city or township has a high proportion of renters;
whereas eight cool market neighborhoods have high
proportions of renters, as seen in Figure 3.7. This
suggests a potential oversupply of rental housing
in several neighborhoods and an overall negative
effect on the strength of those housing markets. Our
targeted recommendations in Chapter 6 for rental
housing will focus on the location of subsidized
housing and supply of rental housing in these cool
market neighborhoods.
Cool Market Neighborhoods with High Renter Occupancy
Figure 3.7: Cool market neighborhoods with high renter occupancy.
Sources: AADC (Roads/Water), MLS Listings, Zillow.com, Esri Projections (Market Strength), City of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township
(Neighborhoods)
0 1 2
miles
N
Merritt Rd.
Martz Rd.
Bemis Rd.
WhittakerRd.
HitchinghamRd.
RawsonvilleRd.
Textile Rd.
I-94
Washtenaw Ave.
Holmes Rd.
US-12 Ecorse Rd.
RidgeRd.
Packard Rd.
Michigan Ave.
WiardRd.
MungerRd.GolfsideRd.
45Apartments on Ford Lake
Housing Market Strength46
NEIGHBORHOOD PORTRAITS
In this section we identify two example
neighborhoods each from cool, warm, and hot
markets to demonstrate the nuances in our index,
and analyze these neighborhoods in more detail. For
each market type we identify a city neighborhood
and a township neighborhood shown in Figure 3.8.
We discuss how each neighborhood compares within
its market type in terms of sales price per square
foot, median home value, median household income,
vacancy rate, and other notable characteristics.
Cool Market Neighborhoods
West Willow (T44) is in the eastern part of Ypsilanti
Township, bounded by I-94 running west to South,
U.S. 12 running West to North, and Wiard Road
on its eastern border (See Figure 3.9). In 2014, the
neighborhood has 1,056 households with a median
home value of $86,441.5
Most of the housing stock was
built in the 1950s and 1960s. West Willow Park, in the
center of the neighborhood, is the only community
park in the area. Kaiser Elementary provides
another recreation space on the northern side of the
neighborhood. West Willow is relatively isolated from
its surrounding communities, in large part due to the
major roads that surround it.
West Willow shares characteristics with many cool
market neighborhoods. The neighborhood performs
well on three of the four indicators but is categorized
as a cool market due to low sales price per square
foot. West Willow’s sales price per square foot is
$34.51, the lowest in Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township.
With low vacancy rates and a median household
income nearing middle-income range, low sales prices
suggest that the neighborhood is undervalued and has
potential for future investment.
Michigan Avenue (C16) is located on the city’s
western border, bounded by Michigan Avenue to the
north, 1st Avenue to the east, the township border
to the west, and Monroe Avenue to the south (See
Figure 3.9). In 2014, the neighborhood includes 137
households with a median home value of $73,500 and
a high percentage of renters.6
The Michigan Avenue
neighborhood is in close proximity to both Parkridge
Park and Recreation Park, although reaching the
latter requires crossing Michigan Avenue. Several
churches are located within the Michigan Avenue
neighborhood. Many of the homes were built during
the late 1960s and early 1970s to accommodate
industrial workers during the city’s population boom.
47
The Michigan Avenue neighborhood performed
poorly on each of the four indicators. The area’s
price per square foot, $36.80, and median household
income, $18,115, are both well below average.
Additionally, the area’s housing cost burden is
extremely high, which shows that residents are
paying a very high proportion of their income on
housing. This neighborhood, given its proximity to
Ypsilanti’s downtown amenities and Growing Hope,
could improve considerably with the right support.
Warm Market Neighborhoods:
Gault Village (T40) is in the eastern part of Ypsilanti
Township, bounded by South Grove Street to the
south and west, South Harris Road to the east and
Frontage Road to the north (See Figure 3.10). In 2014,
Gault Village has 950 households, many of which are
families, with a median home value of $106,858.7
Erickson Elementary School and Nancy Park are
located in the center of the neighborhood. The Gault
Village Shopping Center provides some commercial
amenities for residents, but the neighborhood abuts
the back of the Center making it difficult for residents
to access these amenities. The neighborhood also
enjoys slower speeds and bicycle paths on South
Grove Street.
Context Map of Neighborhood Portraits
Figure 3.8: Portrait neighborhoods and their respective market strengths.
Sources: AADC (Roads/Water), MLS Listings, Zillow.com, Esri Projections
(Market Strength), Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township (Neighborhoods)
Merritt Rd.
Martz Rd.
Bemis Rd.
WhittakerRd.
HitchinghamRd.
RawsonvilleRd.
Textile Rd.
I-94
Washtenaw Ave.
Holmes Rd.
US-12 Ecorse Rd.
RidgeRd.
Packard Rd.
Michigan Ave.
WiardRd.
MungerRd.GolfsideRd.
0 1 2
miles
N
COLLEGE HEIGHTS
NORMAL PARK
MICHIGAN AVE.
WEST
WILLOW
GAULT VILLAGE
OAKRIDGE
Housing Market Strength48
Gault Village has a strong median household income,
low vacancy rate, and a higher average sales price per
square foot at $89.41. These indicators position Gault
Village to become a hot neighborhood market with
minimum intervention.
Normal Park (C23) is located on the eastern border
of the city of Ypsilanti, bounded by Washtenaw
Avenue to the north, Michigan Avenue to the south,
North Mansfield Street to the west, and North Summit
Street to the east (See Figure 3.10). Recreation
Park is in the center of the neighborhood, home to
Ypsilanti’s Senior Citizen Center and Rutherford
Pool. The neighborhood is adjacent to EMU and the
commercial corridor along Cross Street, but access
to these amenities requires crossing several major
thoroughfares. Normal Park has 816 households,
mostly families, with a median home value of
$160,381.8
Many of these homes were built in the late
1930s through the 1940s.
Normal Park is one of the city’s stronger
neighborhoods, despite ranking in the top category
on only one of the four indicators. The neighborhood
ranks moderately for sales price per square foot
and housing cost burden. The area’s major strength
is its high median household income. Normal Park
is a warm market neighborhood, shows promising
signs of growth, and may positively influence the
surrounding neighborhoods.
Figure 3.9: Cool Portrait Neighborhoods in the city and township.
MichiganAve-C16
MarketStrength:59outof61
1STAVENUE
MONROE AVE.
M
ichigan
Avenue
0.09 mi2
SALES PRICES PSF
$35.20
HOUSING COST BURDEN
53%
VACANCY RATE
17.90%
MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME
$14,732
MarketStrength:48outof61
WestWillow-T44
I-94
WIARDRD.
US-12
M
ICHIGAN
AVE.
0.59 mi2
SALES PRICES PSF
$34.51
HOUSING COST BURDEN
34%
VACANCY RATE
9.4%
MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME
$40,170
49
Hot Market Neighborhoods:
Oakridge (T12) is located in the southern part of
Ypsilanti Township, bounded by Textile Road to the
north, Hitchingham Road to the west, Merritt Road to
the south, and Tuttle Hill Road to the east (See Figure
3.11). The infrastructure in this neighborhood is
suburban, with winding roads and uniform housing
designs. The neighborhood has 998 households,
mostly families, with a median home value of
$184,846.9
Ford Heritage Park is located within
the neighborhood, though this requires crossing
Textile Road. Most of the homes were built after
2000. Commercial amenities are located nearby on
Whittaker Road, but residents must have access to a
car to utilize these amenities.
Oakridge has a strong sales price per square foot at
$97.29 and an extremely low vacancy rate at 1.9%.
The market strength is carried by the high median
income, which at $101,651 was the second highest
in the city and township. The neighborhood, as with
many of Ypsilanti Township’s southern developments,
is built within the boundaries of the Lincoln
Consolidated School District.
Figure 3.10: Warm portrait neighborhoods in the city and township.
GaultVillage-T40
MarketStrength:19outof61
1-94
FORD LAKE
GROVEST.
HARRISRD.
0.41 mi2
SALES PRICES PSF
$89.41
HOUSING COST BURDEN
35%
VACANCY RATE
3.00%
MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME
$55,216
NormalPark-C23
MarketStrength:20outof61
SALES PRICES PSF
$91.20
VACANCY RATE
12.60%
MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME
$61,586
N.SUMMITRD.
0.34 mi2
WASHTENAW AVE.
W.MICHIGAN
AVE.
HOUSING COST BURDEN
35%
Housing Market Strength50
College Heights (C3) is located on the city of
Ypsilanti’s western border, bounded by North Huron
River Drive to the north, North Hewitt Road to the
west, Oakwood Street to the east, and Washtenaw
Avenue to the south (See Figure 3.11). The area is
adjacent to EMU and has direct access to the Border-to
Border multi-use trail. The area has 737 households
with a median home value of $164,228, and many
of the homes were built between the late 1950s and
early 1960s.10
College Heights has access to commercial amenities,
especially along Washtenaw Avenue. One of the
defining features of the neighborhood is Candy Cane
Park, located in the center of the neighborhood.
College Heights has fairly strong sales price per
square foot of $99.50, and a median home value that
is the highest in the city of Ypsilanti and one of the
highest in the study area.
Figure 3.11: Warm portrait neighborhoods in the city and township.
Oakridge-T12
MarketStrength:02outof61
HITCHINGHAMRD.
TEXTILE RD.
MERRITT RD.
1.02 mi2
SALES PRICES PSF
$97.29
HOUSING COST BURDEN
31%
VACANCY RATE
1.90%
MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME
$101,651
CollegeHeights-C03
MarketStrength:15outof61
WASHTENAW AVE.
N. HURON RIVER DR.
OAKWOODST.
0.39 mi2
HOUSING COST BURDEN
35%
VACANCY RATE
4.70%
MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME
$55,999
SALES PRICES PSF
$99.50
The Oakridge neighborhood in Ypsilanti Township
Housing Market Strength52
Regional Market Comparison
Neighboring cities compete with the city of Ypsilanti
and Ypsilanti Township for middle-income residents,
so it is instructive to gauge the city’s and township’s
positions in the regional housing market. We used
the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics On
the Map Tool to identify several cities that Ypsilanti
and Ypsilanti Township’s middle-income residents
are commuting to for work (listed in Figure 3.12).11
Conversely, we identified the top cities where current
middle-income employees working in Ypsilanti and
Ypsilanti Township live (listed in Figure 3.13). We
applied our housing market strength index to the
city and township as a whole, as well as to the six
“benchmark” cities.
In Table 3.2, the market index value shows how each
city on average compares to the best performing
neighborhood in Ypsilanti (a market index score
of 1.0). A score of 1.0 would indicate that the city’s
market strength is equal to the best performing
neighborhood in Ypsilanti. These city market index
values are compared to average values for Ypsilanti
city and township. The table also offers comparisons
of other factors to give an idea of the variation among
communities.
TOTAL MIDDLE-INCOME EMPLOYEES
WHERE
YPSI WORKERS
AnnArbor
City of Ypsilanti
+
Township
Taylor
Westland
Detroit
LIVE
18,956
TOTAL MIDDLE-INCOME RESIDENTS
WHERE
YPSI RESIDENTS
City of
Ypsilanti
Detroit
Livonia
Dearborn
WORK
31,331
AnnArbor
Figure 3.12: 60%+ Area Median
Income Workers (making at least
$3,333 per month) living in the
study area currently WORK in these
places.
(Colors are correlated to market strength)
Figure 3.13: 60%+ Area Median
Income Employees (making at least
$3,333 per month) working in the
study area currently LIVE in these
places.
(Colors are correlated to market strength)
REGIONAL BENCHMARKS
53
46.3587
39.3556
44.9450
47.3762
60.9209
66.0004
52.0933
68.7896
Ann Arbor
Livonia
Lincoln Consolidated*
Wayne-Westland
Dearborn
Ypsilanti
Taylor
Detroit
24
10
12
1
12
0
10
0
99
99
48
43
99
8
46
98
$1.25
$1.00
$1.01
$0.88
$0.85
$1.02
$0.85
$0.76
21.15
15.54
N|A
43.97
82.84
56.12
207.23
Ann Arbor
Livonia
Ypsilanti Township
Westland
Taylor
Dearborn
City of Ypsilanti
Detroit
N|A
Market
Index
City or
Township
Property
Tax Rate
Primary School
District
School Ranking
Range (Low End)
School Ranking
Range (High End)
Rent Per
Square Foot
Violent Crime
Rate**
0.94
0.84
0.61
0.55
0.47
0.45
0.39
0.08
WARMHOTCOOL
Results:
When our market index is applied to the benchmark
cities, the city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township
seem well positioned to attract middle-income
residents from regional competitors. Ypsilanti, while
one of the weaker markets, is highly competitive with
Dearborn and Taylor. The housing market average in
Ypsilanti Township is stronger than Dearborn, Taylor,
and Westland. The market strengths of Ann Arbor and
Livonia are higher than the average for the city and
the township.
Middle-Income Retention: ANN ARBOR, DETROIT,
LIVONIA, DEARBORN: Already, a high number of
residents in our study area work in Ann Arbor, Detroit,
Dearborn and Livonia. Out of these four, the city
of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township have stronger
housing markets on average than Detroit, and the
township is also stronger than Dearborn. Ann Arbor
and Livonia each have stronger housing markets than
Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township, meaning current
middle-income residents of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti
Township might choose to relocate to these places in
the future.
Table 3.2: *Lincoln Consolidated Schools (LCS) serves as a comparison for the hot markets in the township. For the purpose of this chart, LCS is the
primary school district in Ypsilanti Township due to having the greatest number of households in hot markets. Ypsilanti Township also has a large
number of households in Ypsilanti Community Schools and some households in Van Buren School District.
**Violent Crime Rate is measured with crimes per 10,000 people. No crime rates were available from FBI for Ypsilanti Township and Dearborn.
Sources: (School Rankings) mischooldata.org, (Rent per square foot) zillow.com, (Property Tax Rates) michigan.gov (Violent Crime Rate) fbi.gov
Housing Market Strength54
Middle-Income Attraction: DEARBORN, DETROIT,
WESTLAND, TAYLOR: The township’s average
market strength ranks higher than each of these
places. The city’s average is higher than Detroit and
competitive with Dearborn and Taylor. Each of these
may serve as strategic cities for targeted attraction
efforts. Since moving to the city or township would
reduce transportation costs for these commuters,
the city or township should target them as potential
residents.
Comparison of Other Factors
Property Taxes
Table 3.2 also includes a comparison of property
tax rates. Though each jurisdiction likely varies in
assessment practices, the property tax rates provide
insights into which residents are likely to pay higher
taxes for a middle-income home. Detroit, the city of
Ypsilanti, and Dearborn have the highest tax rates,
while Livonia and Ypsilanti Township have the
lowest. The city may look into strategies for lowering
its property tax rate to attract and retain residents.
School Rankings
The school rankings in Table 3.2 represent the
percentile range of public school ratings for the
major school district in each benchmark city. Each
district has wide ranges of high performing and low
performing schools with the exception of Ypsilanti
Community Schools. In Chapter 6, we provide
recommendations for strengthening Ypsilanti schools.
Rent Per Square Foot
Table 3.2 also compares rent per square foot. This is
based on a city average calculation from Zillow.com.
Both the city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township are
performing well in terms of rental market strength.
The city and township have the second highest rent
per square foot behind Ann Arbor. The presence of
college-aged renters has a significant impact on the
rental market in both of these areas. College-aged
renters should be welcomed into the community
and encouraged to stay after graduation in order to
capitalize on this strength.
Violent Crime Rate
The crime rate in Table 3.2 represents the number
of violent crimes per 10,000 people as detailed in the
FBI’s 2013 crime log. Ypsilanti has the second highest
violent crime rate per capita ahead of only Detroit.
A detailed look at crime on the neighborhood level,
along with recommendations for crime reduction, can
be found in Chapter 5 and 6, respectively.
This analysis comparing our study to regional
benchmark cities may provide insight into potential
ways to retain or attract middle-income residents.
Other factors will be explored in the Chapter 5, which
analyzes factors that push or pull middle-income
residents to specific neighborhoods.
“Good services and pleasing
appearances attract good
people, and good people attract
good investments.”
Larry Krieg
The Ride
55
Endnotes
1. Coulson, N. E., Hwang, S. J., and Imai, S. 2003. The value
of owner occupation in neighborhoods. Journal of Housing
Research, 13, no.2: 153-174. http://content.knowledgeplex.org/
kp2/kp/text_document _summary/ scholarly_article/relfiles/
jhr_1302_coulson.pdf
2. Rohe, W. and Stewart, L. S. 1996. “Homeownership and
neighborhood stability.” Housing Policy Debate, 7, no.1: 37-81.
http://content.knowledgeplex.org/kp2/img/cache/sem/39708.pdf
3. Pollakowski, H. O., Ritchay, D., and Weinrobe, Z. 2005. “Effects
of mixed-income multi-family rental housing development on
single-family housing values.” MIT Center for Real Estate: 1-55.
4. Coulson, N. E., Hwang, S. J., and Imai, S. 2003. The value
of owner occupation in neighborhoods. Journal of Housing
Research, 13, no.2: 153-174. http://content.knowledgeplex.org/
kp2/kp/text_document _summary/ scholarly_article/relfiles/
jhr_1302_coulson.pdf
5. House and Home Expenditures. Rep. Esri Business Analyst,
2014. Web. Feb. 2015
6. Ibid.
7. Ibid.
8. Ibid.
9. Ibid.
10. Ibid.
11. OnTheMap. “Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics.”
United States Census. http://onthemap.ces.census.gov/
12. Hertitage Media. 2011. Downtown Ypsilanti. Flickr Creative
Commons.
Gault Village, Ypsilanti TownshipDowntown, Ypsilanti12
Huron Meadows, Ypsilanti Township
4CHAPTER
PREVENTING
DISPLACEMENT
Health Impacts of Gentrification
and Displacement
Measuring Gentrification
Methods
Analysis
Limitations
Preventing Displacement58
While strategies for strengthening weak housing
markets help create stronger communities, they
can also cause expensive developments, higher
rents, and rapid neighborhood change. This change
may be appealing in areas suffering from severe
disinvestment, but it could also initiate displacement
of those most burdened by current housing prices.1
As stated in Chapter 1, the goal of this report is to
attract middle-income residents while minimizing
displacement. Ypsilanti city and township will
grow both through the influx of new residents and
by improving quality of life for current residents.
Displacement is not inevitable, and it can be mitigated
if the threat is addressed early.
Displacement is often confused with gentrification,
a term first used by urban geographer Ruth Glass
to describe neighborhood change in London in the
1960s.2
Gentrification has no agreed-upon definition,
but for our purpose it is the process by which decline
and disinvestment is reversed.3
The more threatening
phenomenon in Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township is
displacement.
Displacement occurs when current residents are
forced to move because they can no longer afford to
live in a gentrifying area.4
A thriving, mixed-income
neighborhood includes residents from all income
PREVENTING DISPLACEMENT
The city and township are not
threatened by gentrification in
2015, but investment may bring
new residents in a process that
could push some neighborhoods
towards the early stages of
gentrification.
levels, and the threat of displacement places lower
income individuals at an economic and locational
disadvantage.5
Displacement prevention strategies
take into account many factors, including the level of
disinvestment, demographic characteristics, and the
stage of gentrification.
Health Impacts of Gentrification and Displacement
In addition to constraints on where residents can
live, gentrification and displacement have numerous
health impacts at the individual, family, and
community level. For those who are able to stay in
their neighborhood, gentrification can improve health
through better amenities, infrastructure, and services.
However, increased rents lead to a greater financial
burden on low-income individuals, restricting
their access to basic needs such as healthcare,
transportation, and healthy foods.6
Displacement can destroy social networks and
decrease mental and psychological well-being. For
example, residents forced to relocate may miss
interactions with long-time neighbors, lose informal
childcare or transportation arrangements, and
lack supportive services like food pantries, youth
programs, and job training.7
Displacement can
also contribute to high relocation costs and longer
commutes.
59
Displacement is harmful at a societal level for
all these reasons, contributing to increases in
preventable social and health inequalities. Although
gentrification may bring much-needed improvements
to an area, the displaced residents often do not benefit
from them. Displacement can result in increased
health disparities, as displaced residents lose access
to factors that contribute to longer life expectancies
and better quality of life: quality schools, safe and
affordable housing, quality jobs, and safe places to
play and work.8
Measuring Gentrification
To understand which strategies to recommend, we
must understand the current levels of gentrification—
the precursor to displacement—present in the city of
Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township. While gentrification
does not always lead to displacement, displacement is
more likely to occur in places where gentrification is
happening most rapidly.9
As mentioned, gentrification
is associated with the level of new investment
in previously disinvested neighborhoods. The
effectiveness of strategies to prevent displacement
vary by the stage of gentrification of a community.10
Our findings show that the city and township are not
threatened by gentrification in 2015, but investment
may attract new residents in a process that could
trigger the early stages of gentrification in some
neighborhoods. Timing is important to minimize
displacement.
Methods
There is no single formula for measuring
gentrification, but many studies have found ways to
capture its effects. The method we chose uses reliable
data that are easy to obtain, track, and replicate. This
is a useful approach for public officials to monitor
neighborhood changes and identify neighborhoods
for preventative strategies.
We modeled our approach on the method used by
the Nathalie Voorhees Center for Neighborhood and
Community Improvement at the University of Illinois
at Chicago.11
This study, done in 2004, was originally
conducted because of the growing inequality and
disappearance of the middle class among Chicago’s
neighborhoods. The concept of growing inequality
directly applies to Washtenaw County, given the
findings of the recent Housing Affordability report.12
CHICAGO,IL
The Nathalie P.Voorhees Center
for Neighborhood and Community
Improvement created a gentrification
index to measure neighborhood change
in Chicago.
Four decades of demographic change,
from 1970 to 2010,were measured for
77 neighborhoods in Chicago using
comprehensive,available data.
The results determined the degree
of neighborhood gentrification and
decline in Chicago communities.
The study resulted in a toolkit
for other communities to prevent
displacement at early,mid,and late
stages of gentrification.
Preventing Displacement60
Neighborhood level:
We used 13 variables related to demographics and
housing to measure socioeconomic conditions
over time at the neighborhood level. Similar to the
Voorhees method, we determined a neighborhood
index score and a change in index score.
Neighborhood Index Score
This score compares 13 different variables on a
neighborhood level to the city and township average.
Based on a comparison of these variables to the city
and township average, each neighborhood receives
a +1 or -1 for each variable. The +1s and -1s are then
summed to reach the final index score, which can
range from -13 to +13. This represents the current
socioeconomic status of the neighborhood. The score
classifies a neighborhood into a high, middle, low,
or very low socioeconomic status. See Table 4.1 for
neighborhood index scores.
Change in Index Score
This score represents neighborhood change over time.
We used data from the 2010 ACS and Esri projections
for 2019 to determine this change. We determined
this number by subtracting the 2010 neighborhood
index score from the 2019 projected index score.
This resulted in a number that represents either no
change, an increase, or a decrease in investment. No
change means the neighborhood did not undergo
significant change, increase means the neighborhood
experienced significant investment, and decrease
means the neighborhood experienced disinvestment.
The Voorhees method suggests that even if a
neighborhood’s score has increased significantly,
it does not necessarily mean it has gentrified; this
will depend on its ranking on socioeconomic status
based on the neighborhood index score. In addition,
the Voorhees method determined that any growth in
score exceeding +4 would constitute an “increase” and
any decline in score exceeding -4 would constitute a
“decrease,” but we lowered the threshold to +3 and
-3 because we did not find anything significant with
the higher threshold. See Table 4.1 for the change in
index scores.
City/Township level:
Since we only had access to current and projected
data at the neighborhood level, we modified the
Voorhees method to compare the city and the
township to the county as a whole with historic
data. We collected the same 13 variables from the
ACS for the 2005-2009 period and the 2009-2013
period in both the city and township and compared
those to Washtenaw County averages in the same
time periods. Again, a municipality that had greater
changes than the county average was awarded a point
for each variable, ranked in an index, and scored.
HIGH
NEIGHBORHOOD INDEX SCORE
MIDDLE
LOW
VERY LOW
Index score above 7
Index score between 1 and 7
Index score between -1 and -7
Index score below -7
NO CHANGE
CHANGE IN INDEX SCORE
INCREASE
DECREASE
Change in score between -3 and +3
Growth in score exceeds +3
Decline in score below -3
61
Table 4.1: * The Neighborhood Index Score reflects the socioeconomic status of the neighborhood.
Gentrification Index Table
Market
IndexNeighborhood
T-18 Creekside West 0.922
1.000PaigeT-13
T-12 Oakridge 0.957
T-10 Pineview 0.931
Crane RoadT-07 0.917
West Branch 0.899
Rolling Hills 0.845
Trillium Drive 0.894
0.815Merritt RoadT-08
T-06 Hickory Woods 0.795
0.783Paint CreekT-11
T-19 Creekside East 0.750
0.749WillisT-20
0.737EstabrookC-05
T-16 New Meadow 0.748
Gault Village 0.699
0.680Normal ParkC-23
Schooner Cove Apts. 0.660
0.648Huron MeadowsT-27
Gerganoff Road 0.644
0.642East Prospect ParkC-06
0.613Huron Valley
Historic East Side 0.546
0.533Stadium Meadows
0.524Oaklawn
0.504Hawthorne
Lake Drive 0.504
0.489Fairway Drive
0.488Grove Common
C-03 College Heights 0.743
T-02 The Lawn 0.710
0.709Prospect ParkC-09
T-14
T-09
T-17
T-40
T-15
C-04
T-28
C-24
C-18
T-38
T-37
T-23
T-04
T-47
Neighborhood
Index Score*
Change in
Index Score
Market
IndexNeighborhood
Neighborhood
Index Score*
Change in
Index Score
Middle Middle
Middle
Middle
Middle
Middle
Middle
Middle
Middle
Middle
Middle
Middle
Middle
Middle
Middle
Middle
Middle
Middle
Middle
No Change No Change
Increase
No Change
No Change
Middle No Change
Middle No Change
Middle No Change
Middle No Change
Middle No Change
Middle No Change
Middle No Change
No Change
No Change
No Change
No Change
No Change
No Change
No Change
No Change
No Change
No Change
Decrease
No Change
No Change
No Change
Increase
No Change
No Change
Low
Low
No ChangeLow
No ChangeLow
Low
DecreaseLow
Preventing Displacement62
Table 4.1: * The Neighborhood Index Score reflects the socioeconomic status of the neighborhood.
Gentrification Index Table (Continued)
0.466Miles
Lakeview 0.452
0.440The Cliffs
0.434Wendell Park
Roundtree 0.426
0.421Midtown
0.416The Cliff Condos
Downtown 0.403
Sugarbrook Grove 0.399
0.396Harbor Cove
Parkwood 0.375
0.364Lay Garden
Thurston 0.360
0.345Swan Creek
Riverside 0.340
0.332West Willow
Lower River Street 0.315
0.290Prospect Gardens
Ainsworth 0.285
0.277Firwood Elder
Depot Town 0.268
0.260Water Street
Bud Blossom 0.250
0.244Appleridge
Historic South Side 0.179
0.132South Prospect St.
Michigan Avenue 0.098
0.093Worden Gardens
Heritage Park 0.000
C-08
T-45
T-41
T-29
T-03
C-28
T-43
C-11
T-42
T-21
T-39
T-34
T-36
T-24
C-19
T-44
C-10
C-12
C-25
T-05
C-07
C-14
T-31
T-32
C-15
C-13
C-16
C-26
C-27
Market
IndexNeighborhood
Neighborhood
Index Score*
Change in
Index Score
Market
IndexNeighborhood
Neighborhood
Index Score*
Change in
Index Score
Middle No Change
Middle No Change
Middle No Change
Middle No Change
Middle No Change
Middle No Change
Middle No Change
Middle No Change
No ChangeLow
No ChangeLow
No ChangeLow
No ChangeLow
No ChangeLow
No ChangeLow
No ChangeLow
No ChangeLow
No ChangeLow
No ChangeLow
No ChangeLow
No ChangeLow
No ChangeLow
No ChangeLow
No ChangeLow
No ChangeLow
No ChangeLow
No ChangeLow
No ChangeLow
DecreaseLow
DecreaseLow
63
Analysis
Neighborhood level:
Using these methods, we found that two
neighborhoods appeared as nearly gentrifying.
Although their change in index score exceeded
+3, these neighborhoods can only be considered
vulnerable to gentrification because we lowered the
threshold and because their socioeconomic status was
not high enough. These neighborhoods are Prospect
Park (C9) in the city of Ypsilanti and New Meadow
(T16) in Ypsilanti Township and are shown in Figure
4.1.
City/Township level:
On a city and township level, our results did not show
any gentrification. The city showed a 3-point decrease
in investment, which does not qualify as a significant
margin. The township remained the same over these
two time periods.
Limitations
Since we performed our analysis on a neighborhood
level instead of a census tract level, we could only
analyze data as far back as 2010. Although the
Voorhees study measures change across several
decades, we could only perform the analysis
across one decade. Additionally, Esri Business
Analyst created the 2019 projections through an
algorithm partially based on current data, so the
change between 2014 and 2019 may be more or less
pronounced than current trends would suggest.
We performed the city and township level analysis
to identify broader gentrification trends, but since
the ACS responses are averaged over a five-year
period and have relatively large margins of error, this
analysis should only be treated as a starting point for
a more in-depth and accurate study of gentrification
on the municipality level.
Although the city and township as a whole do not
show gentrification, if our recommendations to
increase the middle-income population are successful,
greater investment will follow, which could trigger
displacement in neighborhoods vulnerable to
gentrification. Since this process has not yet begun,
now is the perfect time to implement strategies
against future displacement. Possible strategies are
listed in Chapter 6.
Preventing Displacement64
C9
T16
Holmes Rd.
N.ProspectRd.
TuttleHillRd.
Textile Rd.
Ford
Heritage
Park
Ford Lake
T16
N.ProspectRd.
TuttleHillRd.
Textile Rd.
Ford
Heritage
Park
Ford Lake
Endnotes
1. Lawrence, D. (2001). “Can Communities Effectively Fight
Displacement Caused by Gentrification?” Journal of Affordable
Housing & Community Development, 11, p. 357-373
2.Levy, Diane K., Jennifer Comey, and Sandra Padilla (2006).
“In the Face of Gentrification: Case Studies of Local Efforts
to Mitigate Displacement.” The Urban Institute Metropolitan
Housing and Communities Policy Center.
3. Freeman L. (2005). “Displacement or Succession? Residential
Mobility in Gentrifying Neighborhoods.” Urban Affairs Review,
40 p. 463-491.
4. Ibid.
5. Levy, D., Jennifer C., and Padilla, S. (2006). “In the Face
of Gentrification: Case Studies of Local Efforts to Mitigate
Displacement.” The Urban Institute Metropolitan Housing and
Communities Policy Center.
6. Egerter, S., Sadegh-Nobari, T., Dekker, M. & Braveman, P.
(2008). “Where we live matters for our health: the links between
housing and health.” No.2.
7. Curley, A. (2010). Relocating the Poor: Social Capital and
Neighborhood Resources. Journal of Urban Affairs 32, no. 1:
79–103.
8. Causa Justa: Just Cause (2014). Development without
Displacement: Resisting Gentrification in the Bay Area. Retrieved
from http://www.acphd.org/media/343952/cjjc2014.pdf
9. Lawrence, Deliah D. (2001). Can Communities Effectively Fight
Displacement Caused by Gentrification? Journal of Affordable
Housing & Community Development, 11, p. 357-373
10. Levy, Diane K., Jennifer Comey, and Sandra Padilla (2006).
“In the Face of Gentrification: Case Studies of Local Efforts
to Mitigate Displacement.” The Urban Institute Metropolitan
Housing and Communities Policy Center.
11. Nathalie Voorhees Center for Neighborhood and Community
Improvement at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The
Socioeconomic Change of Chicago’s Community Areas (1970-
2010): Gentrification Index, October 2014.
12. Czb, Housing Affordability and Economic Equity – Analysis.
Prepared for the Office of Community and Economic
Development (2015).
Neighborhoods Vulnerable to Gentrification
Figure 4.1: Prospect Park (C9) and New Meadow (T16).
65Huron River overlooking the Water Street Development
SAFETY
DIVERSITY
PUSH / PULL
FACTORS
SCHOOLS
ENVIRONMENT
WALKABILITY
TRANSIT
NEIGHBORHOOD
GROUPS
NEIGHBORHOOD
HEALTH
5CHAPTER
PUSH / PULL FACTORS
Schools
Diversity
Safety
Environment
Walkability
Neighborhood Groups
Transit
Neighborhood Health
Push / Pull Summary Table
State Policies and Other Factors
Within each single housing market type, variation exists among
neighborhoods in Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township. Many different
factors push and pull on residents and impact these neighborhoods.
In this chapter we look at factors, identified by stakeholder input
and literature review, that influence decisions of middle-income
households. The variation among neighborhoods in our housing
market index could be attributed to these push/pull factors.
To develop unique recommendations for each neighborhood, we
examined eight different factors that attract middle-income residents
to neighborhoods. Stakeholders revealed that schools and public
safety are the most significant influences on the housing market in
the Ypsilanti area. Diversity, environmental features, walkability,
neighborhood groups, transit, and neighborhood health are other
factors impacting the housing market. For each factor we identified
its connection to market strength, provided a neighborhood-based
analysis in the city and township, and suggested recommendations to
strengthen the overall housing market.
Push / Pull Factors68
The Housing Affordability analysis noted that the
difference in school quality between Ypsilanti
Community Schools (YCS) and Ann Arbor Public
Schools (AAPS) will continue to serve as a barrier to
a balanced housing market in Washtenaw County.
Stakeholder interviews confirmed that improvements
to YCS are essential to attract new residents, especially
younger families, to the city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti
Township.
Impact on Home Values
The quality of schools and school districts are a top
factor for homebuyers, realtors, and developers when
determining the value of a home. In general, areas
with higher measures of school quality have higher
home values.1
In 2013, 74% of Americans categorized
high quality public schools as a top priority in
deciding where to live.2
High quality public schools
are especially important to people under 40 as they
choose housing locations.3
A variety of real estate
websites including Zillow, Trulia, Neighborhood Scout,
and the Public School Review all have pages dedicated
to deciphering school data.
Overview of Ypsilanti Community Schools
YCS is the public school district in the city and
northern areas of the township. Lincoln Consolidated
Schools and Van Buren Public Schools serve parts
of the township, primarily in the southern and far
eastern portions. Figure 5.1 shows a correlation
SCHOOLS
“Not enough people are aware
of the opportunities we have
for their children; it is going to
take a little bit of time to change
the course, but people will
eventually realize they moved
into a gem of a neighborhood.”
Laura Lisicki
Superintendent of Ypsilanti
Community Schools
between neighborhood market strength and school
district boundaries. In 2013 YCS merged with
Willow Run Schools and reversed a trend of falling
enrollment. Since 2013, YCS has seen over a 15%
increase in enrollment solely due to the consolidation
with Willow Run Schools.4
YCS has seven pre-elementary or elementary schools,
two middle schools, and two high schools. It served
4,542 students in 2014.5
Since 2009-10, the district has
seen a 62% increase in students choosing neighboring
districts through the Schools of Choice program,
totaling 766 students in 2014.6
This voluntary program
allows school districts to accommodate students from
other school districts, and both YCS and AAPS are
Schools of Choice. Districts can determine if there
are limited or unlimited positions in their districts
and choose to limit positions by individual school or
by grade. Funding is tied to each individual student,
so YCS must compete for students and funding as
students enroll in neighboring districts.
Measuring School Success
As table 5.1 shows below, YCS rank in the bottom 10th
percentile for all schools in Michigan in the 2013-14
school year. By contrast, the lowest rated school in
AAPS is Scarlett Middle School in the 24th percentile.
In Lincoln Consolidated Schools, Bishop Elementary is
the only school in the bottom 15th percentile.
69
Table 5.1: State Percentile Rankings for Schools, ‘13-14
Sources: mischoolsdata.org9
School District School
State Percenantage
Rankings
Ypsilanti Community Schools
Ypsilanti Community Schools
Ypsilanti Community Schools
Ypsilanti Community Schools
Ypsilanti Community Schools
Ypsilanti Community Schools
Ann Arbor Public Schools
0
1
1
5
7
8
12Ypsilanti Community Schools
24
Holmes Elementary
Ypsilanti New Technical HS
Ypsilanti Community MS
Adams STEM Academy
Eastbrook Elementary
Erickson Elementary
Scarlett Middle School
Bishop Elementary
Analysis of School Trends
State rankings indicate that YCS suffers from poor
perception and academic disparity compared to
neighboring school districts. If YCS is unable to
increase its performance metrics, middle-income
families will continue to have better school
opportunities in nearby districts. Improving schools
is challenging because districts are impacted not only
by changes inside the school walls, but also in the
neighborhoods where students live.
Strong housing markets are typically in places
with high quality school districts. In the highest
performing districts, home sales tend to be higher
than home values as families seek to place their
children in those schools. However, school quality
is closely associated with the socioeconomic status
of residents in surrounding neighborhoods.7
As
noted in our index, income is a major factor in
market strength. Therefore, socioeconomic status
has an impact on both market strength and school
quality. The challenge is to determine if resources
should be allocated to make changes inside the
schools or on quality of life amenities that impact the
socioeconomic status of residents.
School funding is often a contentious topic that leads
to debates over more equitable funding to low-income
districts such as YCS. Proposal A in 1994 sought to
equalize school funding and has led to less disparity
across districts. The ‘hold harmless’ clause enables
AAPS to raise additional per pupil dollars, but greater
funding does not always equate to higher school
quality. Table 5.2 shows per pupil funding for AAPS
and YCS since fiscal year 2005-06.
Per pupil dollars do not address quality of life issues
that influence students who attend the schools.8
Simply equalizing funding between AAPS and YCS
would not address the socioeconomic issues that YCS
students face.
Push / Pull Factors70
“Schools are a natural
meeting place for families
and community partners who
provide services to families.”
Maria Sheler-Edwards
YCS School Board
District Name FY 05-06 FY 06-07 FY 07-08 FY 09-10 FY 10-11 FY 11-12 FY 12-13 FY 13-14 FY 14-15
$9,409 9,619 9,667 9,490 9,490 9,020 9,020 9,050 9,100
$7,599 7,809 7,890 7,829 7,813 7,513 7,513 7,563 7,613
AAPS
YCS
Table 5.2: Per Pupil Funding in AAPS
and YCS, FY 2005-06 - FY 2014-15.
Sources: mischoolsdata.org
Even within AAPS, lowest-performing Scarlett Middle
School receives the same funding as other top-rated
AAPS schools. While additional funding is helpful, it is
not the ultimate solution.
While it is true that the quality of YCS influences
housing decisions, the schools are still a major
asset to the city and township. Each school building
serves as a community center, provides meeting
places, enriches educational opportunities, and
offers connections with local higher educational
institutions such as Eastern Michigan University
and Washtenaw Community College through Career
Technical Education courses. The schools serve as
anchors in their neighborhoods and for people in
the community.10
By considering the potential of YCS
rather than the obstacles, schools can be viewed as a
major asset to Ypsilanti.
The state rankings indicate that YCS needs help.
However, the state rankings measure variables that
do not react immediately to program improvements.
The measurement variables take time, energy,
and collaboration from schools and community
organizations to improve. After the merger with
Willow Run Schools, YCS reshaped its curriculum
and expanded programs that will likely have a
positive impact on school rankings. YCS expanded
early childhood programs, increased dual enrollment
opportunities, established restorative justice practices,
and created programs to establish cultural proficiency
in teaching and learning.11,12
YCS will also expand
their International Baccalaureate programs to K – 12
schools. However, public perceptions and rankings of
schools require time to change.
The Housing Affordability report and several former
elected officials have suggested that consolidation
between AAPS and YCS is the best solution to aid YCS.
While consolidation is an attractive idea to equalize
funding and encourage new residents to move to
Ypsilanti, the process of consolidation would require
extensive time, political acumen, and resources.
71
School Districts in Ypsilanti City and Township
Figure 5.1: School district boundaries and hot market neighborhoods.
Sources: AADC (Roads), OCED (School Districts), MLS Listings, Zillow.com, Esri
Projections (Market Strength)
Putting political challenges aside, YCS serves a
different student population than AAPS. Stakeholder
interviews with members of YCS suggest that
consolidation would cause a loss of identity in
Ypsilanti, and that resources still might not be
used to adequately serve students in Ypsilanti.
Furthermore, consolidation alone would not change
the quality of life in neighborhoods surrounding the
schools. Consolidating districts would not reduce the
concentration of low-income individuals, and it would
not alleviate the housing cost burden that many
families face in Ypsilanti.
School district and community leaders should
collaborate to increase the likelihood that new
residents will choose YCS. The district recently
restructured its curriculum using best practices
and an aggressive plan to better support students.
Community leaders must now respond with concerted
efforts to improve opportunities for individuals in
the city and township, such as job training, adult
education courses, family support services, safer
environments, and a variety of transit options. These
efforts should be multi-pronged and address specific
needs of individuals while promoting the benefits of
Ypsilanti as a community. Specific recommendations
can be found in Chapter 6.
YPSILANTI
COMMUNITY
SCHOOLS
VAN BUREN
PUBLIC
SCHOOLS
LINCOLN
CONSOLIDATED
SCHOOLS
Merritt Rd.
Martz Rd.
Bemis Rd.
WhittakerRd.
HitchinghamRd.
RawsonvilleRd.
Textile Rd.
I-94
Washtenaw Ave.
Holmes Rd.
US-12 Ecorse Rd.
RidgeRd.
Packard Rd.
Michigan Ave.
WiardRd.
MungerRd.GolfsideRd.
0 1 2
miles
N
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Capstone_Full2015

  • 1. Strategies for Strengthening Housing Markets in Ypsilanti + Ypsilanti Township Urban Planning Capstone 2015 Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning University of Michigan
  • 2. CONTRIBUTORS Danielle Jacobs Carolyn Lusch Gregg May Katie Moss Douglas Plowman Charles Tso David VanDeusen Brad Vogelsmeier Nan Yu With: Eric Dueweke Dr. Richard Norton
  • 3. University of Michigan Engaging Community through the Classroom (MECC) TheprojectElevateispartoftheUniversityofMichigan’s multi-unit initiative, Michigan Engaging Community through the Classroom (MECC). The goal of MECC is to leverage ongoing community-oriented professional undergraduate and graduate courses that are offered routinely at UM by coordinating a selection of those courses on a given locality and set of related problems. The initiative also seeks to simultaneously improve the learningopportunitiesforthestudentsinvolvedandthe outreachserviceprovidedtothecommunitiesinvolved.
  • 4. Acknowledgments The students and faculty at Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning would like to thank our client and stakeholders who made this project possible. Client Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development (OCED) Mary Jo Callan Teresa Gillotti Brett Lenart Stephen Wade Participating MECC University of Michigan Units College of Engineering School of Public Health Urban and Regional Planning Program, Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning All photos were taken by the contributors unless otherwise sourced
  • 5. 09 17 27 57 67 100 100 06 100 Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Foundation Neighborhood Market Types Housing Market Strength Preventing Displacement Push / Pull Factors Recommendations Conclusion Executive Summary Appendices
  • 6. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ELEVATE: Strategies for Strengthening Housing Markets in Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township is a capstone project created by Master of Urban Planning students at the University of Michigan. Elevate builds off a recent report, the Housing Affordability and Economic Equity Analysis created by the consulting firm czb, which confirms that Washtenaw County has a divergent housing market with stark contrasts in affordability and equity. Our report has one overarching goal: to promote and maintain thriving, mixed-income neighborhoods in the city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township. To reach that goal, the report provides recommendations to attract middle-income residents to the city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township while minimizing displacement of residents. Neighborhood Market Strength This report classifies all neighborhoods into three market strength types: hot, warm, and cool. We use neighborhood boundaries as our unit of analysis to closely reflect the realities of housing market variation throughout the jurisdictions. We calculated market strengths using four indicators: (1) Sales Price per Square Foot, (2) Median Household Income, (3) Housing Cost Burden, and (4) Vacancy rate. These indicators were combined into an index, which was then broken into hot, warm, and cool market types. Rentals Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township have a high percentage of renters due to the student population and significant economic changes following the Great Recession. We reviewed the rental market through a separate analysis from the market strength. We found a small correlation between high renter concentration and cool market neighborhoods. Neighborhood Profiles To show the variation within a single market type, we created six individual neighborhood portraits. These portraits review a city and township neighborhood for each market type. Portraits show the neighborhood’s performance on each of the four indicators and demonstrate the variability between neighborhoods in the same market type. Gentrification and Displacement We also address strategies for mitigating displacement, an implicit challenge when encouraging neighborhood investment. Because gentrification is often a precursor to displacement, we measured gentrification levels in the city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township using a previous study of gentrification in Chicago. The measure uses the change in demographic variables over time to evaluate neighborhood investment. Results of this index showed that no neighborhoods in the city or township are gentrifying in 2015, but that one in the city and one in the township are vulnerable to gentrification.
  • 7. Regional Benchmarks In an effort to recognize the regional nature of the economy, we compare the city and township to nearby cities that house the greatest number of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township employees, and nearby cities that employ the greatest number of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township residents. The comparison shows that Ypsilanti Township in particular is regionally competitive for attracting middle-income residents. The city of Ypsilanti is in a good position to compete with other jurisdictions with small improvements in market strength. Push/Pull Factors Based on stakeholder feedback regarding factors that may attract middle-income residents, we reviewed how schools, diversity, safety, environment, walkability, neighborhood groups, and transit vary across hot, warm, and cool market types. These factors influenced our final recommendations. Recommendations We find that the city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township are in a position to compete for middle- income families. Based on the analysis of market strengths, push/pull factors, stakeholder interviews, and case studies, this report recommends a variety of short, medium, and long-term strategies to attract middle-income residents to the city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township while preventing displacement. We make recommendations for each of the pull/push factors, as well as for displacement and local and state policy. Many of these recommendations pertain to specific neighborhoods. Included is a sample of short, medium, and long-term recommendations. A full table of these recommendations can be found on page 118. Short Term (2015-2016) _Create a Realtor Advisory Group to establish collaboration between local governments, schools, and realtors to market the community as a package _Reduce vehicle speed on major arterials by decreasing speed limits and right-sizing streets Medium Term (2017-2021) _Business Innovation Zones, encourage entrepreneurial endeavors in the City _Establish Community Land Trust organizations Long Term (2022+) _Foster and maintain relationships with multifamily developers to encourage developing LIHTC units in high-opportunity areas These recommendations are a starting point for future collaboration between various stakeholders in Washtenaw County. We hope this report will be used to help balance the housing market, and promote health and equity for all residents.
  • 8. Depot Town in Ypsilanti, looking east.
  • 9. 1CHAPTER FOUNDATION Goals Report Overview City of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township History
  • 10. Foundation10 Washtenaw County is growing, but the benefits of growth are not finding their way to the city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township. Desirable neighborhoods in Ann Arbor are becoming more expensive, but residents are not looking to Ypsilanti for housing options. This report provides a rich analysis of the various forces impacting the housing market, as well as strategies to strengthen the markets and elevate Ypsilanti as a desirable option for middle- income families. In 2014, Washtenaw County, Michigan commissioned the consulting firm czb to conduct a study of housing affordability throughout the county. A key finding from this study, published in the Housing Affordability and Economic Equity - Analysis report, was that Washtenaw County has a divergent housing market with stark contrasts in affordability and equity. Despite a relatively healthy housing market overall, the study identified two distinct submarkets: a fundamentally weak housing market in the city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township, and a stronger housing market in Ann Arbor. The report found that the city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township can no longer function as the “de facto affordable housing policy” for the county without risking further decline.1 Furthermore, disproportionate numbers of subsidized housing units, low rents, FOUNDATION The goal of this report is to provide Washtenaw County with recommendations to promote and maintain thriving, mixed-income neighborhoods in the city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township. and lower housing values must be addressed before the economic stability of the entire county becomes compromised. In response, the Housing Affordability report urged Ann Arbor to increase its supply of affordable housing and encouraged the city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township to focus on creating demand for working, college-educated, middle- income households. Implementing these strategies requires identifying housing submarkets within the city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township and directing recommendations to each market type. The following report was prepared by a team of urban planning students as part of a capstone course at the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. Planning students worked in conjunction with the Washtenaw County Office of Economic Development (OCED) for guidance. Goals Given the potential of a continually weakening housing market in the city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township, the goal of this report is to equip Washtenaw County with recommendations to promote and maintain thriving, mixed-income neighborhoods in the city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township.
  • 11. 11 Accordingly, this report provides: _Recommendations for attracting middle-income residents to the city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township _Strategies for minimizing displacement of existing residents Report Overview The following chapters elaborate on our methodology, analysis, and final recommendations. Chapter 2 discusses the methodology used to create our three market types, including neighborhood boundaries, market type indicators, and the calculation of the market strength scores for each neighborhood. Chapter 3 displays the analysis of our market indicators in each of the neighborhoods. This chapter also highlights several selected neighborhoods from each market type, makes comparisons to benchmark cities from the region, and explains our analysis of the rental market. Chapter 4 describes our methods of measuring gentrification and analyzes current levels of gentrification on a neighborhood and city level. Chapter 5 details push and pull factors, such as transit and safety, which influence neighborhoods. Chapter 6 provides recommendations for our neighborhood market types organized by the push and pull factors. City of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township The remainder of Chapter 1 introduces our study area. Historical context is important to understand how housing markets formed and the current influences that shape the existing market today. Our study area includes both the city of Ypsilanti an Ypsilanti Township. Appropriate strategies and recommendations account for the differences between these jurisdictions. The city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township, shown in Figure 1.1, are located in the southeastern portion of Washtenaw County. These areas, while close in proximity, differ demographically, economically, and spatially. Table 1.1 shows key demographic information about the city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township.
  • 12. Foundation12 Map of Washtenaw County Demographic Comparison Figure 1.1: Map of Washtenaw County, city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township. Sources: Ann Arbor Data Catalog (AADC). Table 1.1: Ypsilanti Demographic Comparison. Sources: US Census 2010, ACS 2009-2013. Demographics City of Ypsilanti Ypsilanti Township Washtenaw County Michigan 19,453 53,362 344,791 9,883,640Population Area (Sq. Mile) 4.5 31.8 706.0 56,538.9 Population Density (People/Sq. Mile) 4,319 1,678 439.7 174.9 Median Household Income ($) 33,406 44,129 59,055 48,411 Racial Breakdown (%) White African American Other Races Tenure (%) Renter Owner Education Level (%) Less than High School High School Bachelor’s Degree (+) 61.5 58.4 74.5 79.0 29.2 32.8 12.7 14.2 9.3 8.8 12.8 6.8 65.8 44.6 39.2 27.9 34.2 55.4 60.9 72.2 10.9 11.6 6.0 11.3 52.2 59.7 42.8 63.1 36.9 28.7 51.2 25.6 HitchinghamRd. I-94 Washtenaw Ave. Michigan Ave. MungerRd. Water miles Jurisdiction Boundary Roads Textile Rd. Bemis Rd. 0 1 2
  • 13. 13 The city of Ypsilanti has had several major institutions, including Eastern Michigan University (EMU), Ford Motor Company, and formerly the Peninsular Paper Company, which helped shape the growth of the city’s neighborhoods. EMU opened in 1849 as the Michigan State Normal School, and is a public university with nearly 20,000 students. EMU is both a major employer and an important destination for many residents. In its formative years, the city was famous for its mineral water, a valuable resource for paper production. The Peninsular Paper Company operated a plant on North Huron Drive from 1856 to 2001, using this mineral water for its paper production. Another key employment institution was Ford Motor Company, which opened a major industrial plant in 1932 on Factory Street. These institutions contributed to in-migration to Ypsilanti and shaped the growth of Ypsilanti’s neighborhoods.2 In 1941, the Ford Motor Company acquired land in Ypsilanti Township that later became the Willow Run Bomber Plant, designed for mass production of military aircraft. This industrial complex employed over 42,000 people and spurred economic growth.3 This economic boom led to the construction of Willow Run Village, a large residential complex and commercial facility designed to house workers and their families.4 The inflow and outflow of employers and their employees has had significant impacts on the health and vitality of neighborhoods in the city and township. Ypsilanti is home to numerous historically African- American communities. The origins of several African-American neighborhoods can be traced to Ypsilanti’s key involvement in the Underground Railroad. Some examples of these neighborhoods can be seen around Emmet and Ballard, Depot Town, Oakwood and Washtenaw, and the corner of Buffalo and South Adams.5 Although the city once functioned as a center for automotive production and manufacturing, Ypsilanti has not maintained the same level of economic vitality since the post-war era. Since 2001, Ypsilanti has lost nearly 1,600 manufacturing jobs.6 This economic shift caused both a reduction in real and personal property tax revenue and an increase in vacant or under-utilized industrial space.
  • 14. Foundation14 Endnotes 1. Czb, Housing Affordability and Economic Equity – Analysis. Prepared for the Office of Community and Economic Develop- ment (2015): 4. 2. Baker, Mary Wallace. The Second Fifty Years, Fairfield, Barba- ra A. The Last Fifty Years, and Thomas N. Tobias. The History of Ypsilanti: 150 Years. Ypsilanti, MI: Sesquicentennial Committee, 1973. Print. 3. Ibid 4. Ibid 5. Siegfried, Matthew. “South Adams Street @ 1900.” South Ad- ams Street 1900. Eastern Michigan University’s Historic Preserva- tion Program, n.d. March 17, 2015. 6. City of Ypsilanti (2013). Shape Ypsilanti, Draft Plan:2. Re- trieved from http://shapeypsi.com/assets/ShapeYpsiDraftMaster- Plan-Aug-1.pdf 7. City of Ypsilanti (2010). Non-motorized Transportation Plan:7. Retrieved from http://cityofypsilanti.com/Portals/0/docs/Plan- ning/NonMotorizedPlan/FINAL_ADOPTED.pdf “Young singles or couples are moving to the area, typically working for a local major employer or in the “Maker” or “Craft” worlds.” Tyler Weston Local Realtor Spatially, the city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township differ in several ways. The city of Ypsilanti’s land use was shaped before the creation of automobiles, resulting in a dense grid-style network of roadways that are pedestrian friendly.7 The urban landscape and small size clustered the city’s housing around its major institutions. In contrast, Ypsilanti Township is predominately rural and suburban. Township residents require an automobile to reach most destinations. Individual subdivisions create neighborhoods with little connection to one another besides jurisdictional boundaries. These subdivisions provide owners with larger lot sizes and access to newer housing stock. The historical and spatial differences between the city and township make designing recommendations and strategies challenging. The city maintains a strong urban environment with many desirable amenities including greater access to transit, proximity to public parks, and walkable neighborhoods with dense housing. The township has larger homes and lots, and is close to amenities in Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor. To develop recommendations that fit the city and township we must understand the housing markets in each environment through the analysis outlined in Chapter 2.
  • 17. 2CHAPTER NEIGHBORHOOD MARKET TYPES Neighborhood Boundary Identification Market Type Indicator Selection Market Strength Score Calculation
  • 18. Neighborhood Market Types18 The Housing Affordability report categorized the majority of housing markets in the city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township as ‘very weak’ or ‘weak’ with few exceptions. To accomplish the goals stated in Chapter 1, further research was required to comprehend the nuances across housing markets within the city and the township. Recommendations that promote and maintain thriving, mixed-income neighborhoods require a strong understanding of the housing market.1 As the Housing Affordability report indicates, housing markets vary significantly across a city and over time. Neighborhood housing markets tend to fall along a continuum, with stronger neighborhood markets associated with higher demand and prices. To address the variety of opportunities and challenges across the city and township, it is important to analyze the housing markets in particular neighborhoods. Ypsilanti has diverse housing market types that require distinct recommendations. Creating simple market type categories for city and township neighborhoods, allows us to make recommendations for each neighborhood market type that apply to most or all neighborhoods within that category. Through familiarity with neighborhood housing markets, residents and public officials can work to lead change, rather than react to it. NEIGHBORHOOD MARKET TYPES “It is difficult to develop an effective strategy either to move the housing market or mitigate its effects unless one understands the neighborhood’s market conditions and dynamics.” Alan Mallach National Housing Institute To provide strategies and recommendations that correspond with current market conditions of the city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township, we characterized three distinct market types: hot, warm, and cool. This delineation of market types represents a key component of our methodology because it provided the framework for developing appropriate, targeted recommendations. In order to classify the city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township into three distinct market types, we completed the following four steps: _Identified neighborhood boundaries _Chose four market-type indicators _Calculated a market strength score for each neighborhood _Classified all neighborhoods into one of three market types: hot, warm, or cool Neighborhood Boundary Identification Quality neighborhoods are an important component of successful urban areas. Local residents understand their community better than anyone, which is why changes should be tailored and respectful to existing boundaries. Information gathered at the neighborhood level offers a current snapshot of the dynamics of each community.
  • 19. 19 We defined the neighborhood boundaries so that we could later assign each neighborhood into a hot, warm, or cool market type. These boundaries were based on neighborhood associations, neighborhood watches, certain demographic characteristics, and feedback from local stakeholders. The boundaries may not reflect all residents’ experiences with their neighborhoods, but they provide a starting point for analysis. For more details on the division of neighborhood boundaries, see Appendix A. Using a neighborhood as our unit of analysis is important for several reasons: _Creates a manageable scale for our recommendations _Provides a current snapshot of the area’s strengths and weaknesses _Enables recommendations to be implemented at a small scale Alan Mallach, a housing, economic development, and urban revitalization expert notes, “It is difficult to develop an effective strategy either to move the housing market or mitigate its effects unless one understands the neighborhood’s market conditions and dynamics. Without that information, many neighborhood strategies are little more than guesswork. In contrast, an understanding of the area’s market features can help practitioners and policymakers to craft informed decisions about goals and strategies for guiding neighborhood change.”2 See Figures 2.1-2.3 for the map of neighborhood boundaries. These neighborhood boundaries can be used for future analysis of the city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township. Park Estates neighborhood in Ypsilanti Township
  • 20. Neighborhood Market Types20 City of Ypsilanti Neighborhoods 0 .5 1 mile Neighborhood Water Jurisdiction Boundary Major Road C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C6 C7 C8 C9 C10 C11 C12 C13 C14 C15 C16 C17 C18 C19 C20 C21 C22 C23 C24 C25 C26 C27 C28 Industrial Park EMU Stadium College Heights Gerganoff Road Estabrook East Prospect Park Depot Town Miles Prospect Park Lower River Street Downtown Prospect Gardens South Prospect Street Water Street Industrial Corridor Historic South Side Michigan Avenue Forest Knoll/Arbor Manor Stadium Meadows Riverside EMU Railroad Street Leforge Road Normal Park Historic East Side Ainsworth Worden Gardens Heritage Park MidtownN I-94 Washtenaw Ave. Holmes Rd. Packard Rd. Michigan Ave. Packard Rd. Michigan Ave. C3 C2 C20 C23 C1 C6 C9 C15 C14 C19 C27 C22 C5 C12 C8 C24C7 C25 C28 C10 C4 C16 C26 C11 C21 C13 C17 C18 Figure 2.1: City of Ypsilanti Neighborhood Boundaries. Sources: AADC (Roads/Water), City of Ypsilanti (Neighborhoods)
  • 21. 21 Ypsilanti Township Neighborhoods Merritt Rd. Martz Rd. Bemis Rd. WhittakerRd. HitchinghamRd. RawsonvilleRd. Textile Rd. I-94 Washtenaw Ave. Holmes Rd. US-12 Ecorse Rd. RidgeRd. Packard Rd. Michigan Ave. WiardRd. MungerRd.GolfsideRd. 0 1 2 miles Neighborhood Water Jurisdiction Boundary Major Road T1 Golfside T2 The Lawn T3 Roundtree T4 Fairway Drive T5 Firwood Elder T6 Hickory Woods T7 Crane Road T8 Merritt Road T9 Rolling Hills T10 Pineview T11 Paint Creek T12 Oakridge T13 Paige T14 West Branch T15 Schooner Cove Apartments T16 New Meadow T17 Trillium Drive T18 Creekside West T19 Creekside East T20 Willis T21 Harbor Cove T22 Lake Pointe T23 Lake Drive T24 Swan Creek T27 Huron Meadows T28 Huron Valley T29 Wendell Park T30 Clark East T31 Bud Blossom T32 Appleridge T33 Park Estates T34 Lay Garden T35 Anderson Apartments T36 Thurston T37 Hawthorne T38 Oaklawn T39 Parkwood T40 Gault Village T41 The Cliffs T42 Sugarbrook Grove T43 The Clif Condos T44 West Willow T45 Lakeview T46 Lake Shore Apartments T47 Grove Common T48 Eastern Green N T2 T11 T34 T12 T4 T14 T6 T44 T16 T8 T1 T9 T40 T18 T29 T10 T20 T42 T13 T46 T17 T45 T19 T37 T36 T28 T7 T47 T38 T23 T3 T39 T48 T27 T24 T15 T5 T41 T32 T33 T35 T31 T21 T43 T30 T22 * T25 and T26 are large districts; see Appendix Figure 2.2: Ypsilanti Township Neighborhood Boundaries. Sources: AADC (Roads/Water), Ypsilanti Township (Neighborhoods)
  • 22. Neighborhood Market Types22 City and Township Neighborhoods Figure 2.3: All neighborhood boundaries for the study area. Sources: AADC (Roads/Water), City of Ypsilanti (Neighborhoods), Ypsilanti Township (Neighborhoods) Merritt Rd. Martz Rd. Bemis Rd. WhittakerRd. HitchinghamRd. RawsonvilleRd. Textile Rd. I-94 Washtenaw Ave. Holmes Rd. US-12 Ecorse Rd. RidgeRd. Packard Rd. Michigan Ave. WiardRd. MungerRd.GolfsideRd. 0 1 2 miles Neighborhood Water Jurisdiction Boundary Major Road N C3 C2 C20 C23 C1 C6 C9 C15 C14 C19 C27 C22 C5 C12 C8 C24C7 C25 C28 C10 C4 C16 C26 C11 C21 C13 C17 C18 T2 T11 T34 T12 T4 T14 T6 T44 T16 T8 T1 T9 T40 T18 T29 T10 T20 T42 T13 T46 T17 T45 T19 T37 T36 T28 T7 T47 T38 T23 T3 T39 T48 T27 T24 T15 T5 T41 T32 T33 T35 T31 T21 T43 T30 T22
  • 23. 23 Market-Type Indicator Selection We selected the four key indicators shown below to assess the housing market strength. Table 2.1 explains how the indicators are used to determine whether neighborhoods are hot, warm, or cool. We chose these variables based on literature review and stakeholder input. Our initial literature review identified many commonly used market variables, each linked to housing market conditions. For a more detailed look at this initial indicator list, see Appendix B. Using feedback from housing policy experts, we developed several criteria to help narrow down this list to a useful set of indicators.3,4 Overall, we sought a combination of variables that would give a holistic view of market health. For further details on our selection process, see Appendix C. SALES PRICE PER SQUARE FOOT INDICATORS INDEX WEIGHT HOUSING COST BURDEN MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME VACANCY RATE 40% 30% 15% 15% After selecting a list of variables based on literature review and stakeholder input, we used statistical modeling techniques to first, confirm that our selection of variables was not redundant, and second, see which of the indicators best explained market conditions. The statistical analysis was important for several reasons. First, it helped us prevent indicators that were closely correlated from skewing our analysis. Second, it helped us identify how heavily each variable contributes to the overall market strength, INDICATOR HOT WARM COOL SALES PRICE MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME HOUSING COST BURDEN VACANCY RATE Sales prices are higher than average as demand meets or exceeds supply. Sales prices are moderate. Sales prices are much lower than average. Supply greatly exceeds demand. Median household incomes tend to be very high. Median household incomes tend to be in the middle to upper range. Median household incomes tend to be below average. Housing costs are high relative to median household income. Housing costs are moderate relative to median household income. Housing costs are low relative to median household income. Vacancy rate is relatively low. Moderate vacancy rate. High vacancy rate. Many blocks see at least several vacant properties. Table 2.1: Indicator characteristics for each housing market type.
  • 24. Neighborhood Market Types24 informing our index weighting system described below. For a more thorough description of how statistical analysis informed our indicator selection, see Appendix C. Market Strength Score Calculation In order to determine if a neighborhood was hot, warm, or cool, we calculated a market strength score for each neighborhood on a scale from 0 to 1. This score was based on how each neighborhood performed against each of our four indicators. Each indicator weighted differently into this calculation, as shown in Figure 2.4. We used an open weighting system as part of the calculation in determining the market strength of each neighborhood. Thus, the indicators that have a greater influence over the market (i.e. sales price) factor more heavily into the calculation of the market strength score. The result is a market strength score computed through an index, where higher numbers represent a hotter market and lower numbers represent a cooler market. _Hot Market Index Score - 0.70 - 1.0 _Warm Market Index Score - 0.40 - 0.69 _Cool Market Index Score - 0.0 - 0.39 We chose an open weighting scheme because it is easily repeatable by the OCED and other stakeholders. In addition, this method builds upon the Housing Affordability report by adding indicators into the calculation of market strength. As that report only relied on sales price to determine market strength, the method employed here provides a richer analysis. It not only considers additional indicators that affect the market, but also gives more weight to indicators that more strongly influence the market. Steps for replicating this analysis are outlined in Appendix C. After identifying neighborhood boundaries, selecting the four market indicators, and calculating a market strength score, we were able to determine whether each neighborhood identified as a hot, warm, or cool market. Chapter 3 takes a closer look at how each neighborhood is identified in terms of market strength and discusses several of these neighborhoods in depth. The chapter also makes comparisons with other benchmark cities from the region to broaden our scope of analysis. SALES PRICE PER SQUARE FOOT INDICATORS INDEX WEIGHT HOUSING COST BURDEN MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME VACANCY RATE 40% 30% 15% 15% SALES PRICE PER SQUARE FOOT INDICATORS INDEX WEIGHT HOUSING COST BURDEN MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME VACANCY RATE 40% 30% 15% 15% BALTIMORE NEIGHBORHOOD INDICATORS ALLIANCE (BNIA) The concept of applying market indicators to neighborhoods is not new.The BNIA created a comprehensive public process to gather data and track neighborhood change. BNIA developed indicators through a public process. BNIA organized these indicators into 12 vital signs for each neighborhood. These indicators are publicly available on a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) database and is free to download. The city and neighborhood groups use the data to develop strategic recommendations. Figure 2.4: Market Strength Indicator Weights
  • 25. 25 Endnotes 1. Mallach, Alan. “Managing Neighborhood Change.” National Housing Institute, (2008): 4. http://www.nhi.org/pdf/ ManagingNeighborhoodChange.pdf 2. Ibid. 3. Margaret Dewar, University of Michigan. personal communication, February 17, 2015. 4. Eric Seymour, University of Michigan. personal communication, March 16, 2015.
  • 26. Historic Homes in Ypsilanti
  • 27. 3CHAPTER HOUSING MARKET STRENGTH Overall Trends Sales Price Per Square Foot Median Household Income Housing Cost Burden Vacancy Rate Rental Market Neighborhood Portraits Regional Comparison The overall market strength score of each city and township neighborhood reflects the combined strengths of the four indicators – (1) Sales Price per Square Foot, (2) Median Household Income, (3) Housing Cost Burden, and (4) Vacancy Rate. Based on their total score, each neighborhood was categorized into one of three market types: hot, warm, or cool. These market types allow us to compare market strengths in city and township neighborhoods, but are not intended to determine the “livability” of a place or if one neighborhood is better than another. This chapter will review our findings of overall market strength and analyze the variation among the four distinct indicators.
  • 28. Housing Market Strength28 Market Trends Figure 3.1 shows that the overall housing market is generally stronger in the township than in the city. Specifically, 15 out of 48 township neighborhoods (31%) are in hot market neighborhoods whereas three out of 28 city neighborhoods (11%) are in hot market neighborhoods. Most of the township’s hot market neighborhoods are concentrated in the southern part of the township. Most warm market neighborhoods are in the northeastern part of the township and adjacent to Ford Lake. Hot township neighborhoods generally border major roads and have good access to the highways and other auto-oriented destinations. There are only three hot market neighborhoods in the city: Estabrook (C5), Prospect Park (C9), and College Heights (C3). Estabrook and College Heights are both located near the city’s western border between Washtenaw Avenue and Michigan Avenue. These two city neighborhoods are smaller than the hot market neighborhoods in the township and have different housing and design characteristics. These differences shows that hot markets do not necessarily correlate with suburban neighborhoods and large lot sizes. Urban and historic neighborhoods in the city can do well in the housing market as demonstrated by the Prospect Park neighborhood. HOUSING MARKET STRENGTH “Ypsilanti has a lot of interesting neighborhoods and beautiful housing stock. Right now people can get a good house for affordable prices, it’s got a lot of exciting things.” Wendy Carty-Saxon Avalon Housing Warm market neighborhoods are scattered throughout the study area. In the city, warm market neighborhoods are located north of Michigan Avenue on the western and eastern borders. In the township, most warm market neighborhoods are located on the north side of Ford Lake. The warm markets are mostly urban environments with single-family homes and neighborhood amenities such as parks. The cool market neighborhoods are concentrated in the city south of Michigan Avenue and in the western part of the township. At first glance, the city appears to have more cool market neighborhoods than the township, though in actual numbers, the city has 11 cool market neighborhoods and the township has 10. This demonstrates that the level of market strength is more polarized in the township with many hot market neighborhoods and many cool market neighborhoods. Cool market neighborhoods generally border the highways and tend to be located between Michigan Avenue and I-94. These high-speed and auto-centric roads isolate neighborhoods and hinder movement and access to opportunities for those who do not own a car. The correlation between cool market neighborhoods and major roads implies that transportation policy and infrastructure may have a significant impact on the local housing market.
  • 29. 29 Overall Housing Market Strength Figure 3.1: Overall housing market strength by neighborhood. Sources: AADC (Roads/Water), MLS Listings, Zillow.com, Esri Projections (Market Strength), City of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township (Neighborhoods) Merritt Rd. Martz Rd. Bemis Rd. WhittakerRd. HitchinghamRd. RawsonvilleRd. Textile Rd. I-94 Washtenaw Ave. Holmes Rd. US-12 Ecorse Rd. RidgeRd. Packard Rd. Michigan Ave. WiardRd. MungerRd.GolfsideRd. 0 1 2 miles Water Jurisdiction Boundary Major Road Insufficient Data HOT COOL WARM N C3 C2 C20 C23 C1 C6 C9 C15 C14 C19 C27 C22 C5 C12 C8 C24C7 C25 C28 C10 C4 C16 C26 C11 C21 C13 C17 C18 T2 T11 T34 T12 T4 T14 T6 T44 T16 T8 T1 T9 T40 T18 T29 T10 T20 T42 T13 T46 T17 T45 T19 T37 T36 T28 T7 T47 T38 T23 T3 T39 T48 T27 T24 T15 T5 T41 T32 T33 T35 T31 T21 T43 T30 T22
  • 30. Housing Market Strength30 Proximity to major roads does not explain all of the cool market neighborhoods. Other cool market neighborhoods in the township include Harbor Cove (T21), Swan Creek (T24), Appleridge (T32), and Park Estates (T33), which mainly consist of manufactured homes, separated from other neighborhoods. On the other hand, the city has a pocket of cool market neighborhoods both in and around Depot Town. Despite Depot Town’s positive image, its for-sale housing market is fairly weak. There are not many owner-occupied units in the neighborhood and sales price per square foot is lower than other neighborhoods in the study area. Although each neighborhood is classified as hot, warm, or cool overall, the strength of the indicators often vary within each market type. In other words, two hot neighborhoods may be hot for different reasons, based on the strength of each of the four indicators. So, while each neighborhood is given an overall classification of hot, warm, or cool, each indicator that makes up this classification is also hot, warm, or cool, depending on the neighborhood. In the following sections, we describe each of these indicators and how they vary across market types. Sales Price per Square Foot (40%) The indicator sales price per square foot is the absolute home price. This metric was identified during our stakeholder outreach as the most important market indicator and as such received the greatest value (40%) in our weighting scheme. Sales price per square foot has a positive relationship with the neighborhood market types, meaning hot market neighborhoods have higher sales prices. We obtained sales price and square footage data from Zillow.com and Multiple Listing Services. Figure 3.2 shows higher sales prices in the township than in the city. A neighborhood with a sales price between $100 and $118 per square foot is classified as high. In general, there are more high and moderate priced neighborhoods in the township and more low priced neighborhoods in the city. Using price per square foot accounts for variation in house size. Therefore, while homes are larger in hot market neighborhoods in the township, these homes are also selling at higher prices than other neighborhood markets. There are no neighborhoods in the city with high sales price per square foot.
  • 31. 31 Figure 3.2: Sales price per square foot by neighborhood. Sources: AADC (Roads/Water), MLS Listings and Zillow.com (Sales), City of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township (Neighborhoods) Sales Price Per Square Foot Merritt Rd. Martz Rd. Bemis Rd. WhittakerRd. HitchinghamRd. RawsonvilleRd. Textile Rd. I-94 Washtenaw Ave. Holmes Rd. US-12 Ecorse Rd. RidgeRd. Packard Rd. Michigan Ave. WiardRd. MungerRd.GolfsideRd. 0 1 2 miles In dollars ($) Water Jurisdiction Boundary Major Road Insufficient Data 100 to 118.00 0 to 59.99 60 to 99.99 N C3 C2 C20 C23 C1 C6 C9 C15 C14 C19 C27 C22 C5 C12 C8 C24C7 C25 C28 C10 C4 C16 C26 C11 C21 C13 C17 C18 T2 T11 T34 T12 T4 T14 T6 T44 T16 T8 T1 T9 T40 T18 T29 T10 T20 T42 T13 T46 T17 T45 T19 T37 T36 T28 T7 T47 T38 T23 T3 T39 T48 T27 T24 T15 T5 T41 T32 T33 T35 T31 T21 T43 T30 T22
  • 32. Housing Market Strength32 Neighborhoods with high sales prices are the most frequent across the study area, present in both the city and township. Moderately priced neighborhoods average between $60 and $99 per square foot. In general these neighborhoods are widespread throughout the southern and western parts of the township and north of Michigan Avenue in the city. Neighborhoods with a low sales price per square foot are located primarily in the city and the east side of the township. These neighborhoods have sales prices between $0 and $59.99, and are located mostly south of Michigan Avenue and east of the city in the township. Several of these neighborhoods are predominantly manufactured housing developments, such as Lake Drive (T23), Swan Creek (T24), and Park Estates (T33). Median Household Income (30%) Median household income impacts a household’s ability to acquire a mortgage or make home repairs, making it a strong indicator of market strength. This quantitative indicator can be calculated through American Community Survey (ACS) data. Based on stakeholder feedback, median household income is the second-best predictor of overall market strength and is, therefore, 30% of our weighting scheme. Figure 3.3 shows the distribution of median household income. There are many neighborhoods with high median household income in our study area. The majority of the higher income neighborhoods are in the southern areas of the township and western part of the city. We defined a median household income of at least $50,000 as high. The maps show that neighborhoods with higher median household income also have high sales price per square foot. Twenty one neighborhoods classify as high median income neighborhoods. Neighborhoods with moderate median household income are concentrated in the eastern parts of the township. These are neighborhoods where median household income is between $30,000 and $49,999, totaling 25 neighborhoods. Neighborhoods with low median household income are almost exclusively in the city, south of Michigan Avenue and in the majority student markets close to EMU. These are neighborhoods where median household income is below $30,000. Only 13 neighborhoods fall into this category.
  • 33. 33 Median Household Income Figure 3.3: Median household income by neighborhood. Sources: AADC (Roads/Water), Esri Projections (Income), City of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township (Neighborhoods) Merritt Rd. Martz Rd. Bemis Rd. WhittakerRd. HitchinghamRd. RawsonvilleRd. Textile Rd. I-94 Washtenaw Ave. Holmes Rd. US-12 Ecorse Rd. RidgeRd. Packard Rd. Michigan Ave. WiardRd. MungerRd.GolfsideRd. 0 1 2 miles N C3 C2 C20 C23 C1 C6 C9 C15 C14 C19 C27 C22 C5 C12 C8 C24C7 C25 C28 C10 C4 C16 C26 C11 C21 C13 C17 C18 T2 T11 T34 T12 T4 T14 T6 T44 T16 T8 T1 T9 T40 T18 T29 T10 T20 T42 T13 T46 T17 T45 T19 T37 T36 T28 T7 T47 T38 T23 T3 T39 T48 T27 T24 T15 T5 T41 T32 T33 T35 T31 T21 T43 T30 T22 In dollars ($) Water Jurisdiction Boundary Major Road Insufficient Data 50,000 and above 0 to 29,999 30,000 to 49,999
  • 34. Housing Market Strength34 Housing Cost Burden (15%) Housing cost burden measures the cost of housing relative to household income. Higher housing cost burdens are associated with weaker markets under the assumption that residents will be less able to afford, food, clothing, transportation, and other necessities. Housing cost burden is calculated using a combination of data from ACS and Esri Business Analyst. Some cities include transportation costs into housing cost burden to calculate a complete picture of living costs in a given location. However, after calculating housing cost burden using transportation costs, we found little difference and opted to remove transportation costs. Housing cost burden is a factor in our study area, but is not the top indicator of market strength. We assigned housing cost burden a lower weight in our index of 15%. Figure 3.4 shows that low housing cost burdens are found exclusively in the township. Every neighborhood with a low housing cost burden is found in the township, though several of these markets are predominately manufactured homes that tend to have low housing costs. The generally accepted threshold for a low housing cost burden is defined as under 33% of household income spent on housing costs. County planners should note with concern that only eight of 61 neighborhood markets have a low housing cost burden. The majority of neighborhoods in the study area have a moderate housing cost burden, where the average household spends between 34 and 50% on housing. When attempting to improve market conditions in neighborhoods, it is important to avoid an increase in residents’ cost burden. Neighborhoods with high cost burdens, between 50 and 73%, are exclusively located within the city, south of Michigan Avenue. Five neighborhoods are in this category and are dangerously overburdened by housing costs. “Families who pay more than 33 percent of their income for housing are considered cost burdened and may have difficulty affording necessities such as food, clothing, transportation and medical care.” U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Definition of Housing Cost Burden
  • 35. 35 Housing Cost Burden Figure 3.4: Housing cost burden by neighborhood. Sources: AADC (Roads/Water), Esri Projections (Cost burden), City of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township (Neighborhoods) Merritt Rd. Martz Rd. Bemis Rd. WhittakerRd. HitchinghamRd. RawsonvilleRd. Textile Rd. I-94 Washtenaw Ave. Holmes Rd. US-12 Ecorse Rd. RidgeRd. Packard Rd. Michigan Ave. WiardRd. MungerRd.GolfsideRd. 0 1 2 miles Percentage of income spent on housing, by household Water Jurisdiction Boundary Major Road Insufficient Data 0 to 33.99 51 to 73 34 to 50.99 N C3 C2 C20 C23 C1 C6 C9 C15 C14 C19 C27 C22 C5 C12 C8 C24C7 C25 C28 C10 C4 C16 C26 C11 C21 C13 C17 C18 T2 T11 T34 T12 T4 T14 T6 T44 T16 T8 T1 T9 T40 T18 T29 T10 T20 T42 T13 T46 T17 T45 T19 T37 T36 T28 T7 T47 T38 T23 T3 T39 T48 T27 T24 T15 T5 T41 T32 T33 T35 T31 T21 T43 T30 T22
  • 36. Housing Market Strength36 Vacancy Rate (15%) Vacancy rate is the ratio of empty units to the total number of housing units. A higher vacancy rate is associated with a weaker housing market because high vacancy is a signal of low demand. Vacancy rate is calculated using ACS data and accounts for 15% of our index. While vacancy rates are important, additional statistical analysis indicates that the vacancy rate is not as strong of a predictor of market strength as sales price per square foot and median household income. Figure 3.5 displays the distribution of vacancy rates throughout the study area. In general, vacancy rates in our study area are relatively low. We define low vacancy rate as neighborhoods between 0-10% vacancy. The majority (38) of neighborhoods have low vacancy rates. A neighborhood with rates between 10.1-20% is classified as having moderate vacancy. Nearly all of the neighborhoods with moderate vacancy rates (16) are located north of I-94 in the city and township. Vacancy rates above 20.1% place a neighborhood in the high vacancy category. Only seven neighborhoods in the study area have high vacancy rates, with four of these located in the city south of Michigan Avenue. Table 3.1 on page 39 categorizes all city and township neighborhoods by their market type- hot, warm, or cool- and also displays each neighborhood’s ratings for the four indicators- (1) Sales Price per Square Foot, (2) Median Household Income, (3) Housing Cost Burden, and (4) Vacancy Rate. The neighborhoods are listed in order from highest to lowest market index score. This table allows a deeper look into the variation within each market type, as not all hot, warm, and cool market types are identical. These four indicators do not take into account the rental market, which is a significant percentage of the market in parts of the city and township. The following section includes a separate analysis of rental properties in our study area. NEIGHBORHOODS IN BLOOM RICHMOND,VA This project aimed to strengthen neighborhoods by removing blight, restoring historic buildings and increasing homeownership.City planning staff funded the project directing both CDBG and HOME grants towards these neighborhoods,and has since won numerous national awards.They completed the following: Planners assessed the condition and potential for revitalization by collecting neighborhood level data. Richmond included data on vacancy, crime,poverty,homeownership,and housing quality. The data was distributed to three separate groups: civic leaders,housing providers,and city staff.The groups determined areas where concentrated investment could have positive impact and encourage private sector investment.
  • 37. 37 Vacancy Rate Figure 3.5: Vacancy rate by neighborhood. Sources: AADC (Roads/Water), Esri Projections (Vacant Units by Tenure), City of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township (Neighborhoods) Merritt Rd. Martz Rd. Bemis Rd. WhittakerRd. HitchinghamRd. RawsonvilleRd. Textile Rd. I-94 Washtenaw Ave. Holmes Rd. US-12 Ecorse Rd. RidgeRd. Packard Rd. Michigan Ave. WiardRd. MungerRd.GolfsideRd. 0 1 2 miles By percentage of vacant non-rental units Water Jurisdiction Boundary Major Road Insufficient Data 0 to 10 20.1 to 30 10.1 to 20 N C3 C2 C20 C23 C1 C6 C9 C15 C14 C19 C27 C22 C5 C12 C8 C24C7 C25 C28 C10 C4 C16 C26 C11 C21 C13 C17 C18 T2 T11 T34 T12 T4 T14 T6 T44 T16 T8 T1 T9 T40 T18 T29 T10 T20 T42 T13 T46 T17 T45 T19 T37 T36 T28 T7 T47 T38 T23 T3 T39 T48 T27 T24 T15 T5 T41 T32 T33 T35 T31 T21 T43 T30 T22
  • 38. Housing Market Strength38 Harris Street in Ypsilanti Township
  • 39. 39 Table 3.1: Neighborhood Indicators by Market Strength Neighborhood Market Index Price Per Sq.Ft.($) Median Household Income ($) Housing Cost Burden (%) Vacancy Rate (%) HOT T-18 Creekside West PaigeT-13 T-12 Oakridge T-10 Pineview Crane RoadT-07 T-14 West Branch T-09 Rolling Hills T-17 Trillium Drive Merritt RoadT-08 T-06 Hickory Woods Paint CreekT-11 T-19 Creekside East WillisT-20 C-03 College Heights EstabrookC-05 T-16 New Meadow T-02 The Lawn Prospect ParkC-09 0.922 1.000 0.957 0.931 0.917 0.899 0.845 0.894 0.815 0.795 0.783 0.750 0.749 0.743 0.737 0.748 0.710 0.709 101.62 107.77 97.29 115.16 107.52 98.72 97.64 90.24 91.76 93.96 77.27 117.98 98.36 99.50 86.00 94.74 90.47 91.60 Median Household Income ($) 97,315 101,583 101,651 77,943 79,306 86,472 77,943 101,770 77,943 75,761 86,683 41,089 51,388 55,999 75,863 63,511 58,647 50,981 Housing Cost Burden (%) 32 31 31 33 33 34 33 32 33 34 34 43 33 35 36 36 36 34 Vacancy Rate (%) 7.7 3.4 1.9 3.0 0.0 0.0 3.0 6.1 3.0 6.1 1.8 0.0 0.8 4.7 7.9 4.5 3.9 0.9 RMHOT High Moderate Low
  • 40. Housing Market Strength40 T-40 Gault Village Normal ParkC-23 T-15 Schooner Cove Apts. Huron MeadowsT-27 C-04 Gerganoff Road East Prospect ParkC-06 Huron ValleyT-28 C-24 Historic East Side Stadium MeadowsC-18 OaklawnT-38 HawthorneT-37 T-23 Lake Drive Fairway DriveT-04 Grove CommonT-47 MilesC-08 T-45 Lakeview The CliffsT-41 Wendell ParkT-29 T-03 Roundtree MidtownC-28 The Cliff CondosT-43 C-11 Downtown 0.699 0.680 0.660 0.648 0.644 0.642 0.613 0.546 0.533 0.524 0.504 0.504 0.489 0.488 0.466 0.452 0.440 0.434 0.426 0.421 0.416 0.403 89.41 91.20 104.83 92.48 79.80 74.70 91.75 75.20 74.20 61.08 58.88 50.82 87.52 86.32 72.10 61.32 63.19 59.09 54.45 80.00 54.72 68.40 55,216 61,586 33,894 43,966 48,169 56,489 43,856 41,603 47,919 54,154 47,314 51,551 35,093 40,645 32,796 39,503 36,017 39,706 31,919 29,309 37,461 27,259 35 35 37 34 34 34 35 36 34 32 31 33 41 31 39 36 36 35 40 48 34 46 3.0 12.6 6.1 7.2 0.0 2.2 11.6 6.8 14.0 10.6 7.9 2.7 18.7 29.0 9.3 9.6 10.6 11.6 0.0 14.6 10.2 7.9 WARMOL Neighborhood Market Index Price Per Sq.Ft.($) Median Household Income ($) Housing Cost Burden (%) Vacancy Rate (%) HOT High Moderate Low
  • 41. 41 T-42 Sugarbrook Grove Harbor CoveT-21 T-39 Parkwood Lay GardenT-34 T-36 Thurston Swan CreekT-24 C-19 Riverside West WillowT-44 C-10 Lower River Street Prospect GardensC-12 C-25 Ainsworth Firwood ElderT-05 C-07 Depot Town Water StreetC-14 T-31 Bud Blossom AppleridgeT-32 C-15 Historic South Side South Prospect StreetC-13 C-16 Michigan Avenue Worden GardensC-26 C-27 Heritage Park 0.399 0.396 0.375 0.364 0.360 0.345 0.340 0.332 0.315 0.290 0.285 0.277 0.268 0.260 0.250 0.244 0.179 0.132 0.098 0.093 0.000 51.34 62.35 37.22 56.07 45.03 19.50 57.80 34.51 45.50 34.50 40.00 49.42 29.80 70.60 43.32 47.45 57.80 22.70 35.20 36.80 29.30 37,958 32,616 44,954 35,626 34,700 51,644 25,631 40,170 32,753 32,545 23,807 24,371 28,185 23,953 29,270 29,700 21,296 27,066 14,732 18,115 17,805 36 38 30 37 35 33 44 34 39 39 39 40 40 60 38 38 73 38 53 54 54 9.1 13.7 10.7 16.6 8.9 3.4 10.0 9.4 12.6 7.5 6.7 15.6 3.5 21.5 20.0 25.0 13.4 21.2 17.9 21.7 31.1 COOL Neighborhood Market Index Price Per Sq.Ft.($) Median Household Income ($) Housing Cost Burden (%) Vacancy Rate (%) HOT High Moderate Low
  • 42. Housing Market Strength42 Background Based on the concentration of EMU students in Ypsilanti as well as stakeholder feedback regarding rental housing, we analyzed the rental markets in the city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township but did not include this analysis in our market strength index. Previous research provides no definitive answer as to whether the presence of renters strengthens or weakens an area’s housing market. The presence of renters can have different implications in different markets, making it difficult to establish a causal relationship with overall market strength. A 2003 study by the Journal of Housing Research demonstrated a possible link between high home ownership rates and higher home values and suggested that the benefits of a government entity subsidizing homeownership outweighed the costs.1 A 1996 study showed a $1,600 increase in an area’s property values for each 0.1% increase in homeownership over the course of a decade.2 Alternatively, a report from MIT in 2005 stated that the introduction of large-scale mixed income rental development in single-family neighborhoods had no effect on surrounding property values.3 “We need to support quality rental opportunities in our neighborhoods and around downtown and Depot Town; give students the chance to fall in love with Ypsi and decide to put down roots.” Richard Murphy Michigan Municipal League Those against the presence of rental housing insist that rentals decrease property values ,property upkeep, and involvement in the community.4 Proponents of rental housing counter that housing preferences are changing, particularly among millenials, and that many middle-income residents no longer desire to own a home as soon as they can afford it. Regardless of perception, the point at which renters change a neighborhood or affect property values remains inconclusive. Methods For our analysis of the Ypsilanti rental market, we compared the rental market to our index of overall market strength using rent per square foot. Unfortunately, the majority of the rental housing data within the last twelve months was limited and fell within a very small rent per square foot range ($0.80 - $1.30). Due to these two limiting factors we could not make determinations or recommendations on a neighborhood level based on rent per square foot. Instead, we analyzed rent per square foot on a city and township scale and compared these to rent per square foot in benchmark cities. See Table 3.2 on page 53 for rental rate per square foot in regional benchmark comparison cities. RENTAL MARKET
  • 43. 43 We analyzed the city and township rental market on a neighborhood level based on percentage of renter households. We tested the correlation between the percent renter households and our four index variables as an objective determinant of market strength. We found that there is a moderately strong to strong negative correlation between both sales price per square foot and median household income as it relates to the percentage of renter households. This implies that as sales price per square foot and median household income decrease within an area, the percentage of renter occupied units in the same area increases. A breakdown of renter occupancy by neighborhood is shown in Figure 3.6. Given the inconclusiveness of previous research, our analysis does not provide conclusive evidence of renters’ effect on a housing market. It does, however, reveal trends and allow us to make targeted recommendations, particularly for those neighborhoods that fall into cool market neighborhoods and have a high proportion of renters. Renter Occupancy by Neighborhood Figure 3.6: Percentage renter occupied by neighborhood. Sources: AADC (Roads/Water), City of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township (Neighborhoods), Esri Projections (Tenure) 0 1 2 miles By percentage of households Water Jurisdiction Boundary Major Road Insufficient Data 0 to 20 40.1 to 86.2 20.1 to 40 N Merritt Rd. Martz Rd. Bemis Rd. WhittakerRd. HitchinghamRd. RawsonvilleRd. Textile Rd. I-94 Washtenaw Ave. Holmes Rd. US-12 Ecorse Rd. RidgeRd. Packard Rd. Michigan Ave. WiardRd. MungerRd.GolfsideRd.
  • 44. Housing Market Strength44 For example, no hot market neighborhoods in either the city or township has a high proportion of renters; whereas eight cool market neighborhoods have high proportions of renters, as seen in Figure 3.7. This suggests a potential oversupply of rental housing in several neighborhoods and an overall negative effect on the strength of those housing markets. Our targeted recommendations in Chapter 6 for rental housing will focus on the location of subsidized housing and supply of rental housing in these cool market neighborhoods. Cool Market Neighborhoods with High Renter Occupancy Figure 3.7: Cool market neighborhoods with high renter occupancy. Sources: AADC (Roads/Water), MLS Listings, Zillow.com, Esri Projections (Market Strength), City of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township (Neighborhoods) 0 1 2 miles N Merritt Rd. Martz Rd. Bemis Rd. WhittakerRd. HitchinghamRd. RawsonvilleRd. Textile Rd. I-94 Washtenaw Ave. Holmes Rd. US-12 Ecorse Rd. RidgeRd. Packard Rd. Michigan Ave. WiardRd. MungerRd.GolfsideRd.
  • 46. Housing Market Strength46 NEIGHBORHOOD PORTRAITS In this section we identify two example neighborhoods each from cool, warm, and hot markets to demonstrate the nuances in our index, and analyze these neighborhoods in more detail. For each market type we identify a city neighborhood and a township neighborhood shown in Figure 3.8. We discuss how each neighborhood compares within its market type in terms of sales price per square foot, median home value, median household income, vacancy rate, and other notable characteristics. Cool Market Neighborhoods West Willow (T44) is in the eastern part of Ypsilanti Township, bounded by I-94 running west to South, U.S. 12 running West to North, and Wiard Road on its eastern border (See Figure 3.9). In 2014, the neighborhood has 1,056 households with a median home value of $86,441.5 Most of the housing stock was built in the 1950s and 1960s. West Willow Park, in the center of the neighborhood, is the only community park in the area. Kaiser Elementary provides another recreation space on the northern side of the neighborhood. West Willow is relatively isolated from its surrounding communities, in large part due to the major roads that surround it. West Willow shares characteristics with many cool market neighborhoods. The neighborhood performs well on three of the four indicators but is categorized as a cool market due to low sales price per square foot. West Willow’s sales price per square foot is $34.51, the lowest in Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township. With low vacancy rates and a median household income nearing middle-income range, low sales prices suggest that the neighborhood is undervalued and has potential for future investment. Michigan Avenue (C16) is located on the city’s western border, bounded by Michigan Avenue to the north, 1st Avenue to the east, the township border to the west, and Monroe Avenue to the south (See Figure 3.9). In 2014, the neighborhood includes 137 households with a median home value of $73,500 and a high percentage of renters.6 The Michigan Avenue neighborhood is in close proximity to both Parkridge Park and Recreation Park, although reaching the latter requires crossing Michigan Avenue. Several churches are located within the Michigan Avenue neighborhood. Many of the homes were built during the late 1960s and early 1970s to accommodate industrial workers during the city’s population boom.
  • 47. 47 The Michigan Avenue neighborhood performed poorly on each of the four indicators. The area’s price per square foot, $36.80, and median household income, $18,115, are both well below average. Additionally, the area’s housing cost burden is extremely high, which shows that residents are paying a very high proportion of their income on housing. This neighborhood, given its proximity to Ypsilanti’s downtown amenities and Growing Hope, could improve considerably with the right support. Warm Market Neighborhoods: Gault Village (T40) is in the eastern part of Ypsilanti Township, bounded by South Grove Street to the south and west, South Harris Road to the east and Frontage Road to the north (See Figure 3.10). In 2014, Gault Village has 950 households, many of which are families, with a median home value of $106,858.7 Erickson Elementary School and Nancy Park are located in the center of the neighborhood. The Gault Village Shopping Center provides some commercial amenities for residents, but the neighborhood abuts the back of the Center making it difficult for residents to access these amenities. The neighborhood also enjoys slower speeds and bicycle paths on South Grove Street. Context Map of Neighborhood Portraits Figure 3.8: Portrait neighborhoods and their respective market strengths. Sources: AADC (Roads/Water), MLS Listings, Zillow.com, Esri Projections (Market Strength), Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township (Neighborhoods) Merritt Rd. Martz Rd. Bemis Rd. WhittakerRd. HitchinghamRd. RawsonvilleRd. Textile Rd. I-94 Washtenaw Ave. Holmes Rd. US-12 Ecorse Rd. RidgeRd. Packard Rd. Michigan Ave. WiardRd. MungerRd.GolfsideRd. 0 1 2 miles N COLLEGE HEIGHTS NORMAL PARK MICHIGAN AVE. WEST WILLOW GAULT VILLAGE OAKRIDGE
  • 48. Housing Market Strength48 Gault Village has a strong median household income, low vacancy rate, and a higher average sales price per square foot at $89.41. These indicators position Gault Village to become a hot neighborhood market with minimum intervention. Normal Park (C23) is located on the eastern border of the city of Ypsilanti, bounded by Washtenaw Avenue to the north, Michigan Avenue to the south, North Mansfield Street to the west, and North Summit Street to the east (See Figure 3.10). Recreation Park is in the center of the neighborhood, home to Ypsilanti’s Senior Citizen Center and Rutherford Pool. The neighborhood is adjacent to EMU and the commercial corridor along Cross Street, but access to these amenities requires crossing several major thoroughfares. Normal Park has 816 households, mostly families, with a median home value of $160,381.8 Many of these homes were built in the late 1930s through the 1940s. Normal Park is one of the city’s stronger neighborhoods, despite ranking in the top category on only one of the four indicators. The neighborhood ranks moderately for sales price per square foot and housing cost burden. The area’s major strength is its high median household income. Normal Park is a warm market neighborhood, shows promising signs of growth, and may positively influence the surrounding neighborhoods. Figure 3.9: Cool Portrait Neighborhoods in the city and township. MichiganAve-C16 MarketStrength:59outof61 1STAVENUE MONROE AVE. M ichigan Avenue 0.09 mi2 SALES PRICES PSF $35.20 HOUSING COST BURDEN 53% VACANCY RATE 17.90% MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME $14,732 MarketStrength:48outof61 WestWillow-T44 I-94 WIARDRD. US-12 M ICHIGAN AVE. 0.59 mi2 SALES PRICES PSF $34.51 HOUSING COST BURDEN 34% VACANCY RATE 9.4% MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME $40,170
  • 49. 49 Hot Market Neighborhoods: Oakridge (T12) is located in the southern part of Ypsilanti Township, bounded by Textile Road to the north, Hitchingham Road to the west, Merritt Road to the south, and Tuttle Hill Road to the east (See Figure 3.11). The infrastructure in this neighborhood is suburban, with winding roads and uniform housing designs. The neighborhood has 998 households, mostly families, with a median home value of $184,846.9 Ford Heritage Park is located within the neighborhood, though this requires crossing Textile Road. Most of the homes were built after 2000. Commercial amenities are located nearby on Whittaker Road, but residents must have access to a car to utilize these amenities. Oakridge has a strong sales price per square foot at $97.29 and an extremely low vacancy rate at 1.9%. The market strength is carried by the high median income, which at $101,651 was the second highest in the city and township. The neighborhood, as with many of Ypsilanti Township’s southern developments, is built within the boundaries of the Lincoln Consolidated School District. Figure 3.10: Warm portrait neighborhoods in the city and township. GaultVillage-T40 MarketStrength:19outof61 1-94 FORD LAKE GROVEST. HARRISRD. 0.41 mi2 SALES PRICES PSF $89.41 HOUSING COST BURDEN 35% VACANCY RATE 3.00% MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME $55,216 NormalPark-C23 MarketStrength:20outof61 SALES PRICES PSF $91.20 VACANCY RATE 12.60% MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME $61,586 N.SUMMITRD. 0.34 mi2 WASHTENAW AVE. W.MICHIGAN AVE. HOUSING COST BURDEN 35%
  • 50. Housing Market Strength50 College Heights (C3) is located on the city of Ypsilanti’s western border, bounded by North Huron River Drive to the north, North Hewitt Road to the west, Oakwood Street to the east, and Washtenaw Avenue to the south (See Figure 3.11). The area is adjacent to EMU and has direct access to the Border-to Border multi-use trail. The area has 737 households with a median home value of $164,228, and many of the homes were built between the late 1950s and early 1960s.10 College Heights has access to commercial amenities, especially along Washtenaw Avenue. One of the defining features of the neighborhood is Candy Cane Park, located in the center of the neighborhood. College Heights has fairly strong sales price per square foot of $99.50, and a median home value that is the highest in the city of Ypsilanti and one of the highest in the study area. Figure 3.11: Warm portrait neighborhoods in the city and township. Oakridge-T12 MarketStrength:02outof61 HITCHINGHAMRD. TEXTILE RD. MERRITT RD. 1.02 mi2 SALES PRICES PSF $97.29 HOUSING COST BURDEN 31% VACANCY RATE 1.90% MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME $101,651 CollegeHeights-C03 MarketStrength:15outof61 WASHTENAW AVE. N. HURON RIVER DR. OAKWOODST. 0.39 mi2 HOUSING COST BURDEN 35% VACANCY RATE 4.70% MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME $55,999 SALES PRICES PSF $99.50
  • 51. The Oakridge neighborhood in Ypsilanti Township
  • 52. Housing Market Strength52 Regional Market Comparison Neighboring cities compete with the city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township for middle-income residents, so it is instructive to gauge the city’s and township’s positions in the regional housing market. We used the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics On the Map Tool to identify several cities that Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township’s middle-income residents are commuting to for work (listed in Figure 3.12).11 Conversely, we identified the top cities where current middle-income employees working in Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township live (listed in Figure 3.13). We applied our housing market strength index to the city and township as a whole, as well as to the six “benchmark” cities. In Table 3.2, the market index value shows how each city on average compares to the best performing neighborhood in Ypsilanti (a market index score of 1.0). A score of 1.0 would indicate that the city’s market strength is equal to the best performing neighborhood in Ypsilanti. These city market index values are compared to average values for Ypsilanti city and township. The table also offers comparisons of other factors to give an idea of the variation among communities. TOTAL MIDDLE-INCOME EMPLOYEES WHERE YPSI WORKERS AnnArbor City of Ypsilanti + Township Taylor Westland Detroit LIVE 18,956 TOTAL MIDDLE-INCOME RESIDENTS WHERE YPSI RESIDENTS City of Ypsilanti Detroit Livonia Dearborn WORK 31,331 AnnArbor Figure 3.12: 60%+ Area Median Income Workers (making at least $3,333 per month) living in the study area currently WORK in these places. (Colors are correlated to market strength) Figure 3.13: 60%+ Area Median Income Employees (making at least $3,333 per month) working in the study area currently LIVE in these places. (Colors are correlated to market strength) REGIONAL BENCHMARKS
  • 53. 53 46.3587 39.3556 44.9450 47.3762 60.9209 66.0004 52.0933 68.7896 Ann Arbor Livonia Lincoln Consolidated* Wayne-Westland Dearborn Ypsilanti Taylor Detroit 24 10 12 1 12 0 10 0 99 99 48 43 99 8 46 98 $1.25 $1.00 $1.01 $0.88 $0.85 $1.02 $0.85 $0.76 21.15 15.54 N|A 43.97 82.84 56.12 207.23 Ann Arbor Livonia Ypsilanti Township Westland Taylor Dearborn City of Ypsilanti Detroit N|A Market Index City or Township Property Tax Rate Primary School District School Ranking Range (Low End) School Ranking Range (High End) Rent Per Square Foot Violent Crime Rate** 0.94 0.84 0.61 0.55 0.47 0.45 0.39 0.08 WARMHOTCOOL Results: When our market index is applied to the benchmark cities, the city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township seem well positioned to attract middle-income residents from regional competitors. Ypsilanti, while one of the weaker markets, is highly competitive with Dearborn and Taylor. The housing market average in Ypsilanti Township is stronger than Dearborn, Taylor, and Westland. The market strengths of Ann Arbor and Livonia are higher than the average for the city and the township. Middle-Income Retention: ANN ARBOR, DETROIT, LIVONIA, DEARBORN: Already, a high number of residents in our study area work in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Dearborn and Livonia. Out of these four, the city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township have stronger housing markets on average than Detroit, and the township is also stronger than Dearborn. Ann Arbor and Livonia each have stronger housing markets than Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township, meaning current middle-income residents of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township might choose to relocate to these places in the future. Table 3.2: *Lincoln Consolidated Schools (LCS) serves as a comparison for the hot markets in the township. For the purpose of this chart, LCS is the primary school district in Ypsilanti Township due to having the greatest number of households in hot markets. Ypsilanti Township also has a large number of households in Ypsilanti Community Schools and some households in Van Buren School District. **Violent Crime Rate is measured with crimes per 10,000 people. No crime rates were available from FBI for Ypsilanti Township and Dearborn. Sources: (School Rankings) mischooldata.org, (Rent per square foot) zillow.com, (Property Tax Rates) michigan.gov (Violent Crime Rate) fbi.gov
  • 54. Housing Market Strength54 Middle-Income Attraction: DEARBORN, DETROIT, WESTLAND, TAYLOR: The township’s average market strength ranks higher than each of these places. The city’s average is higher than Detroit and competitive with Dearborn and Taylor. Each of these may serve as strategic cities for targeted attraction efforts. Since moving to the city or township would reduce transportation costs for these commuters, the city or township should target them as potential residents. Comparison of Other Factors Property Taxes Table 3.2 also includes a comparison of property tax rates. Though each jurisdiction likely varies in assessment practices, the property tax rates provide insights into which residents are likely to pay higher taxes for a middle-income home. Detroit, the city of Ypsilanti, and Dearborn have the highest tax rates, while Livonia and Ypsilanti Township have the lowest. The city may look into strategies for lowering its property tax rate to attract and retain residents. School Rankings The school rankings in Table 3.2 represent the percentile range of public school ratings for the major school district in each benchmark city. Each district has wide ranges of high performing and low performing schools with the exception of Ypsilanti Community Schools. In Chapter 6, we provide recommendations for strengthening Ypsilanti schools. Rent Per Square Foot Table 3.2 also compares rent per square foot. This is based on a city average calculation from Zillow.com. Both the city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township are performing well in terms of rental market strength. The city and township have the second highest rent per square foot behind Ann Arbor. The presence of college-aged renters has a significant impact on the rental market in both of these areas. College-aged renters should be welcomed into the community and encouraged to stay after graduation in order to capitalize on this strength. Violent Crime Rate The crime rate in Table 3.2 represents the number of violent crimes per 10,000 people as detailed in the FBI’s 2013 crime log. Ypsilanti has the second highest violent crime rate per capita ahead of only Detroit. A detailed look at crime on the neighborhood level, along with recommendations for crime reduction, can be found in Chapter 5 and 6, respectively. This analysis comparing our study to regional benchmark cities may provide insight into potential ways to retain or attract middle-income residents. Other factors will be explored in the Chapter 5, which analyzes factors that push or pull middle-income residents to specific neighborhoods. “Good services and pleasing appearances attract good people, and good people attract good investments.” Larry Krieg The Ride
  • 55. 55 Endnotes 1. Coulson, N. E., Hwang, S. J., and Imai, S. 2003. The value of owner occupation in neighborhoods. Journal of Housing Research, 13, no.2: 153-174. http://content.knowledgeplex.org/ kp2/kp/text_document _summary/ scholarly_article/relfiles/ jhr_1302_coulson.pdf 2. Rohe, W. and Stewart, L. S. 1996. “Homeownership and neighborhood stability.” Housing Policy Debate, 7, no.1: 37-81. http://content.knowledgeplex.org/kp2/img/cache/sem/39708.pdf 3. Pollakowski, H. O., Ritchay, D., and Weinrobe, Z. 2005. “Effects of mixed-income multi-family rental housing development on single-family housing values.” MIT Center for Real Estate: 1-55. 4. Coulson, N. E., Hwang, S. J., and Imai, S. 2003. The value of owner occupation in neighborhoods. Journal of Housing Research, 13, no.2: 153-174. http://content.knowledgeplex.org/ kp2/kp/text_document _summary/ scholarly_article/relfiles/ jhr_1302_coulson.pdf 5. House and Home Expenditures. Rep. Esri Business Analyst, 2014. Web. Feb. 2015 6. Ibid. 7. Ibid. 8. Ibid. 9. Ibid. 10. Ibid. 11. OnTheMap. “Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics.” United States Census. http://onthemap.ces.census.gov/ 12. Hertitage Media. 2011. Downtown Ypsilanti. Flickr Creative Commons. Gault Village, Ypsilanti TownshipDowntown, Ypsilanti12
  • 57. 4CHAPTER PREVENTING DISPLACEMENT Health Impacts of Gentrification and Displacement Measuring Gentrification Methods Analysis Limitations
  • 58. Preventing Displacement58 While strategies for strengthening weak housing markets help create stronger communities, they can also cause expensive developments, higher rents, and rapid neighborhood change. This change may be appealing in areas suffering from severe disinvestment, but it could also initiate displacement of those most burdened by current housing prices.1 As stated in Chapter 1, the goal of this report is to attract middle-income residents while minimizing displacement. Ypsilanti city and township will grow both through the influx of new residents and by improving quality of life for current residents. Displacement is not inevitable, and it can be mitigated if the threat is addressed early. Displacement is often confused with gentrification, a term first used by urban geographer Ruth Glass to describe neighborhood change in London in the 1960s.2 Gentrification has no agreed-upon definition, but for our purpose it is the process by which decline and disinvestment is reversed.3 The more threatening phenomenon in Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township is displacement. Displacement occurs when current residents are forced to move because they can no longer afford to live in a gentrifying area.4 A thriving, mixed-income neighborhood includes residents from all income PREVENTING DISPLACEMENT The city and township are not threatened by gentrification in 2015, but investment may bring new residents in a process that could push some neighborhoods towards the early stages of gentrification. levels, and the threat of displacement places lower income individuals at an economic and locational disadvantage.5 Displacement prevention strategies take into account many factors, including the level of disinvestment, demographic characteristics, and the stage of gentrification. Health Impacts of Gentrification and Displacement In addition to constraints on where residents can live, gentrification and displacement have numerous health impacts at the individual, family, and community level. For those who are able to stay in their neighborhood, gentrification can improve health through better amenities, infrastructure, and services. However, increased rents lead to a greater financial burden on low-income individuals, restricting their access to basic needs such as healthcare, transportation, and healthy foods.6 Displacement can destroy social networks and decrease mental and psychological well-being. For example, residents forced to relocate may miss interactions with long-time neighbors, lose informal childcare or transportation arrangements, and lack supportive services like food pantries, youth programs, and job training.7 Displacement can also contribute to high relocation costs and longer commutes.
  • 59. 59 Displacement is harmful at a societal level for all these reasons, contributing to increases in preventable social and health inequalities. Although gentrification may bring much-needed improvements to an area, the displaced residents often do not benefit from them. Displacement can result in increased health disparities, as displaced residents lose access to factors that contribute to longer life expectancies and better quality of life: quality schools, safe and affordable housing, quality jobs, and safe places to play and work.8 Measuring Gentrification To understand which strategies to recommend, we must understand the current levels of gentrification— the precursor to displacement—present in the city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township. While gentrification does not always lead to displacement, displacement is more likely to occur in places where gentrification is happening most rapidly.9 As mentioned, gentrification is associated with the level of new investment in previously disinvested neighborhoods. The effectiveness of strategies to prevent displacement vary by the stage of gentrification of a community.10 Our findings show that the city and township are not threatened by gentrification in 2015, but investment may attract new residents in a process that could trigger the early stages of gentrification in some neighborhoods. Timing is important to minimize displacement. Methods There is no single formula for measuring gentrification, but many studies have found ways to capture its effects. The method we chose uses reliable data that are easy to obtain, track, and replicate. This is a useful approach for public officials to monitor neighborhood changes and identify neighborhoods for preventative strategies. We modeled our approach on the method used by the Nathalie Voorhees Center for Neighborhood and Community Improvement at the University of Illinois at Chicago.11 This study, done in 2004, was originally conducted because of the growing inequality and disappearance of the middle class among Chicago’s neighborhoods. The concept of growing inequality directly applies to Washtenaw County, given the findings of the recent Housing Affordability report.12 CHICAGO,IL The Nathalie P.Voorhees Center for Neighborhood and Community Improvement created a gentrification index to measure neighborhood change in Chicago. Four decades of demographic change, from 1970 to 2010,were measured for 77 neighborhoods in Chicago using comprehensive,available data. The results determined the degree of neighborhood gentrification and decline in Chicago communities. The study resulted in a toolkit for other communities to prevent displacement at early,mid,and late stages of gentrification.
  • 60. Preventing Displacement60 Neighborhood level: We used 13 variables related to demographics and housing to measure socioeconomic conditions over time at the neighborhood level. Similar to the Voorhees method, we determined a neighborhood index score and a change in index score. Neighborhood Index Score This score compares 13 different variables on a neighborhood level to the city and township average. Based on a comparison of these variables to the city and township average, each neighborhood receives a +1 or -1 for each variable. The +1s and -1s are then summed to reach the final index score, which can range from -13 to +13. This represents the current socioeconomic status of the neighborhood. The score classifies a neighborhood into a high, middle, low, or very low socioeconomic status. See Table 4.1 for neighborhood index scores. Change in Index Score This score represents neighborhood change over time. We used data from the 2010 ACS and Esri projections for 2019 to determine this change. We determined this number by subtracting the 2010 neighborhood index score from the 2019 projected index score. This resulted in a number that represents either no change, an increase, or a decrease in investment. No change means the neighborhood did not undergo significant change, increase means the neighborhood experienced significant investment, and decrease means the neighborhood experienced disinvestment. The Voorhees method suggests that even if a neighborhood’s score has increased significantly, it does not necessarily mean it has gentrified; this will depend on its ranking on socioeconomic status based on the neighborhood index score. In addition, the Voorhees method determined that any growth in score exceeding +4 would constitute an “increase” and any decline in score exceeding -4 would constitute a “decrease,” but we lowered the threshold to +3 and -3 because we did not find anything significant with the higher threshold. See Table 4.1 for the change in index scores. City/Township level: Since we only had access to current and projected data at the neighborhood level, we modified the Voorhees method to compare the city and the township to the county as a whole with historic data. We collected the same 13 variables from the ACS for the 2005-2009 period and the 2009-2013 period in both the city and township and compared those to Washtenaw County averages in the same time periods. Again, a municipality that had greater changes than the county average was awarded a point for each variable, ranked in an index, and scored. HIGH NEIGHBORHOOD INDEX SCORE MIDDLE LOW VERY LOW Index score above 7 Index score between 1 and 7 Index score between -1 and -7 Index score below -7 NO CHANGE CHANGE IN INDEX SCORE INCREASE DECREASE Change in score between -3 and +3 Growth in score exceeds +3 Decline in score below -3
  • 61. 61 Table 4.1: * The Neighborhood Index Score reflects the socioeconomic status of the neighborhood. Gentrification Index Table Market IndexNeighborhood T-18 Creekside West 0.922 1.000PaigeT-13 T-12 Oakridge 0.957 T-10 Pineview 0.931 Crane RoadT-07 0.917 West Branch 0.899 Rolling Hills 0.845 Trillium Drive 0.894 0.815Merritt RoadT-08 T-06 Hickory Woods 0.795 0.783Paint CreekT-11 T-19 Creekside East 0.750 0.749WillisT-20 0.737EstabrookC-05 T-16 New Meadow 0.748 Gault Village 0.699 0.680Normal ParkC-23 Schooner Cove Apts. 0.660 0.648Huron MeadowsT-27 Gerganoff Road 0.644 0.642East Prospect ParkC-06 0.613Huron Valley Historic East Side 0.546 0.533Stadium Meadows 0.524Oaklawn 0.504Hawthorne Lake Drive 0.504 0.489Fairway Drive 0.488Grove Common C-03 College Heights 0.743 T-02 The Lawn 0.710 0.709Prospect ParkC-09 T-14 T-09 T-17 T-40 T-15 C-04 T-28 C-24 C-18 T-38 T-37 T-23 T-04 T-47 Neighborhood Index Score* Change in Index Score Market IndexNeighborhood Neighborhood Index Score* Change in Index Score Middle Middle Middle Middle Middle Middle Middle Middle Middle Middle Middle Middle Middle Middle Middle Middle Middle Middle Middle No Change No Change Increase No Change No Change Middle No Change Middle No Change Middle No Change Middle No Change Middle No Change Middle No Change Middle No Change No Change No Change No Change No Change No Change No Change No Change No Change No Change No Change Decrease No Change No Change No Change Increase No Change No Change Low Low No ChangeLow No ChangeLow Low DecreaseLow
  • 62. Preventing Displacement62 Table 4.1: * The Neighborhood Index Score reflects the socioeconomic status of the neighborhood. Gentrification Index Table (Continued) 0.466Miles Lakeview 0.452 0.440The Cliffs 0.434Wendell Park Roundtree 0.426 0.421Midtown 0.416The Cliff Condos Downtown 0.403 Sugarbrook Grove 0.399 0.396Harbor Cove Parkwood 0.375 0.364Lay Garden Thurston 0.360 0.345Swan Creek Riverside 0.340 0.332West Willow Lower River Street 0.315 0.290Prospect Gardens Ainsworth 0.285 0.277Firwood Elder Depot Town 0.268 0.260Water Street Bud Blossom 0.250 0.244Appleridge Historic South Side 0.179 0.132South Prospect St. Michigan Avenue 0.098 0.093Worden Gardens Heritage Park 0.000 C-08 T-45 T-41 T-29 T-03 C-28 T-43 C-11 T-42 T-21 T-39 T-34 T-36 T-24 C-19 T-44 C-10 C-12 C-25 T-05 C-07 C-14 T-31 T-32 C-15 C-13 C-16 C-26 C-27 Market IndexNeighborhood Neighborhood Index Score* Change in Index Score Market IndexNeighborhood Neighborhood Index Score* Change in Index Score Middle No Change Middle No Change Middle No Change Middle No Change Middle No Change Middle No Change Middle No Change Middle No Change No ChangeLow No ChangeLow No ChangeLow No ChangeLow No ChangeLow No ChangeLow No ChangeLow No ChangeLow No ChangeLow No ChangeLow No ChangeLow No ChangeLow No ChangeLow No ChangeLow No ChangeLow No ChangeLow No ChangeLow No ChangeLow No ChangeLow DecreaseLow DecreaseLow
  • 63. 63 Analysis Neighborhood level: Using these methods, we found that two neighborhoods appeared as nearly gentrifying. Although their change in index score exceeded +3, these neighborhoods can only be considered vulnerable to gentrification because we lowered the threshold and because their socioeconomic status was not high enough. These neighborhoods are Prospect Park (C9) in the city of Ypsilanti and New Meadow (T16) in Ypsilanti Township and are shown in Figure 4.1. City/Township level: On a city and township level, our results did not show any gentrification. The city showed a 3-point decrease in investment, which does not qualify as a significant margin. The township remained the same over these two time periods. Limitations Since we performed our analysis on a neighborhood level instead of a census tract level, we could only analyze data as far back as 2010. Although the Voorhees study measures change across several decades, we could only perform the analysis across one decade. Additionally, Esri Business Analyst created the 2019 projections through an algorithm partially based on current data, so the change between 2014 and 2019 may be more or less pronounced than current trends would suggest. We performed the city and township level analysis to identify broader gentrification trends, but since the ACS responses are averaged over a five-year period and have relatively large margins of error, this analysis should only be treated as a starting point for a more in-depth and accurate study of gentrification on the municipality level. Although the city and township as a whole do not show gentrification, if our recommendations to increase the middle-income population are successful, greater investment will follow, which could trigger displacement in neighborhoods vulnerable to gentrification. Since this process has not yet begun, now is the perfect time to implement strategies against future displacement. Possible strategies are listed in Chapter 6.
  • 64. Preventing Displacement64 C9 T16 Holmes Rd. N.ProspectRd. TuttleHillRd. Textile Rd. Ford Heritage Park Ford Lake T16 N.ProspectRd. TuttleHillRd. Textile Rd. Ford Heritage Park Ford Lake Endnotes 1. Lawrence, D. (2001). “Can Communities Effectively Fight Displacement Caused by Gentrification?” Journal of Affordable Housing & Community Development, 11, p. 357-373 2.Levy, Diane K., Jennifer Comey, and Sandra Padilla (2006). “In the Face of Gentrification: Case Studies of Local Efforts to Mitigate Displacement.” The Urban Institute Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center. 3. Freeman L. (2005). “Displacement or Succession? Residential Mobility in Gentrifying Neighborhoods.” Urban Affairs Review, 40 p. 463-491. 4. Ibid. 5. Levy, D., Jennifer C., and Padilla, S. (2006). “In the Face of Gentrification: Case Studies of Local Efforts to Mitigate Displacement.” The Urban Institute Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center. 6. Egerter, S., Sadegh-Nobari, T., Dekker, M. & Braveman, P. (2008). “Where we live matters for our health: the links between housing and health.” No.2. 7. Curley, A. (2010). Relocating the Poor: Social Capital and Neighborhood Resources. Journal of Urban Affairs 32, no. 1: 79–103. 8. Causa Justa: Just Cause (2014). Development without Displacement: Resisting Gentrification in the Bay Area. Retrieved from http://www.acphd.org/media/343952/cjjc2014.pdf 9. Lawrence, Deliah D. (2001). Can Communities Effectively Fight Displacement Caused by Gentrification? Journal of Affordable Housing & Community Development, 11, p. 357-373 10. Levy, Diane K., Jennifer Comey, and Sandra Padilla (2006). “In the Face of Gentrification: Case Studies of Local Efforts to Mitigate Displacement.” The Urban Institute Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center. 11. Nathalie Voorhees Center for Neighborhood and Community Improvement at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The Socioeconomic Change of Chicago’s Community Areas (1970- 2010): Gentrification Index, October 2014. 12. Czb, Housing Affordability and Economic Equity – Analysis. Prepared for the Office of Community and Economic Development (2015). Neighborhoods Vulnerable to Gentrification Figure 4.1: Prospect Park (C9) and New Meadow (T16).
  • 65. 65Huron River overlooking the Water Street Development
  • 67. 5CHAPTER PUSH / PULL FACTORS Schools Diversity Safety Environment Walkability Neighborhood Groups Transit Neighborhood Health Push / Pull Summary Table State Policies and Other Factors Within each single housing market type, variation exists among neighborhoods in Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township. Many different factors push and pull on residents and impact these neighborhoods. In this chapter we look at factors, identified by stakeholder input and literature review, that influence decisions of middle-income households. The variation among neighborhoods in our housing market index could be attributed to these push/pull factors. To develop unique recommendations for each neighborhood, we examined eight different factors that attract middle-income residents to neighborhoods. Stakeholders revealed that schools and public safety are the most significant influences on the housing market in the Ypsilanti area. Diversity, environmental features, walkability, neighborhood groups, transit, and neighborhood health are other factors impacting the housing market. For each factor we identified its connection to market strength, provided a neighborhood-based analysis in the city and township, and suggested recommendations to strengthen the overall housing market.
  • 68. Push / Pull Factors68 The Housing Affordability analysis noted that the difference in school quality between Ypsilanti Community Schools (YCS) and Ann Arbor Public Schools (AAPS) will continue to serve as a barrier to a balanced housing market in Washtenaw County. Stakeholder interviews confirmed that improvements to YCS are essential to attract new residents, especially younger families, to the city of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township. Impact on Home Values The quality of schools and school districts are a top factor for homebuyers, realtors, and developers when determining the value of a home. In general, areas with higher measures of school quality have higher home values.1 In 2013, 74% of Americans categorized high quality public schools as a top priority in deciding where to live.2 High quality public schools are especially important to people under 40 as they choose housing locations.3 A variety of real estate websites including Zillow, Trulia, Neighborhood Scout, and the Public School Review all have pages dedicated to deciphering school data. Overview of Ypsilanti Community Schools YCS is the public school district in the city and northern areas of the township. Lincoln Consolidated Schools and Van Buren Public Schools serve parts of the township, primarily in the southern and far eastern portions. Figure 5.1 shows a correlation SCHOOLS “Not enough people are aware of the opportunities we have for their children; it is going to take a little bit of time to change the course, but people will eventually realize they moved into a gem of a neighborhood.” Laura Lisicki Superintendent of Ypsilanti Community Schools between neighborhood market strength and school district boundaries. In 2013 YCS merged with Willow Run Schools and reversed a trend of falling enrollment. Since 2013, YCS has seen over a 15% increase in enrollment solely due to the consolidation with Willow Run Schools.4 YCS has seven pre-elementary or elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools. It served 4,542 students in 2014.5 Since 2009-10, the district has seen a 62% increase in students choosing neighboring districts through the Schools of Choice program, totaling 766 students in 2014.6 This voluntary program allows school districts to accommodate students from other school districts, and both YCS and AAPS are Schools of Choice. Districts can determine if there are limited or unlimited positions in their districts and choose to limit positions by individual school or by grade. Funding is tied to each individual student, so YCS must compete for students and funding as students enroll in neighboring districts. Measuring School Success As table 5.1 shows below, YCS rank in the bottom 10th percentile for all schools in Michigan in the 2013-14 school year. By contrast, the lowest rated school in AAPS is Scarlett Middle School in the 24th percentile. In Lincoln Consolidated Schools, Bishop Elementary is the only school in the bottom 15th percentile.
  • 69. 69 Table 5.1: State Percentile Rankings for Schools, ‘13-14 Sources: mischoolsdata.org9 School District School State Percenantage Rankings Ypsilanti Community Schools Ypsilanti Community Schools Ypsilanti Community Schools Ypsilanti Community Schools Ypsilanti Community Schools Ypsilanti Community Schools Ann Arbor Public Schools 0 1 1 5 7 8 12Ypsilanti Community Schools 24 Holmes Elementary Ypsilanti New Technical HS Ypsilanti Community MS Adams STEM Academy Eastbrook Elementary Erickson Elementary Scarlett Middle School Bishop Elementary Analysis of School Trends State rankings indicate that YCS suffers from poor perception and academic disparity compared to neighboring school districts. If YCS is unable to increase its performance metrics, middle-income families will continue to have better school opportunities in nearby districts. Improving schools is challenging because districts are impacted not only by changes inside the school walls, but also in the neighborhoods where students live. Strong housing markets are typically in places with high quality school districts. In the highest performing districts, home sales tend to be higher than home values as families seek to place their children in those schools. However, school quality is closely associated with the socioeconomic status of residents in surrounding neighborhoods.7 As noted in our index, income is a major factor in market strength. Therefore, socioeconomic status has an impact on both market strength and school quality. The challenge is to determine if resources should be allocated to make changes inside the schools or on quality of life amenities that impact the socioeconomic status of residents. School funding is often a contentious topic that leads to debates over more equitable funding to low-income districts such as YCS. Proposal A in 1994 sought to equalize school funding and has led to less disparity across districts. The ‘hold harmless’ clause enables AAPS to raise additional per pupil dollars, but greater funding does not always equate to higher school quality. Table 5.2 shows per pupil funding for AAPS and YCS since fiscal year 2005-06. Per pupil dollars do not address quality of life issues that influence students who attend the schools.8 Simply equalizing funding between AAPS and YCS would not address the socioeconomic issues that YCS students face.
  • 70. Push / Pull Factors70 “Schools are a natural meeting place for families and community partners who provide services to families.” Maria Sheler-Edwards YCS School Board District Name FY 05-06 FY 06-07 FY 07-08 FY 09-10 FY 10-11 FY 11-12 FY 12-13 FY 13-14 FY 14-15 $9,409 9,619 9,667 9,490 9,490 9,020 9,020 9,050 9,100 $7,599 7,809 7,890 7,829 7,813 7,513 7,513 7,563 7,613 AAPS YCS Table 5.2: Per Pupil Funding in AAPS and YCS, FY 2005-06 - FY 2014-15. Sources: mischoolsdata.org Even within AAPS, lowest-performing Scarlett Middle School receives the same funding as other top-rated AAPS schools. While additional funding is helpful, it is not the ultimate solution. While it is true that the quality of YCS influences housing decisions, the schools are still a major asset to the city and township. Each school building serves as a community center, provides meeting places, enriches educational opportunities, and offers connections with local higher educational institutions such as Eastern Michigan University and Washtenaw Community College through Career Technical Education courses. The schools serve as anchors in their neighborhoods and for people in the community.10 By considering the potential of YCS rather than the obstacles, schools can be viewed as a major asset to Ypsilanti. The state rankings indicate that YCS needs help. However, the state rankings measure variables that do not react immediately to program improvements. The measurement variables take time, energy, and collaboration from schools and community organizations to improve. After the merger with Willow Run Schools, YCS reshaped its curriculum and expanded programs that will likely have a positive impact on school rankings. YCS expanded early childhood programs, increased dual enrollment opportunities, established restorative justice practices, and created programs to establish cultural proficiency in teaching and learning.11,12 YCS will also expand their International Baccalaureate programs to K – 12 schools. However, public perceptions and rankings of schools require time to change. The Housing Affordability report and several former elected officials have suggested that consolidation between AAPS and YCS is the best solution to aid YCS. While consolidation is an attractive idea to equalize funding and encourage new residents to move to Ypsilanti, the process of consolidation would require extensive time, political acumen, and resources.
  • 71. 71 School Districts in Ypsilanti City and Township Figure 5.1: School district boundaries and hot market neighborhoods. Sources: AADC (Roads), OCED (School Districts), MLS Listings, Zillow.com, Esri Projections (Market Strength) Putting political challenges aside, YCS serves a different student population than AAPS. Stakeholder interviews with members of YCS suggest that consolidation would cause a loss of identity in Ypsilanti, and that resources still might not be used to adequately serve students in Ypsilanti. Furthermore, consolidation alone would not change the quality of life in neighborhoods surrounding the schools. Consolidating districts would not reduce the concentration of low-income individuals, and it would not alleviate the housing cost burden that many families face in Ypsilanti. School district and community leaders should collaborate to increase the likelihood that new residents will choose YCS. The district recently restructured its curriculum using best practices and an aggressive plan to better support students. Community leaders must now respond with concerted efforts to improve opportunities for individuals in the city and township, such as job training, adult education courses, family support services, safer environments, and a variety of transit options. These efforts should be multi-pronged and address specific needs of individuals while promoting the benefits of Ypsilanti as a community. Specific recommendations can be found in Chapter 6. YPSILANTI COMMUNITY SCHOOLS VAN BUREN PUBLIC SCHOOLS LINCOLN CONSOLIDATED SCHOOLS Merritt Rd. Martz Rd. Bemis Rd. WhittakerRd. HitchinghamRd. RawsonvilleRd. Textile Rd. I-94 Washtenaw Ave. Holmes Rd. US-12 Ecorse Rd. RidgeRd. Packard Rd. Michigan Ave. WiardRd. MungerRd.GolfsideRd. 0 1 2 miles N