The Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development

The Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development seeks to address the problems of persistent and concentrated urban poverty and is dedicated to understanding how social and economic changes affect low-income communities and their residents. Based in Cleveland, the Center views the city as both a tool for building communities and producing change locally, and as a representative urban center from which nationally-relevant research and policy implications can be drawn.
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Gillian Marshall’s study to analyze link between neighborhoods and cancer screenings

May 4 2015

marshallCan neighborhood factors influence whether older residents have access to cancer screening information and testing? Gillian L. Marshall, PhD, assistant professor of social work at the Mandel School, plans to find out.

“We want to clarify assumptions that people with low incomes are less likely to receive or be recommended for cancer screenings,” she said.

Marshall will analyze data from 650 residents 65 and older in Cleveland, upstate New York and South Florida about communication experiences with their doctors. They participated in the five-year, $1.3 million National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute study, “Health Care Partners in Cancer Prevention and Care among the Aged.”

In the study, half the participants were randomly selected to participate in “Speak Up,” an intervention to improve doctor-patient communication through verbal and written information with instructional films at centers operated by the federally funded Area Agencies on Aging. The other half were encouraged to volunteer in a community project.

The researchers contacted all participants at three different points in the project: at the beginning, at two months and at 12 months. They answered questions about access to cancer screening information and tests and their experiences communicating with their doctors.

Marshall’s research project is part of a larger study led by Eva Kahana, PhD, Distinguished University Professor of Sociology and the Pierce T. and Elizabeth D. Robson of the Humanities and the director of the Elderly Care Research Center.

Kahana’s study mainly focused on improving patient-doctor communication about cancer screening. The goal of Marshall’s new study, which received $198,666 from the National Cancer Institutes, will examine what neighborhood-wide factors help or prevent people from getting these important medical tests.

Because of health disparities in poorer neighborhoods, Marshall said she wants to find out if residents in these areas have less access to information and screenings for breast, prostate, colon or skin cancers.

The association between characteristics of neighborhoods where older people live and access to health care continues to be a growing public concern, Marshall said, and lack of access to information widens the health gap.

Geocoded information will be completed by Tsui Chan, programmer analyst at the Mandel School’s Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development, and data analysis will be completed by Marshall and Jeong Lee, PhD, of the Elderly Care Research Center.

“Together, we hope this information will provide a new picture on who has access to health information,” Marshall said.

Dismantling the Towers: Mark Joseph in Chicago Reporter

Mar 24 2015

Mark Joseph is ChicagoReporter_Winter2015_cover_72dpifeatured in the Chicago Reporter article “Dismantling the towers” about the transformation of the public housing complex Henry Horner Homes into the mixed-income development named Westhaven Park. Joseph and his colleagues at the University of Chicago have researched Westhaven Park and similar mixed-income developments in Chicago for over 10 years. Their research has shown that tensions between public housing residents and homeowners tend to be stoked by limited interaction. These types of tensions are referred to as us vs. them dynamics. Instead of leading to exchange of resources or job opportunities these restricted “hi, bye” interactions perpetuate a sense of exclusion and isolation between higher-income and lower-income residents. Joseph says it is easier to build housing than community within mixed-income developments. Despite the challenge, building community is an essential component of the developments’ ultimate success.

NEO CANDO Data Used to Study Tax Lien Certificates in Cuyahoga County

Mar 18 2015

The Vacant and Abandoned Properties Action Council (VAPAC), a coalition in Cuyahoga County Ohio “dedicated to sharing information and collaboratively developing solutions to the challenges created by foreclosure and vacant property,” recently released a report focusing on tax lien certificates throughout Cleveland and Cuyahoga County.

The report, enabled by extensive property-level information available through NEO CANDO, examines the prevalence of tax lien certificates in municipalities of Cuyahoga County and neighborhoods of Cleveland, effectiveness of the tax lien certificate purchaser in collecting on the tax debt owed, and characteristics of properties with tax lien certificates such as vacancy, condemnation, and blight.

Recommendations are offered to new County executive Armond Budish on ways to improve the use of tax lien certificates to reduce potential harm to neighborhoods resulting from tax lien certificate foreclosure, property abandonment, and blight.

See the map for a breakout of tax lien certificates sold in 2011, 2012, and the first half of 2013 by municipality and Cleveland neighborhood.

View the full report.