Dr. Stephen Sills working on housing lead abatement project with Health Impact Team.

The Center for Housing and Community Studies (CHCS) is housed within the Office of Research and Engagement under the direction of Dr. Terri Shelton, Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement.

CHCS was incorporated on 2015 as a university-based research, evaluation, and technical assistance center. As part of its mission, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s Center for Housing and Community Studies is committed to investigating and understanding how the social, economic, environmental and spatial aspects of home and neighborhood affect people’s health, well-being, and life course.

The CHCS staff has been working to identify substandard homes, weak housing markets, vacant and abandoned lots and buildings, systemic inequality, and other community conditions that impact the quality of life of residents. Recent projects also include the use of advanced data visualization and mapping. We have conducted HUD Fair Housing Assessments and Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice, as well as paired-testing studies. CHCS has amassed a number of data sets specific to Guilford County, including primary data collected on housing conditions, community health indicators, substance use, and economic development.

The Center is equipped in many forms of in-person and remote quantitative and qualitative data collection: one-on-one interviews, focus groups, telephone interviews, postal mail surveys, electronic/web-based surveys, and computer-assisted in-person or telephone surveys.

We are also able to assist with sample design, questionnaire development, qualitative and quantitative data analysis and reporting, as well as data mapping. Our team can conduct geospatial modeling and analysis, programming (Python, SQL, JavaScript, SAS, Html and CSS), web services and API configuration, as well as database development and management.  We are experienced in the design and implementation of formative and summative program evaluation, Asset-Based Community Development, Success Case Method (SCM) evaluation, needs assessment and asset mapping, and housing policy analysis.

CHCS was the lead organizer of the Invest Health Greensboro Collective Impact initiative, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Reinvestment Fund. This cross-sector collaboration model aligning Cone Health, the City of Greensboro, East Market Now, the Greensboro Housing Coalition, and UNCG CHCS focused on assisting residents in remediating substandard housing to create improved health outcomes in identified “Health Impact Communities.”

These communities were identified through Cone Health System data as having have higher incidences of emergency department visits and hospital admissions for respiratory illnesses, and they are the same communities that have also been identified in studies as having higher rates of substandard housing. The Invest Health project combined services (outreach, health education, resource navigation) with repair and rehabilitation work to empower residents and landlords to make their properties healthier and safer. The project has led to over $4.5 million in neighborhood revitalization efforts (RWJF/Reinvestment Fund Invest Health Grant).

CHCS is well supported by ORED staff who assist in grant and contract management, federal reporting, payroll and accounting, website development, information technology management, public relations, etc. leaving CHCS to focus on applied, community-engaged housing research. UNCG’s facilities and resources are robust and fully capable of supporting all grant activities and sustaining programming following the end of the grant.