Charlotte Data Day 2014
City of Charlotte (Charlotte)
Mecklenburg County (Charlotte)
An audience of 178 housing experts, government analysts, nonprofit leaders and others gathered for the second annual Charlotte Data Day. The day-long event, hosted by the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond’s Charlotte Branch in partnership with the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, included presentations and workshops focused on local, state and national housing data.
Presenters such as the Federal Reserve’s Rick Kaglic (audio here), National Housing Conference Executive Director Chris Estes and North Carolina Housing Coalition Executive Director Satana Deberry focused their presentations on state- and local-level data about affordable housing and the foreclosure crisis.
Other presentations included UNC Charlotte assistant professor of social work Lori Thomas, who discussed Mecklenburg County’s point-in-time study and other data-driven projects focused on homelessness. One project, Moore Place transitional housing, saved $1.8 million in hospital bills because of reduced emergency room visits and hospitalizations. UNC Charlotte economist Stephen Billings presented research on the Lynx Blue Line light rail and property values. Among his findings - single family homes near transit stations increased in value by 5 percent while condominiums saw a 15 percent increase.
In the afternoon, attendees got a chance to learn about new data sources and tools. Josh Geyer from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development demonstrated HUD’s new Location Affordability Portal, a data mapping system that takes transportation costs into account when determining housing affordability.
Economist and data visualization specialist Jonathan Schwabish led a popular session on creating charts and graphs using basic and inexpensive software like Microsoft Excel. Jessica Russell, a research analyst with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, introduced the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and its online data tools.