Karen Chapple, Professor

Closed (1) The Effects of Housing Instability on Santa Clara County Residents

Applications for Fall 2017 are now closed for this project.

The housing crisis is in full gear in the Bay Area, with dramatic losses in the stock of naturally occurring affordable housing as rents rise faster than incomes. Low income residents across the region are being pushed out of their homes resulting in ever increasing concern about displacement and its social consequences. Yet little information exists about where displaced residents end up and the impacts of displacement on their well-being. This research seeks to fill this knowledge gap by studying the impacts of an acute form of direct housing displacement: evictions.

The purpose of this study is to investigate the material, health and well-being impacts of housing evictions in Santa Clara County to provide some insight into the social impacts of displacement. Although research has identified the health and material impacts of housing foreclosures and homelessness, the impacts of related housing instability for tenants – evictions – has been understudied. We hypothesize that the act of being evicted has significant effects of tenants’ well-being via four primary mechanisms: 1) causing stress resulting in mental and physical health impacts, 2) increasing housing or transportation costs, 3) interrupting social networks, employment and children's education, and 4) destabilizing housing. Furthermore, due to the lack of nearby affordable housing, we hypothesize that evictees move father away to neighborhoods with fewer opportunities, resulting in greater commute times, job instability, and potentially other negative consequences from living in poor neighborhoods.

Our study team of staff and graduate students is looking for an undergraduate who feels comfortable conducting in-depth telephone interviews with individuals who have been displaced from their homes. Beyond managing and conducting surveys, the student will have the opportunity to contribute more broadly to the project through weekly team meetings, which will focus on data quality, emergent qualitative themes, and problem-solving emergent challenges. The student will receive training on the displacement survey, including guidance and techniques for conducting surveys over the phone. Specific tasks include:

- Tracking phone outreach to potential survey participants and scheduling
- Conducting surveys by phone in English and Spanish (if applicable)
- Participate in weekly team meetings to discuss data collection updates, data quality, emergent qualitative themes, and problem solve challenges



Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Miriam Zuk, Staff Researcher

Qualifications: - Ability to complete 35-50 minute phone surveys and enter data into online platform. - Ability to clearly track data collection information in a timely manner. - Comfort talking with individuals who may have experienced recent eviction or other type of trauma. - Effective communication skills. - Interest in housing, displacement, and/or public health (preferred) - Advanced fluency in Spanish (preferred)

Weekly Hours: 9-12 hrs

Related website: http://http://www.urbandisplacement.org/
Related website: http://www.urbandisplacement.org/sites/default/files/images/impacts_of_displacement_in_san_mateo_county.pdf

Closed (2) Assessing the Travel Demand and Co-Benefit Impacts of Affordable Transit Oriented Developments

Applications for Fall 2017 are now closed for this project.

At the Center for Community Innovation (CCI), housed within the Department of City and Regional planning, our mission is to nurture effective solutions that expand economic opportunity, diversify housing options, and strengthen connection to place. The center focuses on housing, community and economic development.

As part of our efforts to promote sustainable and equitable growth, the Center for Community Innovation is currently studying the environmental and other co-benefits of locating affordable housing near transit. This project, entitled, “Assessing the Travel Demands and Co-Benefit Impacts of Affordable Transit-Oriented Developments (TOD),” aims to fill current gaps in the literature by examining the relationships between affordable housing, proximity to transit, and travel patterns through primary data collection and analysis. Funded by the California Air Resources Board, this study will help to inform the future of state and local policy pertaining to affordable TODs.


We are currently looking for participants in the URAP program to join this project and assist in data collection through surveys, GPS data collection, and focus groups. This project will provide URAP participants the opportunity to gain exposure to quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis through the variety of data collection methods. Research Apprentices will be conducting travel behavior surveys with residents of affordable housing developments throughout the Bay Area. Additionally, Research Apprentices will be collecting GPS data of survey participants through a smartphone application. Research Apprentices will also have the opportunity to assist in focus groups of affordable housing residents to discuss the other co-benefits of locating affordable housing near transit. All Research Apprentices will receive training on the survey, GPS data collection, and focus groups.

Specific tasks include:
• Tracking outreach to potential survey participants and scheduling surveys and focus groups.
• Conducting surveys in-person in English and Spanish (if applicable) with residents of selected affordable housing sites.
• Assisting in the facilitation of focus groups with residents of selected affordable housing sites.
• Participate in weekly team meetings to discuss data collection updates, data quality, and brainstorm solutions to challenges.


Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Miriam Zuk, Staff Researcher

Qualifications: The student would ideally have the following qualifications: • Comfortable completing 30-minute in-person surveys. • Ability to travel to and from affordable housing survey sites (transportation costs will be covered). • Comfortable facilitating 1-hour focus groups. • Ability to clearly track data collection information in a timely manner. • Effective communication skills. • Interest in housing, transportation, and/or climate-change policy. • Valid driver’s license (preferred) • Advanced fluency in Spanish (preferred)

Weekly Hours: 9-12 hrs

Off-Campus Research Site: Research will be conducted at various affordable housing developments throughout the Bay Area (to be determined). Transportation costs will be covered.