WHEDco’s Research, Policy & Evaluation Department explores trends in our programs and in our community in order to support the organization’s efforts in innovative and responsive program design.
In order to better understand how COVID-19 has impacted the communities WHEDco works with, WHEDco’s Research, Policy and Evaluation Department, in collaboration with WHEDco’s program
areas, designed and administered a survey to WHEDco clients, participants, families, tenants, childcare providers, and small businesses. The survey focuses on impacts related to COVID-19
sickness and death; economics, including employment/business status, rent payments, and food insecurity; overall well-being and mental health; and children’s learning and well-being.
The Crotona Park East Community Needs Assessment provided insight from community members with regards to the improvements, services and resources they’d like to see in this neighborhood. Considering the current neighborhood study and potential rezoning being conducted by the NYC Department of City Planning, it was interesting to learn that 59.7% of respondents had never heard about the possible rezoning around Southern Boulevard. We also found that 54.6% of households earn less than $20,000 per year and 54.1% of respondents pay more than half their monthly income on rent. Meanwhile, more than half (54.5%) of respondents do not feel their neighborhood is safe, and over half (56.9%) do not think their neighborhood is clean and well-maintained. Respondents were also asked what kinds of assets or services they’d like to see more of in their neighborhood, and the top five answers were affordable housing, more police presence, community centers/youth programs, better parks and public spaces, and career/job training centers.
With support from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, from April to June 2018, WHEDco worked with The DreamYard Project to produce the Melrose/Morrisania Arts and Cultural Inventory. The goal of this survey was to better understand community members’ cultural and community interests. These findings will help inform the work of WHEDco, DreamYard and other stakeholders in the Melrose/Morrisania area, as well as the initiatives of the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and other cultural and neighborhood organizations in Melrose and Morrisania. This document serves as a summary of survey findings.
The Community Needs Assessment in Wakefield/Edenwald was conducted in partnership with the Wake-Eden Community Baptist Church to gain a deeper understanding of the strengths and challenges present in the neighborhoods where Wake-Eden’s buildings and programs are located. Nearly half (45.1%) of respondents are foreign-born. Close to two out of every five respondents (38.9%) reports an annual household income of less than $35,000, while 40.9% of respondents earn more than $50,000 per year. Additionally, 62.3% has a full-time job. When asked the areas in which they needed the most help, respondents ranked housing, lowering electricity/heat bills, financial issues, public benefits, and emergency food the highest. The biggest neighborhood concerns for community members were cleanliness and feeling uninformed about available local resources and events.
WHEDco conducted a Community Needs Survey around the Jerome Avenue area during the Fall and Winter of 2017, at a time when local elected officials were actively considering the rezoning plan from the New York City Department of City Planning (DCP). Significant neighborhood land use changes were under debate and community tensions were high. This particular survey in the Concourse and Highbridge neighborhoods allowed us to extend WHEDco’s neighborhood development efforts around our Urban Horizons building and to increase our knowledge to respond to the then proposed Jerome Avenue rezoning. The Jerome Avenue Area Community Needs Assessment report describes the results of the survey and offers a snapshot of current perceptions of a neighborhood on the cusp of change.
The Jerome Avenue Business Needs study was conducted in order to provide WHEDco and the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) with a detailed picture of business service needs throughout the Jerome Avenue Business Corridor. The study’s ultimate aims were to inform the design of future services, to provide an accurate and up-to-date snapshot of the issues and challenges faced by small businesses, and to focus new services on areas of greatest need.
To better understand and help meet the needs of the Melrose community, we conducted a community needs assessment focused on a one-mile radius around the Bronx Commons site, in partnership with Partnership for a Healthier Bronx at Bronx Health REACH. Carried out from 2013-2014, the community needs assessment included a survey of 1,000 people who lived, worked, or attended school within the one-mile radius.
This report concludes that microenterprises play a major role in the local and national economy. WHEDco has developed multiple strategies to help microentrepreneurs, especially those from low-income backgrounds, grow their businesses, increase their incomes and support their families. With improved policies and increased support for diverse microentrepreneurs, we envision a brighter economic future for the Bronx.
This report argues that in order to accommodate Intervale Green residents’ needs, WHEDco should expand its current services or expand its referral network to complementary organizations. The report also notes that residents’ health is of special concern and that they desire new businesses and organizations in the community, but that overall they are happy with the move to Intervale Green.
This report argues that any programming and community development efforts in Crotona Park East should address the needs of families with children, particularly those with high levels of economic and housing insecurity. These efforts should also address health and quality of life issues, as well as take into account the willingness of community residents to participate in these efforts.
This report argues that residents are more likely to incorporate exercise into routine activities than to engage in recreational activities. Given this finding, the report advocates for safe parks, walkable/bikable sidewalks and streets and a reduction in the amount of neighborhood crime and dangerous traffic. Fitness campaigns should include community education, community advocacy and resource development.
Research Reports & Briefs
This study –the second in a three-part series conducted by WHEDco’s Research, Policy and Evaluation Department– underscores the importance of addressing affordable housing as a means to curb the homelessness crisis, which –at its core– reveals the profound impact of economic inequality and discrimination on our most vulnerable populations, mainly women, children, racial or ethnic minorities, the elderly, and others, including those suffering from mental health illnesses and other medical conditions, as well as those who have experienced domestic abuse.
This brief offers a glimpse into the tenants who have resided at Urban Horizons over time, and how they compare to other neighborhood residents across different quality-of-life measures. The study concludes that residents of Urban Horizons are faring better than the average community resident across key indicators, including educational outcomes, household income, and rent burden.
This brief uses data from the DATA2GO.NYC site to examine rent burden in the three Bronx community districts where WHEDco has or will have affordable apartments and within WHEDco’s own buildings, while also providing insight into some of the impacts of extreme housing burden by looking at specific key indicators.
WHEDco’s Just Ask Me (JAM) is a peer-led sex education and reproductive health program for 6th through 8th grade students attending WHEDco’s After School Enrichment program at PS/MS 218 in the South Bronx. This Assessment Analysis examines the learning growth for students who participated in JAM during the 2015-2016 school year, and the experiences of peer educators.
This report by Social Impact Research recommends WHEDco’s Head Start Program for its high quality education and curriculum, parent support programs and access to complementary services. SIR also acknowledges WHEDco’s systemic change activities to create social impact, including participation in the NYC American Constitution Society Working Group and extensive housing and community development efforts.
In this report, WHEDco’s Housing and Community Development Department describes how it has built beautiful affordable housing, assessed resident needs, surveyed the built environment, collaborated with the merchants and other community members and developed a preliminary community safety plan. By layering a comprehensive array of economic development and social services onto its housing initiatives, WHEDco increases families’ ability to achieve economic self-sufficiency and escape poverty.
This report describes the Home-based Childcare Microenterprise Network as a proven, cost-effective business development model that helps women with difficult prospects for finding traditional employment to support their families through home-based microenterprises. Through training, tax and licensing assistance, professional support and other resources, WHEDco’s program helps women with little formal academic preparation to build their skills and gain a foothold in the job market.
A quick summary of findings from the Education and Youth Development Department, this report brief highlights students’ acceptance into high performing high schools, their high levels of participation in the afterschool program and their belief in WHEDco as safe and supportive. The afterschool program at PS/MS 218 demonstrates exceedingly high rates of participation, both in terms of intensity and duration, across age and gender.
This brief report details the success of the Project STEP (Students Toward Educational Progress) program in helping students gain acceptance into high performing high schools. Even if a student is doing well in school, his or her chances of getting into a good high school, such as a specialized high school or one with an excellent graduation rate, are significantly impacted by whether or not that student participates in Project STEP.
For more information about our research projects and publications, please contact Nicole Lavan, PhD at email@example.com or 718.839.1121.