Overcoming Challenges in Housing-Based Research

Lindsay Eilers ,
Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.
Stephany De Scisciolo ,
Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.
This report discusses lessons learned from a multisite, longitudinal study of the impact of green building practices on the respiratory health of residents living in affordable housing. Five key insights, followed by specific recommendations are highlighted, as well as perspectives from key participants.

In 2013, Enterprise Community Partners, The JPB Foundation, the National Center for Healthy Housing, and several university partners embarked on a multiyear, multisite study of green building practices. This longitudinal housing-based research sought to measure the effect of green building practices on the respiratory health of residents living in affordable housing. The report’s five insights address the lessons learned in different stages of the study, ranging from design to implementation. These insights include:

     Insight #1: Identify key stakeholders and include them in the study design planning process.
     Insight #2: Create a strong team and the project infrastructure needed for a complex study.
     Insight #3: Pilot test the study design. 
     Insight #4: Build strong relationships with developers, property managers and residents.
     Insight #5: Pursue flexibility and creativity in adapting to implementation challenges with strong support from funders and advisors.

In addition to these insights, perspectives from key project stakeholders are highlighted throughout the report, with informative reflections from the project team, developers, community organizations, and the study’s primary funder. These perspectives offer an in-depth look into the complexity of and challenges presented by housing-based research. An overarching lesson from the Healthy Home, Happy Kids study is the importance of embedding community-based participatory research (CBPR) principles throughout the research process. The report offers an open and honest assessment about the decisions made and the study’s alignment with CBPR principles. 

Download a summary of the report. 

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