This research project was directed by LBJ School Professor Peter M. Ward and was funded by a $100,000 grant from the Ford Foundation to conduct sustainable housing policy research and policy development for self-help in Texas colonias and other similar communities. It builds upon research and databases created in 2000 and will offer a longitudinal perspective from two cross-sectional databases for 2000-2010 (see Title Regularization Study 2001-2 in this Texas Housing Studies area).
The Ford Foundation Reports comprises three main elements. Report # 1 is a changing lot occupancy re-study that provides benchmark data on the take-up occupancy of formerly vacant lots in existing colonias and settlements since the original survey undertaken as an LBJ Policy Research Project. Report # 2 is restudy of sustainable housing improvements in several colonias outside Rio Grande City (Starr County) where in 2001-2 Dr. Ward led a UT-Texas/A&M team to evaluate the impact of a program to provide clean property titles to residents (Title Regularization Study
It offers a detailed snapshot (ten years later) to understand: the extent and nature of improvements that have been made since title regularization; how improvements were financed & housing market performance in light of the 2008-9 housing and financial crisis; and it explores the potential for help home owner to incorporate more sustainable and green technologies and practices. A third Report describes an computer interactive Cost-Benefit Home Intervention Tool (C-BHIT) that communities and the households themselves may use in order to gauge the utility and benefits of green and other self-build housing improvement investments in their homes.
The study was conducted by Dr. Ward and a graduate student team between September 2010 and December 2011, and was concluded in June 2012.
Dr Wards Introduction and Overview of the Research Project: Housing Sustainability, Self-help and Upgrading in Texas Colonias: A Longitudinal Perspective -- 2002 plus 10 offers an overview of the study and the main findings that is designed to be read as a preliminary to entering each individual report. Read here.