First Comprehensive Economic Impact Analysis of a Redevelopment and Housing Authority in U.S. Completed by William & Mary Mason School of Business
How do you know it is the first?
New York City Housing Authority, the nation’s largest housing authority, contacted NRHA for advice and using our study as a model for their own assessment, through New York University.
What does Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority (NRHA) do that needs to be measured?
• NRHA receives $90 to $100 million annually from federal and city sources to provide redevelopment, rental housing and property management services to citizens of Norfolk.
• What happens to this money when invested in the community?
• How do specific NRHA projects or services affect the larger local economy in the way of: Jobs, Income, Output, Capital Investment, Property Values and Tax Revenue?
Ways to Measure Economic Impact:
• Direct: changes tied directly to a project
• Indirect: suppliers purchases of inputs related to the project
• Induced: local spending by workers related to the project
• “Ripple” effects on community based on size of the multiplier
• Total Impact=Direct+Indirect+Induced
Who Measured the Impact?
A research team from the renowned Mason School of Business at the College
of William and Mary. Professors Roy Pearson and Scott Swan have deep dive
experience in economic impact analysis for major clients such as Virginia
Port Authority, Phillip Morris USA and Richmond International Airport.
What Was Measured in the Study?
The study was divided into four parts of what NRHA does: redevelopment, housing choice voucher program, assisted-rental properties and supportive services for residents as well as a final study tying it all together.:
1) Redevelopment of the challenged Central Brambleton neighborhood from 1991-2010
• Since early 1990s $22.7 million invested for infrastructure and residential lot development, with 90
homes built. About one-half $22.7 million came from Norfolk capital improvement funds and remaining
covered by HUD Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME funds.
• Modeled direct, indirect and induced impacts, with total cumulative impacts of $55 million through 2010.
• In 2010, the neighborhood generated $415,000 in annual property tax revenue with assessed valuation
of $37.4 million (since 2001)
• Improvements on NRHA-supplied lots increased by $15.3 million or 523% and underlying land values
surged by $3.4 million or 420%.
• 435 jobs created with average wage of $45,285
2) Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program
• Total vouchers in use 2,961. 6,844 Norfolk Residents or 3% of city population live in quality affordable
private-market rentals, serving 79 of Norfolk’s 83 census tracts
• Average HCV household income $16,419
• FY 2010, NRHA provided $20.2 million for Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) to 1,260 property owners.
Ripple effect of this $20.2 million produced an additional $8.3 million in Norfolk spending, bringing the
total to $28.5 million directly and indirectly supported by HCV program. This $28.5 million in new local
spending supported production of $19.8 million in goods and services within Norfolk city limits, produced
by 180 workers.
• Elimination of blight through increased maintenance and rehabilitation resulting from HCV quality inspections
resulted in improved property values.
• Contributes to more mixed-income neighborhoods by enabling low-income families to select housing of
choice throughout city. As a result, the Brookings Institution recently reported that Norfolk neighborhoods
over the past 10 years experienced one of the highest deconcentration of poverty rates in the nation.
3) 11 Assisted-Rental Communities
• Helped 7,772 people in 3,115 public housing units for FY 2010 (3.2% of Norfolk’s population)
• $21.5 million in local production of goods and services directly and indirectly attributable to $24.7
million in net new NRHA operating and capital expenditures.
• Program also created $16 million in additional labor income earned by 320 workers.
What were the final conclusions?
NRHA is not only an important driver of the local economy but also serves as a safety net for lower income citizens who can’t afford housing at prevailing market rates. NRHA provides critical housing options through creativity and funding predominantly from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. NRHA is vital to neighborhood stabilization and increasing tax revenues within in the city. NRHA helps improve the city’s infrastructure along with the safety and quality of housing. NRHA revitalizes crime-plagued neighborhoods, with low property values into quality, affordable housing choices for thousands of people. Finally, it promotes economic self-sufficiency, education, training and asset development. All this adds up to an irreplaceable economic and social gain for Norfolk citizens. NRHA directly and indirectly in FY 2010 generated Norfolk spending of $121.5 million for the city’s economy and 1,148 jobs with average wage of $46,434 at a time when region was in midst of Great Recession. 93% of NRHA spending is captured and recirculated in Norfolk, which is among the highest percentages ever found in W&M long history of doing these studies.
It is clear that success of their programs is dependent on highly motivated, quality people and effective partnerships. One of the most important is NRHA’s continuing ability to work with City of Norfolk. This seems to be a solid relationship - - mutually admirable comments and success abound – and their efforts match well with the city’s initiatives as stated in Plan Norfolk 2030.
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