Community Indicators for Your Community

Real, lasting community change is built around knowing where you are, where you want to be, and whether your efforts are making a difference. Indicators are a necessary ingredient for sustainable change. And the process of selecting community indicators -- who chooses, how they choose, what they choose -- is as important as the data you select.

This is an archive of thoughts I had about indicators and the community indicators movement. Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Information Updates

Here's a couple of updates from stuff we've talked about earlier:

1. PolicyMap ( has just added new data sets:

- Presidential Campaign Contributions as of June 20, 2008
- 4th Quarter 2007 Home Sale Statistics
- Fair Market Rents (FMR) for 2008 by bedroom size: efficiencies, 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, 3 bedroom, and 4 bedroom units
- Area Median Incomes (AMI) for 2008 by family size (1 through 8 person families). Data includes 30%, 50% and 80% of AMI calculations

2. The Housing+Transportation Affordability Index web training session is tomorrow. Here's what you need to know to join in:

The Housing + Transportation Affordability Index: A New Way of Defining Affordability

Thursday, July 31 at 2:00 p.m. ET

The Housing + Transportation Affordability Index, developed by CNT and collaborative partner, the Center for Transit Oriented Development (CTOD), is an innovative tool that measures the true affordability of housing by including the cost of transportation associated with location. Planners, lenders, and most consumers traditionally measure housing affordability as 30 percent or less of income. The Housing + Transportation Affordability Index, in contrast, takes into account not just the cost of housing, but also the intrinsic value of place, as quantified through transportation expenses.

The latest release of the H + T Index, a project of the Brookings Institution's Urban Markets Initiative, includes an interactive mapping site which provides housing and transportation costs at the neighborhood level for 52 metropolitan areas. Additionally, other key characteristics of neighborhoods are presented, including average VMT (vehicle miles traveled), auto ownership rates, employment density, and transit ridership. Recognizing the relationship between urban form, housing site selection, and transportation costs and integrating this way of thinking into the choices and decisions made by home buyers, renters, urban and transportation planners and developers are key factors in creating and establishing true affodability in housing choices.
KnowledgePlex Expert Chats are free to attend and use Microsoft's Live Meeting Software, a small and free program you must install beforehand.

For more information or to join this Expert Chat, click here.

Try the Housing + Transportation Affordability Index website at


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