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Researchers in housing and community development design and evaluate policies regarding access to attractive, affordable and sustainable housing and improving the social, physical and economic infrastructure of communities, especially those in the urban core. Practitioners in this field confront political considerations, administrative guidelines and limited funding.

Decision science can increase the efficiency and effectiveness of market-rate housing development and provide support for policy responses to issues such as affordable housing, race and class segregation, ineffective and/or inequitable economic development, and sustainable development. This research spans many disciplines, including systems modeling, urban economics, multi-criteria decision modeling, stochastic models and decision support systems, and is often interdisciplinary and applied in nature. A common thread in this work is the need to explicitly address the needs of multiple stakeholders, to capture the public and private nature of housing, and to incorporate best-available evidence regarding markets, policies and impacts of housing and community development.

We describe the policy context for this work, review previous research through the lens of descriptive, prescriptive and decision support models, and identify important limitations to work in this area to date. We then describe diverse opportunities for research in this area that can address current policy concerns such as sustainable development, post-disaster reconstruction and individual and group decision support.


Submission to Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science. Ed. James Cochran. John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2010.




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