Mandel School launches national initiative for research about mixed-income communities

Mark JosephA central resource for research and information about creating and sustaining mixed-income communities has launched online at with resources at Case Western Reserve University.

The National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities (NIMC) is based in the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences.

Mark Joseph, associate professor and director of NIMC, said NIMC’s mission is to help reduce urban poverty and promote successful mixed-income communities by facilitating high-quality research and making information and evidence easily available to policymakers and practitioners.

Mixed-income developments, which have been built in many cities across the country, are intentionally designed and marketed to a diverse group of residents across incomes, offering public, affordable and market-rate housing, and often including rental and home-ownership options.

“Building on nine years of research and consultation on mixed-income development in several cities across the U.S., we have worked for the past year to design and launch a center that can add relevant and lasting value to the field,” Joseph said.

Joseph, who with colleagues at the University of Chicago, has published 15 articles on the topic and is now working on a book, has launched NIMC with a team of faculty and staff at Case Western Reserve. Taryn Gress is the project coordinator.

NIMC offers key products for practitioners, researchers and policymakers. These include periodic Scans of the Field, a mixed-income database and a mixed income library and social media network all accessible online.

The first scan, posted upon launch of the initiative, is on the topic of “Social Dynamics in Mixed-Income Developments” and discusses concepts of social interaction, community building, social control and governance. This scan is based on information from 31 developments across the country. The NIMC team is working on a second scan on the topic of upward mobility for low-income residents in mixed-income developments.

The online database has information for more than 140 mixed-income housing developments nationally, with more to be added for existing and planned developments. The online library has more than 150 articles and reports on mixed-income development. The online social media network has 50 members and connects practitioners, policymakers and students interested in mixed-income.

NIMC has several ongoing partnerships, including those with the University of Chicago, Washington University in St. Louis, the Urban Institute, Learning for Action, McCormack Baron Salazar, Urban Strategies, The Community Builders, Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority and The American City Coalition.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation provided lead funding for the launch of NIMC. Additional funders of NIMC projects include: the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Campaign for HOPESF, The American City Coalition and the Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing.