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Housing Opportunities for All

What is the ambitious goal of this project?

The Treasure Valley is facing a housing crisis — this VIP aims to be part of the solution. Growth in the Treasure Valley has led to scarce housing opportunities and high housing costs for many households. We need you to help address this crisis.

Experience Gained

Students will engage with course faculty, practitioners, the public, and policy makers in an effort to clearly define and address housing issues in Idaho’s Treasure Valley. Students will learn strategies of data collection using a variety of qualitative, quantitative, and archival methods; data analysis, reporting, and visualization; community engagement; and effective communication. Students will also advance their skills in problem solving, teamwork, and leadership.

Fall 2020 VIP students presented at Boise Neighborhood Interactive– read about it!

Why study housing?

  • Everyone needs housing, yet our housing system does not ensure that everyone has access to a safe, decent and affordable dwelling.
  • Housing crises can be found in most US towns and cities today. This is reflected in decreasing affordability and increasing numbers of individuals and families confronting eviction and/or homelessness.
  • Housing impacts many dimensions of our individual lives – our safety, sense of community, identity, and access to opportunities like schools and jobs. It is also connected to broader social and economic process.
  • Housing is healthcare – secure and safe housing improves both short-term and long-term physical and mental health outcomes of individuals and families. It also decreases overall health care costs.
  • A wide variety of disciplines can provide insight on housing, from construction and design to social and behavioral sciences to business. Similarly, a broad range of research methods can be used to gain insights into housing markets, housing policies, neighborhoods and communities, and how people experience all of these.

Why study housing in the Treasure Valley?

  • As the Treasure Valley grows, the housing market has become increasingly challenging. Sale prices, rents, and property taxes have all increased. We want to better understand how these challenges are impacting area residents.
  • The Treasure Valley’s housing context is changing very quickly. Every few months, a new issue moves to the fore. This region will benefit from our VIP’s ability to provide timely, high-quality research that can inform policy decisions.
  • The challenges facing the Treasure Valley reflect challenges facing cities and towns across the United States. Because our metropolitan area is relatively small, we have the opportunity to explore housing challenges with both breadth and depth. Our insights will then have the potential to shape understandings of housing across the Intermountain West and in other fast-growing metropolitan areas.

Methodologies used to achieve project goals:

  • case studies
  • fieldwork
  • qualitative research methods
  • quantitative research methods
  • structured interviewing
  • writing
  • Survey design/implementation
  • Data analysis
  • Data visualization
  • Community engagement
  • Ethnographic methods
  • Visual communication
  • Oral communication

Majors and Interests Needed

No previous coursework is required. Familiarity with one or more of the following programs is beneficial: Tableau; SPSS, R, or Stata for statistical analysis; Adobe Creative suite; NVivo; IMPLAN.

Any/All majors welcome, but specifically seeking students from these majors:

  • Urban Studies
  • MPA
  • Social Work
  • Sociology
  • Anthropology
  • Public Health
  • Economics
  • Business (particularly Real Estate)
  • Construction management
  • Computer science
  • Graphic design
  • Political Science

VIP Coach Information

Krista Paulsen

Dr. Krista Paulsen is Associate Professor in the Urban Studies and Community Development Program in the School of Public Service. Contact: Trained as an urban sociologist, her research examines cities, neighborhoods, and dwellings with an emphasis on how those change or stay the same, and how culture influences the ways we live in these places. She is currently working on projects related to short-term rentals and local responses to gentrification.

Vanessa Fry

Dr. Vanessa Fry, Contact:
Dr. Vanessa Fry is research director for the Idaho Policy Institute (IPI) in the School of Public Service. She has focused both her work and education on utilizing multi-sector, evidenced-based solutions to address persistent social, environmental, and economic issues. At IPI Vanessa has led projects focusing on a number of issues including education, workforce development, transportation, and housing and homelessness.

Course Information

Full semester course.
Choose to enroll in 1 or 2 credits in VIP 200, VIP 400, or VIP 500
Team meetings TBD by participants.

Want to join the team?

For more information about this project and/or to request a permission number to register complete this interest form and you will receive additional instructions via email. Check out this page for tips on contacting a professor.

To register:  search by Subject: Vertically Integrated Projects, select section with Homes for All as topic name of VIP 200, 400, or 500. Use permission number, here are instructions Add with a permission number