John Tlumaki
White Paper: Framework for Residential Displacement Research at MAPC

Definitions and Approaches

Growing demand for housing in Greater Boston’s urban communities over recent years has prompted fears of the deleterious effects of neighborhood change and its connection to residential displacement. Residential displacement is a complex phenomenon that impacts different communities and municipalities in an assortment of ways and at different rates. Therefore, a nuanced understanding of displacement and vulnerability to displacement at both the local and regional level is necessary to recognize how displacement pressures may differentially affect the range of community types in Greater Boston.

This white paper describes various frameworks and tools used in the residential displacement literature to define and measure displacement and displacement vulnerability and proposes a series of operational definitions for residential displacement, displacement vulnerability, and other concepts that may guide MAPC’s planning and analysis going forward. The paper then reviews examples of displacement reports and analyses and suggests approaches that MAPC can use to assess displacement vulnerability, elucidate displacement impacts, estimate residential mobility in the context of neighborhood change, and examine the impact of housing development on surrounding housing prices. An appendix includes anti-displacement policies and strategies promoted in each of the aforementioned reports, as well as a list of references.

White paper PDF