Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cincinnati state of preservation: What the 2010 Census may tell us

The 2010 Census is perhaps the most over hyped event in recent history , It is less detailed in its scope than previous census but if we read between the lines what it doesn't tell us may be more revealing than what it does.

Overall I imagine the 2010 census will show little growth in the city proper. County growth will be there and the counties surrounding us will no doubt show significant growth overall the area will do well.

Extracting any sort of "preservation/restoration" data will be almost impossible to glean but by looking at what is and is not there we may be able to see signs of restoration activity in neighborhoods.
For example, I do not expect a lot of population growth in OTR. But you have to bear in mind that after the riots. OTR was 'emptied out" as many section 8 holders went throughout the county. So in terms of real numbers, real growth in OTR, the census numbers may not show much. The detail will be gleaned from other areas.

We should see and increase in college educated residents. That would indicate a more affluent demographic is moving into the area. That will be an indication of restoration and preservation activity.

Look for an increase in white demographics in OTR as an indication of restoration activity.

Why Less is More
We should be looking for population DECREASE in areas like Price Hill, Fairmount, Westwood
and Walnut Hills. A population decrease, less 4-7 person households and more 1 and 2 family households tends to indicate restoration activity and home ownership. I expect numbers to be strange anyway because the real estate run up with easy credit, put many people in an owner category that had never been and the foreclosure crisis has taken them out of that.

Other Factors

A same sex household is also an demographic to look at. The gay community is often at the forefront of restoration and preservation efforts and a leading indicator of where Restoration is headed.

We may see fewer occupied housing units overall and the detail will be in family size.

What we may find is an increase in the townships in larger 'extended families' households from 4-7 persons meaning that section 8 may be moving further out . Shifts in section 8 housing may indicate restoration in areas where section 8 opportunities have been reduced.

Regional overview: Across the river

I expect we may see a better demographic in both Newport and Covington as we are seeing a lot of restoration over there. This may indicate that city policy and actions, Vacant building task force, VBML's and demolitions may be sending restoration activities across the river.

What we need:

It would be nice if an organization like CPA could set up a Preservation survey/census site with a census of restoration activity. Whose restoring in what neighborhood. Who lives in restored housing, Who is converting illegal multi families back to single for example.

Participation in this survey effort could be promoted via neighborhood and civic groups, the media and local bloggers, Facebook etc.

An effort like this could give us a better snap shot of what is really going on in Preservation.

1 comment:

tom said...

^^ Yeah, what they said, lol.

Interesting, the idea of decreasing population being a positive marker for an area, is counter-intuitive but makes sense.