The City of Madison Plan Commission accepted the Equitable Development in Madison report analyzing affordable housing and gentrification in Madison neighborhoods Monday night.

The commission unanimously voted to accept the Equitable Development in Madison report that included data from several studies conducted by City of Madison staff.

The report used census and American Community Survey data to find neighborhoods in the area that were at risk of losing their affordable housing options. The report included strategies to mitigate the effects of this loss. 

The staff members who created the report had three areas of focus when collecting data — economic vulnerability, demographic change and housing market conditions. Together, the report says that these factors can indicate areas that have been gentrified or are at risk of gentrification.

The main authors of the paper, Dan McAulliffe and Urvashi Martin presented the findings of the report to the commission. 

“[Madison is] having a lot of increases in our housing costs, both rental and ownership,” McAulliffe said. “So we’re making sure that as we grow we are being very diligent about not placing extra burden on our affordable housing stock.”

The data from the three categories were combined and then staff used data models to assign neighborhoods to one of seven typologies based on economic vulnerability.

Based on demographic change and market conditions, the seven typographies were be placed into three broad categories of early, dynamic and late-stage gentrification. 

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The report defined gentrification as the reconfiguration of historically marginalized urban communities.

Martin said that after looking at strategies used in other cities they found numerous ways to prevent gentrification.

“Some of … the ways in which gentrification and displacement can be prevented is … by creating new affordable housing, preserving existing affordable housing, stabilizing neighborhoods to retain residents and business and plan for inclusive and equitable development,” Martin said.

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According to the report, many strategies, like having an Affordable Housing Fund, are already being implemented by the City of Madison.

In addition to what is already in place, the report recommends adjusting zoning standards, regularly collecting and analyzing community impact reports and retaining any affordable housing units set to expire.

The report concludes by stating that the goal of this report is to spark discussion about affordable housing among policymakers and promote equitable development.