By Texas Southern University
Texas Southern University (TSU) recently received a $1 million award from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to establish a Center of Excellence that will advance transdisciplinary academic and empirical research and debate on affordable housing and community development policy. The COE will be known as the Center of Excellence for Housing and Community Development Research (CEHCDR).
“HUD is proud to forge new partnerships with academia to build on research and innovation that will better inform the housing and community development needs of historically underserved communities,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge.
CEHCDR will conduct research focusing on racial equity benefiting low-income communities of color in six major Texas cities (Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio) and yield reports on housing, community, and economic development in underserved communities that can serve as national, local, or regional benchmarks for understanding a range of critical issues. In so doing, CHCDR will play a significant role in expanding housing and community development research produced at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
“This new Center of Excellence elevates Texas Southern University as a primary source of academic research for housing and community development,” said Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, President of Texas Southern University. “CEHCDR will not only transform the lives of our faculty and students, it will be a catalyst for improving urban areas into more livable, prosperous communities.”
TSU is the only HBCU with both an accredited professional urban planning program, which is housed in the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs, and an accredited law school (Thurgood Marshall School of Law). Dr. Jeffrey Lowe and Dr. Laura Solitare, faculty members in the Department of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy, will lead CHCDR as Director and Associate Director, respectively.
According to Lowe, CEHCDR aims to transform both urban research and urban policy by “supporting innovative research projects that will expand the legacies of these two schools at TSU, stimulate essential policy debate, and foster partnerships and collaboration with philanthropic and other research entities as well as other institutions of higher learning, including HBCUs.”
In partnership with Alabama A&M University’s Department of Community and Regional Planning, and the University of Texas at Austin’s Community and Regional Planning Department and Community Development Law Clinic, TSU’s CEHCDR will conduct research with assistance from graduate and undergraduate students and extend the pipeline for conveying future housing and community development researchers and scholars of color.