To start we are going to get our hands on relevant data by cloning the DataSF Housing Hub and adapting it to the Durham Area.

For quick overview (if new to project), check out this Dec 10 affordable housing report provided by consultant Karen Lado to the City of Durham

This is an emerging project born out of this initial Project Scope Brainstorm.


Sustainable economic development is difficult to get right. Durham is growing fast and may be missing the window to get the right policies and organizations in place to ensure it stays a place where people of all socio-economic backgrounds can work and live. Durham already lacks 14,500 affordable rental units according to DurhamCares. We don't want to live in a place with the same dramatic tension that San Francisco has experienced between the innovation/tech economy and those not in that sector. We want to be the model of sustainable urban growth in the digital age. We need tools to help guide the discussion.

Lack of public awareness around changes in affordable housing options in Durham and ability to track local inventories of rent within affordable ranges block by block as Durham grows is one major problem

Other Problems:

  • How many rental units are available for people earning at 40-60% AMI?
  • Startups & low-wealth communities are at-risk of “gentrification”
  • Ensure housing inventory is aligned with workforce development efforts
  • Ensure affordable housing inventory is aligned with public transportation planning

Project Activity

Update #10

  • Added a new graph for the ACS Gross Rent Percent Household Income ** The graphs were pretty cluttered ** Experimented with line, bar, stacked bar ** Experimented with rolling some of the data up ** Was pretty easy for Ron to manipulate the data and show visualizations locally

  • Worked with Sarah to bring her up to speed on the project and bounced ideas around with her to see if we could come up with a good way to show the data

  • Sarah had a great question - "What story do we want to tell?"

NEXT STEPS: * Need to be able to have others run the site locally * Need to deploy the site hosted externally * Need get a good grasp on the visualizations we want

Update #9

  • Created new, simpler application stack for exploring data (moved away from SF housing hub template)
  • Created Slack Channel for better remote, real time communications
  • Scheduled SME interviews with Karen Lado (Durham Aff Housing Consultant) & had call with Shoshana (Commercial Real Estate Professional)
  • Proved dynamic usage of Durham Portal data
  • Established process
  • Onboarded Jen H - Welcome!

Next Steps

  • Get current app hosted on GH pages (Ron)
  • Documenting latest app version in Github (Ron)
  • Create well-formed data for some new graphs (Ben)
  • Discuss strategy/priorities with Karen Lado (Adam)
  • Give UI feedback (Jen)

Update #8

The relative path issue for the css and links looks like it is now resolved on both the local and

There is still an issue with the graphs not showing on, but they are showing up locally.

Update #5

  • Merged new Data Browser to master repo
  • Downloaded ACS data for Durham
  • Started consuming JSON files
  • Worked on parsing txt to csv data visualization catalog

Update #3

Attendees: Derek (database/back end), Brittany (front end), Cat (front end), Ben (data/policy), Leah (data/research), Adam (Policy/partners), Chris K (real estate perspective)

  • Cloned the DataSF Data Hub Starter project in our affordable housing repo. To join the repo, just
  • Started a waffle board to add/manage next steps
  • Onboarded new members to the project
  • Reviewed the Dec 10 affordable housing report provided by consultant Karen Lado to the City of Durham

Update #2

[Notes from Ginny] Attendees: Brittany, Anne, Ginny, Adam, Mickey, & Derek

Summary: Good discussion on the history of this team and the priorities of those who arrived. A good discussion on activities that will help in the discovery:

  • Prototype a page or two from the San Francisco Housing Data Hub (
  • Pull data from Open Durham (ex County Population Vulnerability) into various tools such as Watson, SAS Enterprise, Pandas, …
  • Compare Durham to similar cities to assess how we are doing for affordability and accessibility to housing
  • Determine if there is data that the community could request to be added to the Open Durham site.

Next Meeting Prep (December 15)

Update #1

What's happening in community: Recent discussions with Durham CAN, Durham City Council, Self-Help, Durham Housing Authority, etc centers around downtown housing near the Durham Transportation Station, mainly re: options for

  • the use of public property to incentivize private developers to create housing developments with some affordable units, and
  • competition for limited State HUD funds for different projects.

Recent News (see great sources below)

Courtesy of Lisa Soorg and Bull City Rising blog