Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Collins, IRP team receive funding for housing-related data project

Professor J. Michael Collins Professor J. Michael Collins

A team from UW–Madison’s Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP), including La Follette School Professor J. Michael Collins, received a UW2020 award to increase the quality and amount of housing-related data available to the Wisconsin Administrative Data Core, a unique data resource at IRP. 

IRP Director Katherine Magnuson, a La Follette School faculty affiliate, is leading the team as principal investigator. Hilary Shager (MPA ’05, PhD ’12) and Associate Professor Deborah Ehrenthal – also La  Follette School faculty affiliates – are assisting along with Marah Curtis, professor of social work; Kurt Paulsen, associate professor of planning and landscape architecture; and Peter Miller, professor of educational leadership and policy analysis.

Shager, former associate director of the La Follette School, is an IRP associate director and researcher, and Ehrenthal is an associate professor in UW–Madison’s School of Medicine and Public Health. Magnuson is a professor of social work.

Their project – Building a Transformational Data Resource to Support Housing Research – will enable researchers to partner with policymakers and practitioners to develop actionable results that can be used to improve the lives of low-income families and individuals and ameliorate impacts of the housing crisis.

The Data Core links longitudinal social service data in Wisconsin, as well as information on incarceration from the Wisconsin Department of Corrections and children’s educational outcomes from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

Adding housing data to the Data Core and linking it to other longitudinal public program data will help answer questions such as: What are the housing conditions and capabilities of lower-income families? How do housing subsidies interact with other benefits? Do public housing benefits affect individual and family well-being? What are the impacts of specific Public Housing Authority policies and programming?

Twelve projects were chosen for Round 6 of the UW2020: WARF Discovery Initiative. The projects were among 92 proposals submitted from across campus. The initiative is funded by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.

The goal of UW2020 is to stimulate and support cutting-edge, highly innovative and groundbreaking research at UW–Madison and to support acquisition of shared instruments or equipment that will foster significant advances in research.