Equity at Forefront: New Tab Added to Poverty Center’s Progress Index

Photo showing downtown Cleveland

An Equity Tab has just been added to the Progress Index, an important neighborhood data tool launched in 2018 by the Mandel School’s Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development (Poverty Center) and Cleveland Neighborhood Progress to equip community development practitioners with housing and economic mobility data to better understand neighborhood dynamics, monitor trends, develop solutions, and use data to measure organizational and/or programmatic outcomes.

The Equity Tab provides disaggregated data across a number of data categories, including Housing Cost Burden, Poverty, Health, Education, and Income.

“The goal of the Equity Tab is to help us keep racial equity at the forefront of discussion, policy, and program design in Cleveland,” said Claudia J. Coulton, PhD, Co-Director of the Poverty Center, Distinguished University Professor, and the Lillian F. Harris Professor of Urban Research and Social Change. “We’re thrilled to support Cleveland Neighborhood Progress in their efforts to promote equitable development in Cleveland with the new Equity section in the Progress Index. As employment and housing markets rebound in Cleveland, this section will help keep decision makers informed of the impact of policies and programs on Cleveland’s most vulnerable residents.”

“We dedicate a large part of our work to better understanding how systemic and structural racism continues to perpetuate inequities across the city of Cleveland,” states Joel Ratner, President and CEO of Cleveland Neighborhood Progress. “These data will improve our efforts as we seek to understand and confront racial disparities in Cleveland’s neighborhoods." 

Cleveland Neighborhood Progress has been working on this tool for a number of years. Adds Ratner: “We have been developing the Progress Index so we and our CDC partners can better understand the true characteristics of Cleveland neighborhoods and gear programs and investments into areas that can most benefit the residents living there.”

For example, citywide in Cleveland, 40.8% of residents spend more than 30% of their household income on housing costs. When housing cost burden is disaggregated by race, data in the Equity Tab exposes that Non-Hispanic Blacks (46.4%) and Hispanics (45%) are impacted more than Non-Hispanic White residents (32.4%) when measuring housing cost versus household income.