Urban Policy Groups Seek Professor’s Expertise
Feb. 18, 2009
Dr. Timothy Bray, director of the Institute for Urban Policy Research and professor in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences, has been elected to the board of directors of the North Texas Housing Coalition and the executive committee of the Urban Institute’s National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership.
“This is an important step forward for the Institute for Urban Policy Research, cementing our position in shaping the urban policy landscape,” Bray said.
The North Texas Housing Coalition is a non-profit organization made up of more than 300 organizations and individuals united by the desire to advance a diverse array of quality housing opportunities for all residents of North Texas. The organization facilitates construction and homeownership for low-to-moderate income working families and individuals through several programs, such as financial training and workshops for homebuyers. As part of the NTHC’s 21-member board of directors, Bray will help set policy for the organization.
The National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership is a collaborative effort by the Urban Institute, which conducts research to evaluate public policies and programs and educates Americans on social and economic issues. Its goal is to further the development and use of neighborhood information systems in local policy-making and community building. Partner organizations collect data on indicators covering topics such as births, deaths, health status, educational performance, crime and safety, and property conditions. They then facilitate the direct, practical use of this data by city and community leaders. Bray will help to prepare an annual plan for partnership activities, monitor performance under the plan, and consider ongoing activities and policies of the partnership.
“Our relationship with the NTHC embodies how we think housing should be, and working closely with NNIP allows the Institute to play a critical role in getting the word out about community indicators research to other cities that haven’t implemented such programs. It also allows us to learn more about what strategies other cities have used to put the data into action, which affects the real end-game: social change,” explained Bray.Bray studies the complex nature of community, social bonds, community development and the determinants of quality of life, employing a variety of complex quantitative methodologies. He was instrumental in the Williams Institute’s – now the Institute of Urban Policy Research – launch of the Wholeness Index, a comprehensive index of disparities in quality of life that taps 12 key dimensions of social dislocation. He received his Ph.D. in Criminology from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.