From 2020-2022, researchers at UMSL worked alongside St. Louis City departments and the region’s largest home repair providers to shed light on a problem that, until now, has largely been hidden from public view: the enormous unmet need for home repairs in St. Louis.
Home repairs, when adequately funded, improve people’s physical and mental health as well as the overall quality of life. In addition, home repairs help to preserve affordable housing and our city’s historic architecture, stabilize neighborhoods, and prevent property abandonment while protecting hard-earned generational wealth through homeownership. In order to assess the full scale of the need, UMSL researchers adapted a national methodology that had yet to be expanded to mid-sized cities. The toolkit below details the unique and accessible methodology and provides information for other cities who may want to replicate a similar assessment.
Read The Full Report
This report was produced by the Community Innovation and Action Center at the University of Missouri, St. Louis with funding provided by RRF Foundation for Aging and the St. Louis City Senior Fund. The report itself was prepared by the Community Innovation and Action Center with help from our Home Repair Partners and was published in May 2023.
This toolkit is meant to be used to determine the need for and effectiveness of home repairs in your city. The step-by-step guidelines below are supplemented with links to documents and tools that should allow you to replicate our research method. We invite you to reach out to UMSL’s Community Innovation and Action Center for support or with any questions as you work through this process.
A few things you may need to follow our methodology (these are recommendations and there may be workaround to any of these):
- A team member/partner/consultant with experience conducting and analyzing surveys
- A team member/partner/consultant with some basic understanding of coding
- A team member/partner/consultant with experience in conducting and analyzing qualitative interviews
- A team member/partner/consultant who is familiar with the home repair ecosystem and costs for your area
- Access to and familiarity with basic office computer programs (spreadsheets, word documents, mail merging)
- Access to relevant data sources to determine and contact your sample (city assessor property records)
- Access to contact information for homeowners who have received home repairs (we partnered with several non-profit/government organizations that run home repair programs)
The full toolkit walkthrough document with more information can be found here (document prepared by Adam Brown): Home Repair Toolkit Walkthrough
Toolkit Quick Reference
Below is an outline of the toolkit with links to documents and tools for use in your study. This is provided as a resource to quickly access these documents – more details are given in the home repair toolkit walkthrough.
- Assessing cost of home repairs in your city
- Creating a Sample
- Administer Survey #1
- Repair Scenarios
- Cost Estimates
- Analysis: Crosstabs
- Assessing the effectiveness of different home repairs
- Download the full kit [Google Folder]
- Home Repair Toolkit Walkthrough Document
- Download the full report [PDF]
- Download the report summary [PDF]
- Cost Estimating Tool - Github