The Neighborhood Knowledge California (NKCA) Telecommunication Project will assemble and make available a wide variety of public and private databases to be used by groups working to expand opportunities for homeownership through fair housing and lending research, education, and policy development. More than 40 agencies in five metropolitan areas (San Diego, Fresno, Oakland, Sacramento, and Los Angeles) have collaborated on the design of NKCA to improve their information management capacities in: (1) targeting their community outreach work; (2) collecting data; (3) conducting analyses; (4) exchanging and publishing their findings; and (5) developing coordinated statewide recommendations.
These groups will identify and address impediments, such as lack of mortgage financing, or a shortage of bilingual real estate agents, and thereby assist low-income and minority buyers to become homeowners.
NKCA will be the first online toolkit to allow users to design their own research, collect data in spreadsheet format, and automatically upload and batch geocode this information on a shared website. The entire NKCA website will be accessible in English and Spanish.
The California Association of Realtors, California Independent Bankers, State Housing Agencies, and local governments in the five metropolitan target areas will post information on resources (especially financing) for first-time low-income home buyers and to map their activities in expanding affordable homeownership. Two statewide partners, California Reinvestment Committee and California Rural Housing Coalition, will assist the UCLA Advanced Policy Institute in outreach and training on this new system.
Project outcomes in low-income communities will be measured by real quantitative changes:
1. expansion in home ownership lending, 2. sales from absentee owner/occupants, 3. banking services, and 4. policy improvement at state and local government levels, as well as among real estate industry partners.