In 2018, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress publicly introduced a new resource for Cleveland’s community development corporations and other partners investing in neighborhood revitalization. The Progress Index is a neighborhood data tool developed by Cleveland Neighborhood Progress and the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development at Case Western Reserve University. The goal of the tool is to equip community development practitioners with housing and economic mobility data so that they may better understand neighborhood dynamics, monitor trends, develop solutions, and use data to measure organizational and/or programmatic outcomes.

An equity tab has just been added to this important neighborhood data tool. The two partners behind the Progress Index are excited to unveil the Progress Index Equity Tab, which provides disaggregated data across a number of categories, including Housing Cost Burden, Poverty, Health, Education, and Income data.

“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.”

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.”

Claudia Coulton, Co-Director of the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development, Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University, states, “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. The goal of the section is to help us keep racial equity at the forefront of discussion, policy, and program design in Cleveland. As the 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.”

Citywide, 40.8% of residents spend more than 30% of their household income on housing costs. The example below reveals housing cost burden for city residents disaggregated by race. The data in this 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 housing income. 

The data presented within the Progress Index supports two important progress metrics: property data and income data. The progress drivers that will be continually monitored include: population, safety, stabilization, community, health, education, workforce, and economy. Users can evaluate how individual neighborhoods measure on these progress drivers over time. The Progress Index will track and monitor neighborhood statistics year by year. Cleveland CDCs are encouraged to assess the data frequently and strive to positively affect neighborhood conditions over time. It is anticipated that Cleveland CDCs will utilize this data for neighborhood planning and strategic planning, internal dashboards and program evaluation, grant writing, proposals and neighborhood storytelling.

Cleveland Neighborhood Progress will also use the Progress Index for grant proposals and reporting, neighborhood and grantee storytelling and monitoring neighborhood trends and change.

The Progress Index is accessible at Data for 2018 is currently available for many neighborhood indicators and data categories.