It’s All About the Data

The Housing Justice team partners with Atlanta Legal Aid (ALA) to address the alleged predatory lending practices of Harbour Portfolio Advisors and gentrification on the historic Westside of Atlanta. We have conducted extensive background research on housing topics such as contract-for-deed, liens, mortgages etc. in order to understand key components and arguments surrounding the assignment. Our project leverages the mapping tool “Mapping Justice” created by a team of students here at Georgia Tech. The tool aids ALA in graphically representing discrepancies between which racial/economic groups Harbor Portfolio issues land contract agreements to. After testing the tool and identifying additions that could maximize usage of the map we decided to improve the tool over time. We plan to add more functionality, interaction, and information to the tool as it can be a great asset to ALA and the anti gentrification agenda. In the coming weeks we will work with partners from ALA to further discuss improvements that that they wish to see in the app.  

Here’s how the app looks so far, in future posts we will  provide snapshots of our progress showing updates and improvements to app.

The team has also worked to pull together various datasets such as Tax Assessor data, parcel data, shape files, and data gathered by teams from previous years needed to begin addressing the questions that our group wants to answer. As some of these sets are significantly large or simply include information that we don’t need, new database design and implementation is required. We begin to refine the collected data in order to create a database of tables that better suit the group’s goals and purpose. The goal is to link this new database of information to the Mapping Justice tool for the use of ALA.


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