Almost there !!!

The past two weeks were pretty hectic. We spent long hours in the lab and did tons of number crunching. The prior week, we had our midterm presentation and last week we had a deadline for paper submission. Fortunately, both went pretty well. We submitted our work titled “Displacement and Housing Justice: Analysis and Visualization of Atlanta’s Anti-Displacement Tax Fund” into Bloomberg Data for Good Exchange Conference. We are very excited about our work & hope it will be accepted.

Our primary focus for last two weeks has been the Anti-Displacement Tax Fund project. We have been trying to filter all eligibility requirements and predict future property taxes. We worked on Income & Liens eligibility requirement. Hayley has been working to gather liens data from Georgia Superior Court Clerks’ Cooperative Authority. Since the data is not easily extractable from the source, a random sample of 173 homeowners in Westside was gathered (23% of all homeowners). From this sample, 60 were found to have current liens, and the ratio of 0.35 was used as the lien rate. For Income Eligibility requirement, Bhavya & Chris have been trying to model household level income. The income eligibility model utilizes data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey (CEX)  for the years 2013, 2014, and 2015 & Zillow. In the model, the main output variable of interest is the household’s before-tax-income. An innovation of the analysis is the use of observable, physical characteristics of a house to predict a household’s before-tax-income. XGBoost model outperformed the other machine learning models and was used for predicting income for all households in the relevant Westside neighborhoods. 

Jeremy estimated future assessed values for all households in Westside. We calculated the property tax value for each household & also the hike in property taxes for 7years in future. In the end, we found that 411 households in Westside might be eligible for Tax fund and total cost of the program might touch $821,484.


To make our work more consumable by the community, we thought of building a Web app to present the results of our work and spread awareness about this tax fund. To this end, Vishwamitra created a mapping tool for all the Westside households as shown in the above picture. This web app shows if a particular household is eligible for Tax Fund based on different eligibility conditions. The ones with the green marker represent the eligible homeowners & red ones are either unsure or not eligible. For better visualization, neighborhood & beltline overlay have been added. When we click on any household represented by a dot, A popup appears on the side which contains eligibility information like income, liens, and owner occupancy.  The popup also contains estimated property taxes for that property for 7years in future 2018-2024. To spread awareness about the eligibility requirements, a window has been added to show eligibility criterion laid down by Westside Future Fund.

Next, we plan to improve our income & tax estimation algorithm further. We plan to gather comprehensive lien data for all households to obtain a more accurate estimate of which homes qualify. Our community partners have also expressed interests in exploring the addition of residents in an adjacent neighborhood, Washington Park, into the geographic scope of the tax fund. Therefore, we will like to estimate the cost and possible effects of adding Washington Park into the tax fund.