For this research proposal several possible methods of research were examined and discarded before settling on the structured interview and the questionnaire for methods to use in this particular study.
The questionnaire will be distributed to 100 low income families and will consist of three sections.
The first section will ask for general demographic information including race, age, number of family members, income and current living situation.
The second section will ask the participant to detail the past five years with regard to residents, rentals, public housing and cost.
The third section will request that the participant check off the top three elements that he or she felt created the most hardship in getting affordable and accessible housing. In this section the participants will also be asked to check off the three elements that they believe will help them to access affordable housing in the future. This section will be multiple-choice but will also provide space for the participant to elaborate on any of the questions that he or she feels comfortable doing so with.
Out of the 100 participants 10 will be randomly selected to undergo structured interview processes with the research team.
The structured interview will be held in a mutually agreed upon setting that might include a church, a park or an office.
The interview will be recorded for the purpose of later transcription and it will be conducted using a pre-selected set of questions that the participant will be asked to answer verbally.
The basis for conducting structured interviews in addition to the printed questionnaires is because a face-to-face interview will allow the researcher and the participant to go more in-depth and have more freedom in the direction and length that the questions and answers use.
The participant will be encouraged to elaborate on any of the questions presented during the interview as long as they are comfortable doing so.
The structured interview will consist of 10 questions geared at defining the obstacles that are thematic and consistent in the quest for affordable and accessible housing for low income people.
The questions will include:
How long does it usually take you to locate affordable and accessible housing?
What has been the most successful method you have used to do so?
What have been the most significant obstacles you have encountered in looking for affordable and accessible housing for yourself or your family?
What would make it easier for you?
What has been the condition of the housing you have located in the past?
Have you experienced discrimination based on your low income status?
What resources have you been able to use to help locate housing?
What additional resources do you believe will help you in the future?
What amenities do you need near your housing? IE public transportation, daycare, schools etc.
What is a larger problem for you when it comes to housing, cost or access?
The sampling of participants for the purpose of this study will be derived from low income families and individuals. Every effort will be made to include an ethnically diverse group of participants for the purpose of being able to ascertain if different cultures or ethnic backgrounds have different issues with regard to locating affordable and accessible low income housing.
The participants will be drawn from a larger population of potential participants. The participants will be located using three methods.
The first method will be to place brochures seeking participants in local health department offices. For the most part, the people who utilize the health department for doctors and programs are in the low income bracket.
The second step to locating participants will be to request the university welfare to work or re-entry program to screen students as they apply for assistance and ask if they would be willing to participate in the study.
The final method for participant location will be to place notices up on bulletin boards in public areas such as laundry mats, swimming pools, and city parks.
Once 100 participants have been located they will be asked for their mailing address and questionnaires will be mailed to them with self addressed stamped envelopes for return postage.
They will be asked to mail the completed surveys back within two weeks. Placing a time frame on the return of the surveys will assist with the study in two ways.
It will provide a time frame to lessen the chance that the partipant will forget to fill it out and mail it in.
It will also prevent the possibility that a participant's circumstances will change drastically between agreeing to be a participant and actually mailing back the survey, which will help assure that the results of the research are pure.
Garcia, Shelly (2003) Housing dilemma: Luxury, affordable residents seek units: City Falls short in meeting lower-income needs. San Fernando Valley Business Journal
Jordan, George (1999) Appraising the assets of low-income housing tax credit properties.
Maher, Lindsay (2000) Coming Home: Creating Affordable Assisted Living for Low-Income Seniors. Social Policy Journal
Palm, Kristin (2005) Affordable housing in a unaffordable region: forty percent of Bay Area renters pay at least 30% of their income for rent.(Planning…