Standard Article

Housing and Community Development

  1. Michael P. Johnson

Published Online: 15 FEB 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470400531.eorms0387

Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science

Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science

How to Cite

Johnson, M. P. 2011. Housing and Community Development. Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science. .

Author Information

  1. University of Massachusetts Boston, Department of Public Policy and Public Affairs, Boston, Massachusetts

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 FEB 2011


Researchers in housing and community develop, design, and evaluate policies to improve access to attractive, affordable, and sustainable housing and to support the social, physical, and economic infrastructure of communities. Practitioners in this field confront political considerations, administrative guidelines, and limited funding. Operations research and management science can increase the efficiency and effectiveness of policy responses to issues such as affordable housing, residential segregation, and inequalities in economic and social opportunities. This research spans systems modeling, urban economics, multicriteria decision modeling, stochastic models, and decision support systems and is often interdisciplinary and applied in nature. A common thread in this work is the need to explicitly address the needs of multiple stakeholders, to capture the public and private nature of housing, and to incorporate best-available evidence regarding markets, policies, and impacts of housing and community development. In this article, we describe the policy context for decision modeling in housing and community development, review previous research through the lens of descriptive, prescriptive, and decision support analysis, and identify important limitations to this research. We then describe diverse opportunities to address current policy concerns such as sustainable development, post-disaster reconstruction, and individual and group decision support.


  • affordable housing;
  • community development;
  • decision models;
  • sustainable development;
  • urban affairs