CRA Research Slider

The Economic Impacts of Parks

This report details the outputs, economic impacts, and outcomes of the work for the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA).

This research, conducted in direct collaboration with the research staff of the NRPA, examines the role that local parks play in 21st century local economic development, and adds to the growing body of evidence demonstrating that the benefits of parks extend well beyond their role as a public amenity and an enhancement to quality of life in their communities. In this research report, we present our analysis of the economic and fiscal impacts of local park and recreation system spending on state and national economies.

Read the full report here
CRA Research Slider

Economic and Programmatic Impacts of Virginia Housing

This report details the outputs, economic impacts, and outcomes of the work of Virginia Housing for the state’s economy and households.

Virginia Housing and the research team hope that the details discussed here encourage more households, communities, organizations, and companies to connect with Virginia Housing and continue the growth, reach, and improvement of Virginia Housing’s services. Although the agency ranks among the top state housing finance agencies in terms of economic impact, similar studies show that there is still room to grow. Furthermore, widespread housing shortages and ever-increasing housing costs make the extensions and growth of Virginia Housing’s activities timely and necessary.

Read the full report here
CRA Research Slider

Pocket-Sales Ban and the NVAR Region

The Center for Regional Analysis has been watching inventory listings closely in early 2020 given the implementation of a new rule banning off-mls sales, or “pocket sales”. In this report, we examine the early impacts of the new rule.

Link to the Full Report

CRA Research Economic Indicators Latest Updates News Slider

Regional Economic Indicators

The Center for Regional Analysis routinely updates data that provide a greater understanding of what drives the Greater Washington regional economy.

View the current set of indicator data charts here 

CRA produces more than 60 charts and graphs summarizing trends in the national and regional economies and housing markets.  Data elements include gross domestic product, jobs, unemployment, consumer confidence, coincident and leading indices, interest rates, sales of existing and new homes, home prices, and regional economic forecasts, among many other categories. CRA develops information concerning both the overall regional economy and focused/select economic and housing data for Northern Virginia, Suburban Maryland, and the District. This set of charts is updated when new data are released.

Latest Updates Slider

In Memorium: Dr. Roger R. Stough

It is with great sadness that the Center for Regional Analysis shares news of the untimely passing of our center’s founding director, Dr. Roger R. Stough.

Celebrated as one of George Mason University’s original founders of The Institute of Public Policy (TIPP), Dr. Stough sought out and won grants and contracts totaling more than $50 million from agencies ranging from NASA and the National Science Foundation to the Department of Justice and the Federal Transit Administration. The aforementioned grants and contracts, along with Dr. Stough’s determination and hard work, proved key to creating what ultimately would become George Mason University’s Schar School for Policy and Government, as well as launching many graduate degree programs and establishing influential research centers, including our own Center for Regional Analysis.

The Schar School’s obituary to Dr. Stough’s exceptional professional life can be found here.

Our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Barbara, and his sons Brandon and John. Roger was a beloved leader, scholar, teacher, mentor, colleague, and friend. We all will miss him very much.

CRA Research

Foreign Born, Non-Citizen Workers in the Washington Region

As a part of the new working paper series, the Center for Regional Analysis has put together an analysis and characterization of foreign-born, non-citizen workers in the Greater Washington region.

  • Foreign-born, non-citizen workers account for 462 ,000—or almost 15 percent—of the approximately 3.1 million workers in the Greater Washington regional workforce.
  • Less than 20 percent of Foreign-born, non-citizen workers arrived since 2010.
  • Almost 1 in 4 of the Greater Washington region’s foreign-born, non-citizen workers come from El Salvador, making it the region’s most common country of origin.
  • Employers in the construction and hospitality industries rely heavily on foreign-born, non-citizen workers.
    • Approximately half of the workers filling construction, and cleaning and maintenance occupations are foreign-born, non-citizens.
    • Roughly one-third of the region’s food service workers are foreign-born, non-citizens.
Read the full report here
CRA Research Latest Updates Slider

Meeting the Housing Needs of Older Adults in Montgomery County

George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis partnered with Lisa Sturtevant and Associates and Neighborhood Fundamentals to assess the housing needs of seniors in Montgomery County.

The study of senior housing was performed with The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

View the Study of Housing for Older Adults in Montgomery County.

The study was undertaken by the department’s Research and Special Projects Division in response to the county’s growing number of residents aged 55 and older – estimated to be nearly 288,000 people — and the housing challenges this population faces. Among the goals of the research are to quantify the supply of housing serving older adults in the county; document the characteristics of the senior population; assess current and future demand for senior housing – both the amount and preferred housing types; and recommend ways of preparing to meet growing senior housing needs.

Findings of Housing for Seniors Study

By 2040, one in five residents in Montgomery County will be 65 and older, and one out of three will be 55 and older. The unprecedented growth in the senior population suggests significantly growing housing and service needs for an aging population.

About 15.5 percent of households headed by someone 55 and older spend more than half of their incomes on housing costs each month. This number of severely cost-burdened households suggests unmet housing needs among older adults in Montgomery County. In addition to the need for affordable and accessible housing for very low income and the oldest residents, there is likely current unmet demand for smaller homes to serve the county’s older adult population.

Other findings include:

  • More seniors in Montgomery County will be renters in the years to come due to changing economic characteristics of older adult households.
  • The oldest seniors face the greatest challenges and their numbers are growing, but the vast majority of assisted living facilities in the county are not targeted to older adults with limited incomes.
  • Most older adults would like to age in place while living in their homes independently rather than relying on institutionalized care or family members.
  • Access to neighborhood amenities and services is important to aging in place.
  • Federal funding for senior housing programs is declining.

Recommendations for Housing for Seniors

Proposed strategies are based on an evaluation of current and future housing needs, the county’s current programs, and a review of programs and policies around the country. The strategies are also based on discussions among the Planning Department, Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs, Commission on Aging and local senior housing developers and operators, among others. The study includes the following recommendations:

  • Support proposed changes in the moderately priced dwelling unit (MPDU) program to support more affordable housing options for seniors.
  • Co-locate senior housing with community facilities and use publicly owned property to produce senior housing.
  • Address senior housing needs in the planning process.
  • Allow more diverse housing types in residential zones and improve the viability of accessory apartments for older adults.
  • Remove zoning and regulatory barriers to group homes and age-restricted housing.
  • Maintain a commitment to senior housing in Montgomery County’s affordable housing fund, the Housing Initiative Fund (HIF).
  • Create set-asides for older adults in the housing choice voucher and rental assistance programs.
  • Improve the effectiveness of homeowner and renter property tax exemptions and credits.
  • Fund emergency assistance to seniors at risk of eviction or homelessness.
  • Expand Montgomery County’s “Design for Life” program to educate developers about marketing opportunities and benefits of accessible housing and to offer additional incentives to include a higher number of accessible units in multi-family developments.
  • Support naturally occurring retirement communities and existing volunteer-led, senior villages.
  • Create a one-stop shop for senior housing programs and services.
  • Explore funding possibilities for senior housing through Maryland’s Medicaid waiver program.

Read the complete Senior Housing Study online.