Assessment of Fair Housing Resource Map Information

On the City of Philadelphia’s Assessment of Fair Housing Resource Maps page there are two different kinds of maps: detail maps and topic maps. They are designed to be viewed together. (You can also view HUD’s maps or download the raw data behind both sets of maps.)

Detail Maps

The “detail” maps are along the left side of the screen. These maps are smaller than the topic maps and show where members of “protected classes” live in the city. Since there are no data for some people with protected characteristics, such as religion, we cannot show maps for all protected classes.

Fair housing laws protect people who belong to a “protected class” or have a “protected characteristic.” The protected classes are: race, color, national origin, disability, familial status, religion, and sex. Fair housing makes sure that people with disabilities and people of all races, colors, national origins, familial statuses, religions and sexes have equal choice in where they live.

Topic Maps

The “topic” maps display data about topics such as housing, poverty, school quality and more. The data are displayed for each census tract in the city. A census tract is an area that the federal government uses when collecting data for the Census. A census tract is usually comprised of several city blocks.

Each of the topic maps also shows “R/ECAP” boundaries. R/ECAP stands for “racially or ethnically concentrated areas of poverty” and represents areas where many people of color live in poverty. An area is a R/ECAP if people of color make up more than half of the population and more than 40 percent of the people live in poverty.

When viewing the maps, compare the detail maps with the topic maps. By setting them up side-by-side you can see how a particular topic such as air quality affects a certain protected class, such as families with children.

Descriptions for Topic Maps

Subsidized Rental Units:
This map shows the amount of rental housing units that is supported by the government. The units may be owned by the government or participate in a government program such as Low-Income Housing Tax Credits or the Housing Choice Voucher program.

Housing Cost or Quality Problem:
A household has a cost problem when it spends more than 30 percent of its gross income on housing. A household has a quality problem when too many people live in the unit or when there is no hot and cold water, no range or stove, no refrigerator or similar issues. The map shows the percentage of people who have at least one housing problem.

This map shows the percentage of housing units that are owned by the resident(s).

School Quality:
This map is based on state test results of 4th grade elementary students and interprets that information to show the quality of the school.


Labor Market Contribution:
This map displays residents’ potential and actual contributions to the labor market. It is based on three factors: unemployment rate, percentage of people with a job or looking for work, and proportion of people over 25 years of age with a bachelor’s degree.

Transit Usage:
This map shows how often people with low incomes use public transportation.

This map shows the percentage of people with incomes below the poverty level.

Air Quality:
This map shows the results of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tests of air quality. In these tests, the EPA measures the presence of carcinogenic, respiratory, and neurological toxins.