Irish Landlords, Eccentric Landladies: The Ngrams of Rental Housing

Share Button

This post contains a small amount of profanity for pseudo-scientific purposes.

If I were to ask you for the first word that comes into your mind when I say “stepmother,” I would guess that for most of you the answer would be “evil” or “wicked.” In the field of linguistics, the phrases “evil stepmother” and “wicked stepmother” are known as bigrams.

A bigram is a combination of two “tokens” (such as words or letters) that appear frequently together in spoken words or printed text. In today’s article we’re focusing on two-word combos. There are larger word groupings used by linguistic scientists which are all collectively referred to as ngrams. Today we’ll be seeking out the most popular adjective + noun bigrams from various sources as they pertain to the rental industry. Continue reading Irish Landlords, Eccentric Landladies: The Ngrams of Rental Housing

Share Button

Published by

Kay Cleaves

Founder and owner of RentConfident. She's the primary developer of the website and research engine code. She's spent over 10 years working in the Chicago rental industry and has assisted with over 1200 leases.

Classified History: Housing Ads in Chicago 1901-1933

Share Button

I’m back with another trawl through the Chicago Tribune archives, looking at classified ads placed for apartments throughout the city’s history. This is the third installment. I’ve previously covered the periods of 1849 – 1870 (Early Days) and 1871 – 1900 (Great Fire and World’s Fair #1). Today we’ll be looking at the era from 1901 to 1933, an era spanning two depressions, the Roaring Twenties, World War I and another World’s Fair. Since the majority of Chicago renters still moved on May 1 during this era I’ll be bouncing from April to April to find the newspaper issues that had the most ads to pick from.

This is the first era we’ve covered where many of the listed buildings may still be standing. The bulk of Chicago’s “vintage” apartment buildings were constructed during these three decades. Continue reading Classified History: Housing Ads in Chicago 1901-1933

Share Button

Published by

Kay Cleaves

Founder and owner of RentConfident. She's the primary developer of the website and research engine code. She's spent over 10 years working in the Chicago rental industry and has assisted with over 1200 leases.

Off-Campus Housing Studies: Think Tanks and Apartment Scholarship

Share Button

Over the past few weeks I’ve been looking at the groups across the US that focus on research into apartments, multifamily housing, and related landlord-tenant matters. I started with a comparison of the abundant research into tenant matters and low income housing against the scarce research into landlord matters. I then moved on to a roundup of the recent research papers released by graduate and doctoral students across the US. Last week I provided a list of the universities and colleges across the country with centers or departments dedicated to housing studies.

But not all housing-related scholarship occurs on college campuses. The US also has a large number of think tanks, corporate groups which focus on research and advocacy. Some are for-profit, most are non-profit. Most are based in Washington, DC. Continue reading Off-Campus Housing Studies: Think Tanks and Apartment Scholarship

Share Button

Published by

Kay Cleaves

Founder and owner of RentConfident. She's the primary developer of the website and research engine code. She's spent over 10 years working in the Chicago rental industry and has assisted with over 1200 leases.

List of College and University Research Centers for Housing Studies in the US

Share Button

Now that our pause to discuss current events and our minor site outage are out of the way we can return to our ongoing series about housing and academia. (Part 1, Part 2) Today we’ll be exploring the universities that offer programs in the relatively new interdisciplinary field of “housing studies”.

Some US colleges and universities have been focusing on housing studies in some form or another since the civil rights era of the 1960s. In most cases the programs started as sub-departments of schools of public policy, urban planning, social work or sociology. They may include coursework in all of those fields along with data science, statistics, business, finance, public health, political science and law. Some even include an overview of architecture and engineering, usually from the perspective of green construction and utility usage. In contrast to the more established schools of real estate that arise out of MBA and programs, housing studies programs will tend to offer MS, MA or MSW degrees along with Ph.Ds. While undergrads can certainly get an early start housing studies, most of these programs are for masters and doctoral students only. Continue reading List of College and University Research Centers for Housing Studies in the US

Share Button

Published by

Kay Cleaves

Founder and owner of RentConfident. She's the primary developer of the website and research engine code. She's spent over 10 years working in the Chicago rental industry and has assisted with over 1200 leases.

The Missing Side of Eviction Studies

Share Button

Last week the Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing, a Chicago based nonprofit, released another study on evictions using Cook County data cross-referenced against census data. Their results can be found here. It’s a worthwhile study which is certainly of equal if not greater interest than the information presented by Eviction Lab, the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty’s PDF report on the interactions between eviction and homelessness, and Matthew Desmond’s seminal 2017 book on eviction.

These studies are all fantastic sources of data on the current U.S. eviction crisis. The researchers have all done some excellent work. But there’s a problem. They only focus on the tenant side of things.

A legal eviction is a five-party transaction involving landlords, tenants, judges, lawyers and the sheriff. It might also involve the police, the banks and the insurance companies as well. But for the sake of this article we’re focusing on the main missing party in all of these studies and data portals: the landlords. Continue reading The Missing Side of Eviction Studies

Share Button

Published by

Kay Cleaves

Founder and owner of RentConfident. She's the primary developer of the website and research engine code. She's spent over 10 years working in the Chicago rental industry and has assisted with over 1200 leases.