PhD+ and Equity Center Data Project- October 2022

PhD+ is collaborating with the Equity Center on a four-week experiential learning opportunity this October. This series will allow students to apply their data skills on a project addressing real housing justice issues in the Charlottesville and Albemarle Country communities.  

Review the opportunity details below and indicate your interest in participating via the REGISTRATION FORM.


Project Overview: 

The Equity Center has been working on a housing justice project, in collaboration with partners at VCU’s RVA Eviction Lab. They have been working to create collaboratively-designed data tools to support community organizers, service providers, and policy advocates to address housing instability. 

The PhD+ and Equity Center experiential learning project will add to the larger efforts by investigating how to use local real estate data to generate a rental property data set. 

Project Goals 

The data analysis will, overall, serve as context for advocacy toward affordable housing, characterizing rental properties within Charlottesville and Albemarle. 

The goals for the project are to create:  

  • A set of scripts to read in public real estate data (initially from Charlottesville and Albemarle County) and devise processes to utilize the data. 
  • A dataset of likely rental properties with address, owner and ownership type, year purchased by current owner, property type 
  • Exploratory analysis of resulting data 

Prerequisite Skills Requirement 

  • Prior experience with R or Python, including:  
  • Reading in, summarizing, and manipulating data (e.g., with dplyr or pandas) 
  • Basic data visualization (e.g., ggplot2 or matplotlib) 

Skills Developed Through Project

  • Data wrangling: validation, cleaning, joining, filtering, separating, mutating, etc. 
  • String manipulation: string detection, matching, regular expressions, etc. 
  • Exploratory data analysis and visualization  
  • Statistical computing in open-source languages like R or Python 

Project Meeting Timeline 

Week One: 

  • Monday, October 10th 2-3:30 PM (in-person) 
  • Friday, October 14th, 12-1 PM (virtual student group meeting) 

Week Two: 

  • Monday, October 17th, 2-3 PM 
  • Wednesday, October 19th, 12-1 PM (optional “office hours”) 
  • Friday, October 21st, 12-1 PM (virtual student group meeting) 

Week Three:  

  • Monday, October 24th, 2-3 PM 
  • Wednesday, October 26th, 12-1 PM (optional “office hours”) 
  • Friday, October 28th, 12-1 PM (virtual student group meeting) 

Week Four: 

  • Monday, October 31st, 2-3 PM (Project conclusion) 


Registration closes on Monday, October 3rd at 9:00 AM. Register via THIS FORM.

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