Data & Tools

Data Tools

HNS Data Dashboard

The HNS Data Dashboard is an interactive database that allows anyone to explore, visualize, and download our survey data on residents’ health, well-being, and experiences of living in gentrifying communities.

Resident Researchers from HNS communities designed the survey topics and questions with support from academic researchers, to ensure the questions captured the intended information as reliably and accurately as possible. To date, more than 3,000 residents from HNS communities have shared their experiences through our survey. 

Explore the data dashboard and data dictionary below (data last updated 5/2022):

Moving Mapper

HNS partners face many challenges related to gentrification and displacement, including knowing where people are moving from, where go when they have to move, and preventing displacement altogether. To better understand these challenges and organize across communities, the Moving Mapper (an interactive mapping portal) allows anyone to explore where people of higher and lower economic advantage moved from, and where they moved to in Massachusetts between 2009 and 2019.

(read technical appendix for mapper instructions and details about our data, here)

Explore the Massachusetts Moving Mapper below:

HNS Subsidized Housing Mapper

HNS worked with PAN Data Partner Professor Andrew Greenlee PhD (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) to shine a light on the many mismatches between how affordable housing is currently defined, financed, built, structured, and located and what is truly affordable for residents and meets their needs. Together, we created an interactive mapper to help communities quantify and visualize these gaps and advocate for change.

instructions on navigating the mapper and using the data here
more about the affordability mismatch in HNS communities here.

Explore the Massachusetts Moving Mapper below:

Covid Community Survey Dashboard

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) conducted this survey to better understand the near and long-term health needs and socio-economic consequences for communities in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. A deeper understanding of which populations are most impacted can help inform and prioritize resource deployment and policy actions.

Explore the Covid Community Survey Dashboard below:

Data Collection Tools

Resident Researchers and Community Partners design surveys, interviews, and observational tools to collect data that informs action on topics that matter most to their own neighborhoods, advocacy, and health. We use our HNS 5-step PAR process to engage residents, understand their research interests, and ensure that tools are designed to respectfully collect useful and actionable data. Our surveys and interviews include both new questions written and tested by HNS, and questions from surveys that other groups and researchers have used in their work.

Access our data collection tools below:

(Spanish translations and versions from previous years are available by request here)

(Spanish translations and versions from previous years are available by request here)


HNS partners have created resources to share what we’re learning about how to do PAR and tools that we’ve used to use our research for action.

PAR Field Guide

The HNS PAR Field Guide documents and shares what we have learned about doing Participatory Action Research together in our communities. It provides in-depth, “how-to” instructions on what happens in the field during each step of our PAR process. The Field Guide offers practical advice about how to build relationships, recruit and train teams of grassroots advocates and Resident Researchers, design surveys collaboratively, survey people in the field, analyze data collaboratively, and put what you learn into action.

Read our PAR guide below:

Anti-Displacement Toolkit

This multimedia organizing toolkit is a collection of activities, how-to guides, facilitation plans, and resources that organizers and residents can use to fight displacement in their communities. MIT CoLab and Research Action Design worked with HNS partners from Chelsea and Everett, MA, who like other communities are facing pressure from gentrifying development, to create this toolkit. Working to combat land being swallowed up by investors, increased housing prices, and the forced displacement (or pushing-out) of residents and small businesses, we created this guide to help community members fight back!  This guide teaches users to work together to protect and preserve their communities through collective analysis (from your own knowledge), creating shared goals and actions, and developing guiding principles of equitable development.

Access the Anti Displacement Toolkit below:

(Re)envisioning Land and Power Toolkit

This toolkit is a collection of informational resources, how-to guides, and learning and self-reflections that organizers and residents can use to plan and implement projects to gain community control over land in their neighborhoods. HNS Resident Researchers and partners from the communities of Brockton, Chelsea, Dorchester, New Bedford, Mattapan, and Roxbury worked with planning partners from MIT and the Massachusetts Area Planning Council (MAPC) and used HNS data and findings to plan and implement community-led efforts to increase community control over, access to, and use of green space through pop up parks and longer-term community land control strategies. This guide shares lessons learned from that process and offers practical step-by-step guidance to help communities plan and implement their land control projects.

Access the (Re)envisioning Land and Power Toolkit below:

Affordability Report Card

The Affordability Report Card was created by a team of HNS Resident

Researchers and local community stakeholders as part of a HNS LincLab where we use organizing and design thinking to put what we’re leanring into action for equitable communities! This scorecard helps community residents use HNS data to:

1. Re-define affordability on residents’ terms,

2. Assess the current and future state of quality, accessible, affordable housing,

3. Build and sustain resilience, as defined by community in a Collective Restorative Agreement for Community Resilience, which must include affordable housing.

4. Demand and support development that aligns with these terms

Access the HNS Report Card tool below