Daily News reporter Jan Ransom had a hunch. She suspected that word about homestead exemption applications — and information about AVI in general — wasn’t getting out to poorer neighborhoods — those that stand to gain most if City Council approves a homestead exemption. We helped prove her right, and produced a map that shows how participation levels vary across different parts of the city. Read the Daily News article.

To find out how we did it, read below the map.

Exceptional participation
High participation
Moderate participation
Low participation

The property assessment data released by the city identified every property that was approved for a homestead exemption. Analyzing that data took a couple of additional steps. First, we filtered the database down to only residential property. Then we mapped each property into its Census tract, so we could compare the results to Census data on owner-occupied housing. That’s because the homestead exemption is available only to owners who live in their homes. Now, for each Census tract, we knew the percentage of properties approved for homestead and the percentage of properties that the Census estimates are owner occupied. Comparing these percentages, we produced a “level of participation” for each tract. The number provides a way to see the ways that homeowners across the city are using the exemption.

Use the comments section below to tell us how we can help get the word out to poorer neighborhoods about AVI, the appeals process and homestead exemptions.