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Mapping out optimal housing areas for First State refugees

Nathan Thayer
University of Delaware geography grad student Nathan Thayer mapped out prime housing locations for refugees.

Housing for refugees can be difficult to find – but a University of Delaware masters student is trying to help change that.

Nathan Thayer is a UD graduate assistant pursuing his masters in geography, and he wanted to find a way to help refugees using geography mapping software.


“So I just used publicly available data to figure out the best spaces in Delaware in terms of access to public transportation," Thayer said.


Access to public transportation was just one factor Thayer took into consideration. Distance to grocery stores, neighborhood safety and affordability were others.


The map Thayer compiled and presented to Jewish Family Services of Delaware shows optimal areas where those key factors overlap – suggesting that parts of Elsmere, Stanton, Newark and New Castle are the most suitable places for refugees to settle in New Castle County.


“It’s not a determining thing – it’s more of like a guide to say, if we find housing here it’s going to be better than if we find housing up here in the Yorklyn or the Winterthur area," Thayer said.


While permanent housing has been found for the Syrian refugee family of three that arrived in Delaware late Friday night – several other refugee families are expected to make their way to the First State in the coming months -- and be seeking a place to live.



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