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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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The SSRC Library collection is constantly growing and new research is added regularly. We welcome our users to submit a library item to help us grow our collection in response to your needs.


  • Individual Author: Nelson, Arthur C.; Miller, Matt; Eskic, Dejan; Ganning, Joanna P.; Liu, Jenny H.; Ewing, Reid
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2015

    Literature suggests that rail transit improvements should be associated with more jobs and perhaps increasing share of jobs in a metropolitan area. Literature and some research also suggest that such improvements should increase the number of lower-wage jobs accessible to transit. In this paper, we assess both in the context of all 11 light rail transit systems built in metropolitan areas of fewer than eight million residents in the nation since 1981. Using census block-level job data over the period 2002 to 2011, we evaluate change in jobs and change in metropolitan area job share for all jobs, and lower- and upper-wage jobs for selected light rail transit (LRT) corridors and comparable corridors in each of these 11 metropolitan areas. Overall, we find little difference between the LRT and control corridors in both attracting new jobs and new lower-wage jobs, or in changing relative share of jobs compared to their metropolitan areas, though systems built since 2004 appear to have fared slightly better in both respects. We view these results as generally supportive of LRT...

    Literature suggests that rail transit improvements should be associated with more jobs and perhaps increasing share of jobs in a metropolitan area. Literature and some research also suggest that such improvements should increase the number of lower-wage jobs accessible to transit. In this paper, we assess both in the context of all 11 light rail transit systems built in metropolitan areas of fewer than eight million residents in the nation since 1981. Using census block-level job data over the period 2002 to 2011, we evaluate change in jobs and change in metropolitan area job share for all jobs, and lower- and upper-wage jobs for selected light rail transit (LRT) corridors and comparable corridors in each of these 11 metropolitan areas. Overall, we find little difference between the LRT and control corridors in both attracting new jobs and new lower-wage jobs, or in changing relative share of jobs compared to their metropolitan areas, though systems built since 2004 appear to have fared slightly better in both respects. We view these results as generally supportive of LRT employment-related objectives. Planning and policy implications are offered. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Riccio, James A.
    Year: 2006

    According to MDRC’s 2005 evaluation report, Promoting Work in Public Housing: The Effectiveness of Jobs-Plus, the program substantially boosted earnings for people in high-poverty housing developments where it was properly implemented. The study offers the first hard evidence that a work-focused intervention based in a public housing environment can effectively promote residents’ self-sufficiency.

    The earnings effects of the program are particularly significant for at least four reasons: (1) they occurred in high-poverty public housing environments; (2) the effects were substantial and sustained throughout the four-year follow-up period; (3) they occurred for very different types of residents in very different cities; and (4) they occurred in both good economic times and bad.

    For policymakers, the findings point to a promising strategy for increasing employment opportunities and self-sufficiency among public housing residents — a longstanding bipartisan goal and one that is enshrined in the federal Quality of Housing and Work Responsibility Act (QHWRA) of...

    According to MDRC’s 2005 evaluation report, Promoting Work in Public Housing: The Effectiveness of Jobs-Plus, the program substantially boosted earnings for people in high-poverty housing developments where it was properly implemented. The study offers the first hard evidence that a work-focused intervention based in a public housing environment can effectively promote residents’ self-sufficiency.

    The earnings effects of the program are particularly significant for at least four reasons: (1) they occurred in high-poverty public housing environments; (2) the effects were substantial and sustained throughout the four-year follow-up period; (3) they occurred for very different types of residents in very different cities; and (4) they occurred in both good economic times and bad.

    For policymakers, the findings point to a promising strategy for increasing employment opportunities and self-sufficiency among public housing residents — a longstanding bipartisan goal and one that is enshrined in the federal Quality of Housing and Work Responsibility Act (QHWRA) of 1998.

    In my testimony, I would like to tell you about the origins of Jobs-Plus, how we evaluated it, what we found, and what policymakers might consider doing with the results. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Bloom, Howard S.; Riccio, James A.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2005

    This article describes a place-based research demonstration program to promote and sustain employment among residents of selected public housing developments in six U.S. cities. Because all eligible residents of the participating public housing developments were free to take part in the program, it was not possible to study its impacts in a classical experiment, with random assignment of individual residents to the program or a control group. Instead, the impact analysis is based on a design that selected matched groups of two or three public housing developments in each participating city and randomly assigned one to the program and the other(s) to a control group. In addition, an eleven-year comparative interrupted time-series analysis is being used to strengthen the place-based random assignment design. Preliminary analyses of baseline data suggest that this two-pronged approach will provide credible estimates of program impacts. (author abstract)

    This article describes a place-based research demonstration program to promote and sustain employment among residents of selected public housing developments in six U.S. cities. Because all eligible residents of the participating public housing developments were free to take part in the program, it was not possible to study its impacts in a classical experiment, with random assignment of individual residents to the program or a control group. Instead, the impact analysis is based on a design that selected matched groups of two or three public housing developments in each participating city and randomly assigned one to the program and the other(s) to a control group. In addition, an eleven-year comparative interrupted time-series analysis is being used to strengthen the place-based random assignment design. Preliminary analyses of baseline data suggest that this two-pronged approach will provide credible estimates of program impacts. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Bloom, H.; Riccio, J.; Verma, N.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2005

    Can a multicomponent employment initiative that is located in public housing developments help residents work, earn more money, and improve their quality of life? The Jobs-Plus Community Revitalization Initiative for Public Housing Families (Jobs-Plus, for short) sought to achieve these goals at selected public housing developments in six cities: Baltimore, Chattanooga, Dayton, Los Angeles, St. Paul, and Seattle. Jobs-Plus was conducted as a research demonstration project from 1998 to 2003 with sponsorship from a consortium of funders, led by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Rockefeller Foundation. The program — which was targeted to all working-age, nondisabled residents of selected public housing developments and implemented by a collaboration of local organizations — had three main components: employment-related services, rent-based work incentives that allowed residents to keep more of their earnings, and activities to promote neighbor-to-neighbor support for work. This final report on MDRC’s evaluation of Jobs-Plus describes the program’s impacts...

    Can a multicomponent employment initiative that is located in public housing developments help residents work, earn more money, and improve their quality of life? The Jobs-Plus Community Revitalization Initiative for Public Housing Families (Jobs-Plus, for short) sought to achieve these goals at selected public housing developments in six cities: Baltimore, Chattanooga, Dayton, Los Angeles, St. Paul, and Seattle. Jobs-Plus was conducted as a research demonstration project from 1998 to 2003 with sponsorship from a consortium of funders, led by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Rockefeller Foundation. The program — which was targeted to all working-age, nondisabled residents of selected public housing developments and implemented by a collaboration of local organizations — had three main components: employment-related services, rent-based work incentives that allowed residents to keep more of their earnings, and activities to promote neighbor-to-neighbor support for work. This final report on MDRC’s evaluation of Jobs-Plus describes the program’s impacts, that is, the difference it made for residents in Jobs-Plus developments in comparison with residents living in similar developments who did not receive the program. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Kato, Linda Yuriko
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2004

    Is it possible for an employment program to engage public housing residents in services and activities by tapping the social networks that exist in their developments? The Jobs-Plus Community Revitalization Initiative for Public Housing (“Jobs-Plus” for short), a multifaceted effort to use rent incentives, job counseling, and other inducements to help increase residents’ employment and earnings, attempted this approach. One of the program's most distinctive features, a unique component called “community support for work,” focused on the recruitment of outreach workers from among the residents of seven public housing developments. The aim was to harness the knowledge and relationships of resident leaders to advance the employment goals of Jobs-Plus. Jobs-Plus administrators identified and trained resident outreach workers to serve as bridges between their neighbors and professional program staff. Mobilizing residents in this way extended Jobs-Plus’s reach in the community by facilitating neighbor-to-neighbor exchanges about program services, rent policies, and job opportunities....

    Is it possible for an employment program to engage public housing residents in services and activities by tapping the social networks that exist in their developments? The Jobs-Plus Community Revitalization Initiative for Public Housing (“Jobs-Plus” for short), a multifaceted effort to use rent incentives, job counseling, and other inducements to help increase residents’ employment and earnings, attempted this approach. One of the program's most distinctive features, a unique component called “community support for work,” focused on the recruitment of outreach workers from among the residents of seven public housing developments. The aim was to harness the knowledge and relationships of resident leaders to advance the employment goals of Jobs-Plus. Jobs-Plus administrators identified and trained resident outreach workers to serve as bridges between their neighbors and professional program staff. Mobilizing residents in this way extended Jobs-Plus’s reach in the community by facilitating neighbor-to-neighbor exchanges about program services, rent policies, and job opportunities.

    Key Findings

    Outreach workers added to Jobs-Plus’s credibility among the larger tenant population. By giving the program a familiar “face,” outreach workers helped make Jobs-Plus more accessible to fellow residents and boosted turnout for program services and activities. At ethnically diverse developments, outreach workers from different language groups brought wary immigrants into Jobs-Plus.

    Recruitment of outreach workers had to be selective and ongoing. Jobs-Plus aimed to enlist widely respected and well-connected residents who were employed, participating in job-related training or studies, or retired, and who were eager to help the community. Recruiting such people was not easy, and maintaining an effective team of outreach workers required sustained efforts, as many workers moved out of their developments or went to work.

    Formal program oversight of the community support for work component was essential. Outreach workers were extensions of the program, not an independent resident association. To keep them energetically focused on Jobs-Plus’s employment goals, the sites found it important to pay the outreach workers a stipend for their efforts; assign staff to supervise them; and equip them with task-specific training about program services, outreach skills, and team building.

    Maintaining outreach workers’ independence from the housing authority was challenging but critical to their effectiveness. Because outreach workers were employed by Jobs-Plus, some residents suspected them of being agents of the housing authority. Their positions required careful training in confidentiality issues and their assignment to perform tasks that would not compromise their standing in the community. Serious public-safety issues at some sites also hindered them from going freely door-to-door.

    The Jobs-Plus community support for work component offered residents new possibilities for civic leadership development. In Los Angeles, the outreach workers demonstrated that a community support for work component could further the development of residents’ leadership potential. The skills derived from their Jobs-Plus experience enabled outreach workers to take the lead in bringing an array of services on-site and to sustain high turnout- and completion-levels for education and training courses. (author abstract)

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