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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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  • Individual Author: Holzer, Harry; Popham, Amelia; Elliott, Mark; Rolston, Howard; Weiss, Micheal
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2018

    These PowerPoints are from the 2018 Research and Evaluation Conference on Self-Sufficiency (RECS). Improving low-income students’ college completion rates is one critical means to increasing economic mobility and reducing inequality. This panel presented findings from four randomized trials demonstrating that it is possible to achieve large gains in college completion rates. The presentations also highlighted the value of combining multiple sources of high-quality data with strong research designs for causal analysis. Amelia Popham (Administration for Children and Families) moderated this session, and Harry Holzer (Georgetown University) served as a discussant. Various methodologies were used across the presentations. (Presenter introduction)

    These PowerPoints are from the 2018 Research and Evaluation Conference on Self-Sufficiency (RECS). Improving low-income students’ college completion rates is one critical means to increasing economic mobility and reducing inequality. This panel presented findings from four randomized trials demonstrating that it is possible to achieve large gains in college completion rates. The presentations also highlighted the value of combining multiple sources of high-quality data with strong research designs for causal analysis. Amelia Popham (Administration for Children and Families) moderated this session, and Harry Holzer (Georgetown University) served as a discussant. Various methodologies were used across the presentations. (Presenter introduction)

  • Individual Author: Riccio, James; Deitch, Victoria; Verma, Nandita
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    The purpose of the Rent Reform Demonstration is to test an alternative to the current rent-setting system for families using housing choice vouchers (HCV). The goals of the alternative rent-setting model now being tested are to incentivize employment and reduce the complexity and burden (and, thus, the cost) of administering the rent policy, while not causing unnecessary hardship for HCV households. The study team, PHAs, and HUD collaboratively designed the alternative rent model that is being tested at four local Moving to Work (MTW) public housing agencies (PHAs) sites with 6,600 participating HCV assisted households using a rigorous random assignment design. The four participating PHAs are the District of Columbia Housing Authority, Lexington Housing Authority, Louisville Metropolitan Housing Authority, and San Antonio Housing Authority. This report provides a detailed explanation of the alternative rent model, a description of the demonstration implementation, and an outline of the preliminary baseline information and survey data that has already been gathered from the...

    The purpose of the Rent Reform Demonstration is to test an alternative to the current rent-setting system for families using housing choice vouchers (HCV). The goals of the alternative rent-setting model now being tested are to incentivize employment and reduce the complexity and burden (and, thus, the cost) of administering the rent policy, while not causing unnecessary hardship for HCV households. The study team, PHAs, and HUD collaboratively designed the alternative rent model that is being tested at four local Moving to Work (MTW) public housing agencies (PHAs) sites with 6,600 participating HCV assisted households using a rigorous random assignment design. The four participating PHAs are the District of Columbia Housing Authority, Lexington Housing Authority, Louisville Metropolitan Housing Authority, and San Antonio Housing Authority. This report provides a detailed explanation of the alternative rent model, a description of the demonstration implementation, and an outline of the preliminary baseline information and survey data that has already been gathered from the assisted families participating in the study. Future reports will assess the impact of the alternative rent model at 12 and 36 months after random assignment on employment, earnings, and hardship for the study sample and on administrative efficiencies for the PHA, provide a process evaluation of the demonstration implementation, and analyze the cost effectiveness of the new rent policy compared to the existing rent policy. (Author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Azurdia, Gilda; Freedman, Stephen; Hamilton, Gayle; Schultz, Caroline
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2014

    SaveUSA, a voluntary program launched in 2011 in four cities (New York City, Tulsa, San Antonio, and Newark), encourages low- and moderate-income individuals to set aside money from their tax refund for savings. Tax filers at participating Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites can directly deposit all or a portion of their tax refund into a special savings account, set up by a bank or credit union, and pledge to save between $200 and $1,000 of their deposit for about a year. Money can be withdrawn from SaveUSA accounts at any time and for any purpose, but only those who maintain their initially pledged savings amount throughout a full year receive a 50 percent match on that amount. Account holders, irrespective of match receipt, can deposit tax refund dollars in subsequent years and become eligible to receive additional savings matches on their new tax refund deposits.

    This report presents findings on SaveUSA’s implementation in all four cities and its early effects on savings and other financial outcomes in two cities: New York City and Tulsa. In these latter...

    SaveUSA, a voluntary program launched in 2011 in four cities (New York City, Tulsa, San Antonio, and Newark), encourages low- and moderate-income individuals to set aside money from their tax refund for savings. Tax filers at participating Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites can directly deposit all or a portion of their tax refund into a special savings account, set up by a bank or credit union, and pledge to save between $200 and $1,000 of their deposit for about a year. Money can be withdrawn from SaveUSA accounts at any time and for any purpose, but only those who maintain their initially pledged savings amount throughout a full year receive a 50 percent match on that amount. Account holders, irrespective of match receipt, can deposit tax refund dollars in subsequent years and become eligible to receive additional savings matches on their new tax refund deposits.

    This report presents findings on SaveUSA’s implementation in all four cities and its early effects on savings and other financial outcomes in two cities: New York City and Tulsa. In these latter cities, a randomly selected half of the tax filers who were interested in SaveUSA in 2011 could open accounts (the “SaveUSA group”), but the other half could not (the control group). The report compares the savings and other financial behaviors of the two groups over time to estimate SaveUSA’s effects. The findings thus suggest the effects that savings policies structured similarly to SaveUSA might have.

    SaveUSA’s operation and evaluation are funded through the federal Social Innovation Fund (SIF), a public/private partnership administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service. This particular SIF project is led by the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and the NYC Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) in collaboration with MDRC. Matching funds required by the SIF were provided by several foundations and organizations. CEO, with the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE), which conceived and launched an early version of the model, leads SaveUSA operations; MDRC is conducting the program’s evaluation.

    Key Findings:

    •SaveUSA was implemented successfully in all four cities. During the first program year, individuals in the SaveUSA group directly deposited an average of $506 of their tax refunds into SaveUSA accounts.

    •About two-thirds of those in the SaveUSA group saved for about a year and received a first savings match, which averaged $291 among those who received it. About two-fifths of the SaveUSA group pledged to save part of their tax refund again in the program’s second year.

    •At the 18-month follow-up point, SaveUSA had increased the percentage of individuals with any short-term savings (by 7 percentage points) and increased the total amount of savings individuals held on average (by $512), compared with what they would have saved without the program. The program also had increased the proportion of those who expressed a continued commitment to save.

    •No effects were found on individuals’ amount of debt, material hardship, or other aspects of financial security over the 18-month follow-up period.

    A subsequent report in late 2015 will examine SaveUSA’s effects over 36 to 42 months and will present a much more complete assessment of whether SaveUSA can sustain savings and improve individuals’ overall financial well-being. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Lundquist, Erika ; Hsueh, JoAnn ; Lowenstein, Amy E. ; Faucetta, Kristen; Gubits, Daniel ; Michalopoulos, Charles; Knox, Virginia
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2014

    This report provides an overview of the Supporting Healthy Marriage program model and includes final (30-month) impact findings on a range of outcomes including marital stability, relationship quality, co-parenting, and adult and child well-being. The report indicates that the program did not increase the likelihood that couples stayed together. The program did produce small positive effects in the relationship quality domain, but it did not improve co-parenting or measurably benefit children. The Technical Supplement report presents supporting technical documentation related to the study design and analyses (e.g., analytic methods, variable construction, etc.) (author abstract)

    This report provides an overview of the Supporting Healthy Marriage program model and includes final (30-month) impact findings on a range of outcomes including marital stability, relationship quality, co-parenting, and adult and child well-being. The report indicates that the program did not increase the likelihood that couples stayed together. The program did produce small positive effects in the relationship quality domain, but it did not improve co-parenting or measurably benefit children. The Technical Supplement report presents supporting technical documentation related to the study design and analyses (e.g., analytic methods, variable construction, etc.) (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Lowenstein, Amy E. ; Altman, Noemi ; Chou, Patricia M. ; Faucetta, Kristen ; Greeney, Adam ; Gubits, Daniel ; Harris, Jorgen ; Hsueh, JoAnn ; Lundquist, Erika ; Michalopoulos, Charles ; Nguyen, Vinh Q.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2014

    This technical supplement to the evaluation’s 30-month final impact report provides additional details about the study’s research design, data sources, measures construction, outcome and subgroup measures, analytic approach, and sensitivity and robustness tests of the impact estimates.  It also presents supplemental analyses of impacts by program and subgroup and on additional child, parenting and adult outcomes. (author abstract)

    This technical supplement to the evaluation’s 30-month final impact report provides additional details about the study’s research design, data sources, measures construction, outcome and subgroup measures, analytic approach, and sensitivity and robustness tests of the impact estimates.  It also presents supplemental analyses of impacts by program and subgroup and on additional child, parenting and adult outcomes. (author abstract)

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