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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: 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: Levine Coley, Rebekah; Doyle Lynch, Alicia; Kull, Melissa
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2014

    Poor families often confront chaos and instability in their family, home, and neighborhood contexts. For very young children, this environmental chaos interrupts critical routines and stability at a time in life when they matter dearly. Indeed, research has shown a link between chaos in a child’s early home environment and harm to physical and mental health, brain development, and other outcomes. Yet how exactly chaos affects children is still a question. Is it the timing of the disruptions—early in life rather than later, for example? Is it the intensity of the chaos? And can sensitive parenting shield children against the harms of chaotic home and neighborhood environments? The current study seeks answers to those questions. It examines the timing and intensity of household and neighborhood disorder and family instability and explores whether parents can buffer any negative effects on young children. (author introduction) 

    Poor families often confront chaos and instability in their family, home, and neighborhood contexts. For very young children, this environmental chaos interrupts critical routines and stability at a time in life when they matter dearly. Indeed, research has shown a link between chaos in a child’s early home environment and harm to physical and mental health, brain development, and other outcomes. Yet how exactly chaos affects children is still a question. Is it the timing of the disruptions—early in life rather than later, for example? Is it the intensity of the chaos? And can sensitive parenting shield children against the harms of chaotic home and neighborhood environments? The current study seeks answers to those questions. It examines the timing and intensity of household and neighborhood disorder and family instability and explores whether parents can buffer any negative effects on young children. (author introduction) 

  • Individual Author: Hendey, Leah; Woo, Beadsie; Signe-Mary, McKernan
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    Using longitudinal Making Connections Survey data on 2,500 families in low-income neighborhoods, this fact sheet finds that access to credit and residents’ perceptions of their neighborhood are all related to wealth holdings, even after controlling for household characteristics. Residents who believed their neighborhood had shared values increased their total debt and equity from 2005/06 to 2008/09. High rates of subprime lending were associated with less saving and borrowing, perhaps signaling less access to credit. Our findings suggest that both household and place characteristics matter to wealth families accrue and illustrate the importance of paying attention to place and local conditions. (author abstract)

    Using longitudinal Making Connections Survey data on 2,500 families in low-income neighborhoods, this fact sheet finds that access to credit and residents’ perceptions of their neighborhood are all related to wealth holdings, even after controlling for household characteristics. Residents who believed their neighborhood had shared values increased their total debt and equity from 2005/06 to 2008/09. High rates of subprime lending were associated with less saving and borrowing, perhaps signaling less access to credit. Our findings suggest that both household and place characteristics matter to wealth families accrue and illustrate the importance of paying attention to place and local conditions. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Hendey, Leah; McKernan, Signe-Mary; Woo, Beadsie
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    This report looks closely at what happened to assets, debts and home equity for families living in low-income neighborhoods during the Great Recession, using data from the longitudinal Making Connections Survey. We find that both average savings and debt amounts increased between 2005/06 and 2008/09, but asset and debt levels remained lower for vulnerable families, and low-income families disproportionally lost equity during the crisis. Yet even in 2008/09, home equity was substantial and an important component of wealth ($66,000, more than four times as much as families had in savings) for the nearly half of families who were homeowners. (author abstract)

    This report looks closely at what happened to assets, debts and home equity for families living in low-income neighborhoods during the Great Recession, using data from the longitudinal Making Connections Survey. We find that both average savings and debt amounts increased between 2005/06 and 2008/09, but asset and debt levels remained lower for vulnerable families, and low-income families disproportionally lost equity during the crisis. Yet even in 2008/09, home equity was substantial and an important component of wealth ($66,000, more than four times as much as families had in savings) for the nearly half of families who were homeowners. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Bennett, Pamela R.; Cherlin, Andrew J.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2011

    We investigate the neighborhood contexts in which low-income families negotiate the new environment created by welfare reform. Using data from the Three-City Study and U.S. Census, we follow 1,059 low-income women from 1999 to 2005 tracking their neighborhood quality, employment, and welfare use. Despite living in similar neighborhoods in 1999, women who left welfare experienced larger reductions in neighborhood disadvantage than women who remained on welfare. Likewise, women who left welfare with employment achieved larger increases in neighborhood quality than those who left welfare without work; the latter experiencing neighborhood change no different than those who stayed on welfare. Results indicate that neighborhood conditions are, at minimum, associated with welfare outcomes. We evaluate whether improvements in residential contexts facilitate transitions to economic self-sufficiency, but also test the reverse possibility. Findings suggest that neighborhood quality increases after women leave welfare, though we cannot reject the possibility that better neighborhoods lead to...

    We investigate the neighborhood contexts in which low-income families negotiate the new environment created by welfare reform. Using data from the Three-City Study and U.S. Census, we follow 1,059 low-income women from 1999 to 2005 tracking their neighborhood quality, employment, and welfare use. Despite living in similar neighborhoods in 1999, women who left welfare experienced larger reductions in neighborhood disadvantage than women who remained on welfare. Likewise, women who left welfare with employment achieved larger increases in neighborhood quality than those who left welfare without work; the latter experiencing neighborhood change no different than those who stayed on welfare. Results indicate that neighborhood conditions are, at minimum, associated with welfare outcomes. We evaluate whether improvements in residential contexts facilitate transitions to economic self-sufficiency, but also test the reverse possibility. Findings suggest that neighborhood quality increases after women leave welfare, though we cannot reject the possibility that better neighborhoods lead to better outcomes. (author abstract)

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