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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: Neumark, David
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Poverty remains a persistent problem in many areas in the United States. Existing place-based policies—especially enterprise zones—have generally failed to provide benefits to the least advantaged. Drawing on lessons from the often-negative findings on effects of past place-based policies, but preserving the potential advantage of policies that try to improve economic outcomes in specific areas, I propose a new place-based policy—Rebuilding Communities Job Subsidies, or RCJS—to encourage job and income growth in areas of economic disadvantage. RCJS targets neighborhoods classified as extremely poor, and low-income workers in those neighborhoods, with a period of fully subsidized jobs to build skills and improve and revitalize areas of extreme poverty, to be followed by partially subsidized private sector jobs. (Author abstract). 

    Poverty remains a persistent problem in many areas in the United States. Existing place-based policies—especially enterprise zones—have generally failed to provide benefits to the least advantaged. Drawing on lessons from the often-negative findings on effects of past place-based policies, but preserving the potential advantage of policies that try to improve economic outcomes in specific areas, I propose a new place-based policy—Rebuilding Communities Job Subsidies, or RCJS—to encourage job and income growth in areas of economic disadvantage. RCJS targets neighborhoods classified as extremely poor, and low-income workers in those neighborhoods, with a period of fully subsidized jobs to build skills and improve and revitalize areas of extreme poverty, to be followed by partially subsidized private sector jobs. (Author abstract). 

  • Individual Author: Benfer, Emily A.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    The water crisis in Flint, Michigan, revealed systemic government malfeasance that exposed an entire city population to lead-contaminated water. It also alerted the nation to the fact that lead poisoning remains endemic and threatens the livelihood of children across the country. The problem extends beyond Flint—a recent report identified more than 2,600 areas in the United States that have lead poisoning rates at least double those recorded during the peak of the Flint crisis. According to the American Healthy Homes Survey, conducted by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), 37 million homes in the United States have lead-based paint that will become a hazard if not closely monitored and maintained, and, of those, more 23 million homes have one or more significant lead-based paint hazard. This means one in three homes with children younger than age six - the age group most vulnerable to lead poisoning-contain significant lead-based paint hazards. Outside the home, leaded gasoline and lead smelting plants have deposited dangerous levels of lead and other toxic...

    The water crisis in Flint, Michigan, revealed systemic government malfeasance that exposed an entire city population to lead-contaminated water. It also alerted the nation to the fact that lead poisoning remains endemic and threatens the livelihood of children across the country. The problem extends beyond Flint—a recent report identified more than 2,600 areas in the United States that have lead poisoning rates at least double those recorded during the peak of the Flint crisis. According to the American Healthy Homes Survey, conducted by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), 37 million homes in the United States have lead-based paint that will become a hazard if not closely monitored and maintained, and, of those, more 23 million homes have one or more significant lead-based paint hazard. This means one in three homes with children younger than age six - the age group most vulnerable to lead poisoning-contain significant lead-based paint hazards. Outside the home, leaded gasoline and lead smelting plants have deposited dangerous levels of lead and other toxic contaminants in neighborhoods across the country. (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Tach, Laura; Wimer, Christopher; Emory, Allison Dwyer
    Reference Type: White Papers
    Year: 2016

    Over the years, a wide range of policy efforts have tried to improve economic, physical, and social conditions within distressed urban neighborhoods. Even as many city centers have experienced a recent revitalization, the benefits have been shared unequally by urban residents. Increases in concentrated poverty as well as income inequality and economic segregation exacerbated by the Great Recession have highlighted a need for continued investment in urban neighborhoods. Tragic events in cities such as Baltimore and Ferguson have also brought renewed focus on addressing the pervasive economic development, housing, and safety challenges facing residents of the nation’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods. In response, the Obama Administration has prioritized “place-based” interventions that target investments to address the needs of these communities, whose residents often experience restricted access to economic mobility due to a legacy of policies and practices that have engendered place-based racial and economic inequality. In this summary brief (and the longer white paper), we...

    Over the years, a wide range of policy efforts have tried to improve economic, physical, and social conditions within distressed urban neighborhoods. Even as many city centers have experienced a recent revitalization, the benefits have been shared unequally by urban residents. Increases in concentrated poverty as well as income inequality and economic segregation exacerbated by the Great Recession have highlighted a need for continued investment in urban neighborhoods. Tragic events in cities such as Baltimore and Ferguson have also brought renewed focus on addressing the pervasive economic development, housing, and safety challenges facing residents of the nation’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods. In response, the Obama Administration has prioritized “place-based” interventions that target investments to address the needs of these communities, whose residents often experience restricted access to economic mobility due to a legacy of policies and practices that have engendered place-based racial and economic inequality. In this summary brief (and the longer white paper), we review place-based policy approaches that have focused on aspects of neighborhoods central to promoting opportunity, including economic development, education, housing, and neighborhood safety. We include policies and programs that have been subject to rigorous evaluation using experimental or quasi-experimental research designs aimed at identifying the causal effects of interventions. We also bring in additional information from implementation studies or other observational research to supplement the causal analysis. This summary concludes with a description of current challenges and recommendations for place-based programming efforts. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Ellen, Ingrid; Glied, Sherry
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2015

    In theory, improving low-income families’ housing and neighborhoods could also improve their children’s health, through any number of mechanisms. For example, less exposure to environmental toxins could prevent diseases such as asthma; a safer, less violent neighborhood could improve health by reducing the chances of injury and death, and by easing the burden of stress; and a more walkable neighborhood with better playgrounds could encourage children to exercise, making them less likely to become obese.

    Yet although neighborhood improvement policies generally achieve their immediate goals—investments in playgrounds create playgrounds, for example—Ingrid Gould Ellen and Sherry Glied find that many of these policies don’t show a strong effect on poor children’s health. One problem is that neighborhood improvements may price low-income families out of the very neighborhoods that have been improved, as new amenities draw more affluent families, causing rents and home prices to rise. Policy makers, say Ellen and Glied, should carefully consider how neighborhood improvements may...

    In theory, improving low-income families’ housing and neighborhoods could also improve their children’s health, through any number of mechanisms. For example, less exposure to environmental toxins could prevent diseases such as asthma; a safer, less violent neighborhood could improve health by reducing the chances of injury and death, and by easing the burden of stress; and a more walkable neighborhood with better playgrounds could encourage children to exercise, making them less likely to become obese.

    Yet although neighborhood improvement policies generally achieve their immediate goals—investments in playgrounds create playgrounds, for example—Ingrid Gould Ellen and Sherry Glied find that many of these policies don’t show a strong effect on poor children’s health. One problem is that neighborhood improvements may price low-income families out of the very neighborhoods that have been improved, as new amenities draw more affluent families, causing rents and home prices to rise. Policy makers, say Ellen and Glied, should carefully consider how neighborhood improvements may affect affordability, a calculus that is likely to favor policies with clear and substantial benefits for low-income children, such as those that reduce neighborhood violence.

    Housing subsidies can help families either cope with rising costs or move to more affluent neighborhoods. Unfortunately, demonstration programs that help families move to better neighborhoods have had only limited effects on children’s health, possibly because such transitions can be stressful. And because subsidies go to relatively few low-income families, the presence of subsidies may itself drive up housing costs, placing an extra burden on the majority of families that don’t receive them. Ellen and Glied suggest that policy makers consider whether granting smaller subsidies to more families would be a more effective way to use these funds. (author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Pendall, Rolf; Hendey, Leah; Greenberg, David; Pettit, Kathryn L.S.; Levy, Diane; Khare, Amy; Gallagher, Megan; Joseph, Mark; Curley, Alexandra; Rasheed, Aesha; Latham, Nancy; Brecher, Audra ; Hailey, Chantal
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2015

    The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (Choice) of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) aims to transform distressed, high-poverty rate neighborhoods into revitalized mixed-income neighborhoods. Its primary vehicle to catalyze this transformation is the rebuilding of distressed public and assisted housing into energy-efficient, mixed-income housing that is physically and financially viable. (author abstract)

    The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (Choice) of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) aims to transform distressed, high-poverty rate neighborhoods into revitalized mixed-income neighborhoods. Its primary vehicle to catalyze this transformation is the rebuilding of distressed public and assisted housing into energy-efficient, mixed-income housing that is physically and financially viable. (author abstract)

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