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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: Blumenberg, Evelyn; Pierce, Gregory
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2016

    Transportation enables low-income individuals to find and travel to employment. This article analyzes the relationship between access to automobiles and public transit and employment outcomes of low-income households. We use longitudinal survey data from participants in the Welfare to Work Voucher Program, which was conducted in five US metropolitan areas between 1999 and 2005. Multinomial logistic regression shows that baseline access to automobiles has a strong positive relationship to follow-up employment but public transit access and receipt of housing assistance do not. Our findings suggest that enhancing car access will notably improve employment outcomes among very-low-income adults, but other assistance will have, at best, marginal effects. (author abstract)

    Transportation enables low-income individuals to find and travel to employment. This article analyzes the relationship between access to automobiles and public transit and employment outcomes of low-income households. We use longitudinal survey data from participants in the Welfare to Work Voucher Program, which was conducted in five US metropolitan areas between 1999 and 2005. Multinomial logistic regression shows that baseline access to automobiles has a strong positive relationship to follow-up employment but public transit access and receipt of housing assistance do not. Our findings suggest that enhancing car access will notably improve employment outcomes among very-low-income adults, but other assistance will have, at best, marginal effects. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Blumenberg, Evelyn
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2016

    Over time, automobile ownership in the US has increased. Yet low-income households remain less likely to have access to automobiles than higher-income households. Today, given the continued dispersion of US metropolitan areas and the growing number of jobs, as well as low-income families living in the suburbs, the evidence suggests that low-income women who do not have access to automobiles are increasingly disadvantaged. To engender greater economic and social sustainability, the evidence suggests that low-income women would benefit from policies to increase their access to automobiles. (Author abstract)

    Over time, automobile ownership in the US has increased. Yet low-income households remain less likely to have access to automobiles than higher-income households. Today, given the continued dispersion of US metropolitan areas and the growing number of jobs, as well as low-income families living in the suburbs, the evidence suggests that low-income women who do not have access to automobiles are increasingly disadvantaged. To engender greater economic and social sustainability, the evidence suggests that low-income women would benefit from policies to increase their access to automobiles. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Blumenberg, Evelyn; Pierce, Gregory; Smart, Michael
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2015

    Access to automobiles may be particularly important to housing voucher recipients, who are more likely than residents of public housing to live in suburban neighborhoods where transit service is often limited. Access to high-quality public transit is more likely to benefit low-income households who live in dense central-city neighborhoods in close proximity to employment. In this analysis we draw on survey data from two housing voucher experiments—the Moving to Opportunity for Fair Housing and Welfare-to-Work Voucher programs—to examine the relationship between access to automobiles and public transit and the employment and earnings outcomes of program participants.

    Our research underscores the importance of automobiles in achieving desirable outcomes for families who receive subsidized housing. Access to automobiles is associated with improved economic outcomes for all program participants and better facilitates job acquisition, job retention, and earnings than public transit. Our findings suggest the need to better link housing and transportation programs and to pursue a...

    Access to automobiles may be particularly important to housing voucher recipients, who are more likely than residents of public housing to live in suburban neighborhoods where transit service is often limited. Access to high-quality public transit is more likely to benefit low-income households who live in dense central-city neighborhoods in close proximity to employment. In this analysis we draw on survey data from two housing voucher experiments—the Moving to Opportunity for Fair Housing and Welfare-to-Work Voucher programs—to examine the relationship between access to automobiles and public transit and the employment and earnings outcomes of program participants.

    Our research underscores the importance of automobiles in achieving desirable outcomes for families who receive subsidized housing. Access to automobiles is associated with improved economic outcomes for all program participants and better facilitates job acquisition, job retention, and earnings than public transit. Our findings suggest the need to better link housing and transportation programs and to pursue a set of policies that increase automobile access among all subsidized housing recipients. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Agrawal, Asha W. ; Blumenberg, Evelyn A.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2014

    Researchers argue that transportation expenditures impose a heavy burden on low-income households, many of whom experience difficulty managing their travel costs. However, relatively little research explores how low-income households manage their mobility needs. To address this issue, this study uses qualitative data from interviews with 73 low-income people living in and around San Jose, California. The interviews reveal the resiliency of low-income families in creatively managing their transportation costs. However, the transportation survival strategies of the poor can come at a high price—fewer miles traveled and, therefore, reduced access to opportunities that may lift them out of poverty. (author abstract)

    This article is based on a conference paper that was previously published by the Transportation Research Board.

    Researchers argue that transportation expenditures impose a heavy burden on low-income households, many of whom experience difficulty managing their travel costs. However, relatively little research explores how low-income households manage their mobility needs. To address this issue, this study uses qualitative data from interviews with 73 low-income people living in and around San Jose, California. The interviews reveal the resiliency of low-income families in creatively managing their transportation costs. However, the transportation survival strategies of the poor can come at a high price—fewer miles traveled and, therefore, reduced access to opportunities that may lift them out of poverty. (author abstract)

    This article is based on a conference paper that was previously published by the Transportation Research Board.

  • Individual Author: Blumenberg, Evelyn; Thomas, Trevor
    Year: 2014

    In 1996, President Clinton signed into law the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act or welfare reform. As part of this act, Congress established a set a welfare block-grant program that included a set of provisions intended to promote employment. In the aftermath of these reforms, policymakers turned to transportation as one strategy to rapidly transition welfare recipients and other low-income adults into the labor market. As foundation for these transportation programs, studies documented the travel patterns of the poor and highlighted their limited access to automobiles.

    Given the many changes that have occurred since the 1990s, it is time to revisit these data. In this study, therefore, we draw on the 1995 Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey (NPTS) and the 2009 National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) to examine changes in the commute travel of low-income adults since welfare reform. The data provide evidence that reliance on automobiles has grown stronger over time, reflecting the many advantages of cars in increasingly decentralized...

    In 1996, President Clinton signed into law the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act or welfare reform. As part of this act, Congress established a set a welfare block-grant program that included a set of provisions intended to promote employment. In the aftermath of these reforms, policymakers turned to transportation as one strategy to rapidly transition welfare recipients and other low-income adults into the labor market. As foundation for these transportation programs, studies documented the travel patterns of the poor and highlighted their limited access to automobiles.

    Given the many changes that have occurred since the 1990s, it is time to revisit these data. In this study, therefore, we draw on the 1995 Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey (NPTS) and the 2009 National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) to examine changes in the commute travel of low-income adults since welfare reform. The data provide evidence that reliance on automobiles has grown stronger over time, reflecting the many advantages of cars in increasingly decentralized environments. However, some population groups—particularly the carless—have become increasingly dependent on public transit to access work. These findings suggest the importance of protecting and expanding vital transit services for those who need them, while at the same time responding to the needs of low-income households who may be better served through personal vehicular travel. (author abstract)

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