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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 includes resources which may be available only via journal subscription. The SSRC may be able to provide users without subscription access to a particular journal with a single use copy of the full text.  Please email the SSRC with your request.

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: Collard, Carol S.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2007

    Securing adequate housing is a key component in achieving family well-being and a decent quality of life. It is expected that as many as twenty percent of the families currently on welfare, many of whom are disproportionately female and African American, may not be employable by the end of their lifetime benefit. These families, classified as “hard-to-serve” or “hard-to-employ,” are headed by an adult who may be struggling with substance abuse, physical or mental health problems, as well as low literacy and social competency issues that inhibit achieving self-sufficiency. This author will examine existing literature on welfare-dependent households coping with substance abuse and mental health problems, and how the lack of affordable housing impacts their ability to achieve self-sufficiency. This article presents a case study of Delowe Village Apartments, a supportive housing development in Georgia that combines the provision of social services with affordable housing. (author abstract)

    Securing adequate housing is a key component in achieving family well-being and a decent quality of life. It is expected that as many as twenty percent of the families currently on welfare, many of whom are disproportionately female and African American, may not be employable by the end of their lifetime benefit. These families, classified as “hard-to-serve” or “hard-to-employ,” are headed by an adult who may be struggling with substance abuse, physical or mental health problems, as well as low literacy and social competency issues that inhibit achieving self-sufficiency. This author will examine existing literature on welfare-dependent households coping with substance abuse and mental health problems, and how the lack of affordable housing impacts their ability to achieve self-sufficiency. This article presents a case study of Delowe Village Apartments, a supportive housing development in Georgia that combines the provision of social services with affordable housing. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Bratt, Rachel G.; Keyes, Langley C.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 1998

    In recent years, interest has grown at the federal level in strategies to combine subsidized housing with programs promoting household self-sufficiency. This article explores how nonprofit housing organizations conceptualize their self-sufficiency programs for their residents. A broad definition of self-sufficiency is presented—one that is not exclusively focused on the individual and, instead, also includes program strategies that are focused on changing the context in which individuals live and work. The paper then analyzes the relationship between the self-sufficiency strategies being implemented in the nonprofit housing world and how these organizations will be affected by welfare reform, the shrinking and restructuring of federally subsidized housing, the emergence of block grant job training and workforce development programs, and the general devolution of government programs into ever more fungible pots at state and local levels. These transformations in the domestic policy agenda will present challenges to nonprofit housing organizations and to the goal of promoting self-...

    In recent years, interest has grown at the federal level in strategies to combine subsidized housing with programs promoting household self-sufficiency. This article explores how nonprofit housing organizations conceptualize their self-sufficiency programs for their residents. A broad definition of self-sufficiency is presented—one that is not exclusively focused on the individual and, instead, also includes program strategies that are focused on changing the context in which individuals live and work. The paper then analyzes the relationship between the self-sufficiency strategies being implemented in the nonprofit housing world and how these organizations will be affected by welfare reform, the shrinking and restructuring of federally subsidized housing, the emergence of block grant job training and workforce development programs, and the general devolution of government programs into ever more fungible pots at state and local levels. These transformations in the domestic policy agenda will present challenges to nonprofit housing organizations and to the goal of promoting self-sufficiency. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Bratt, Rachel G.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2008

    Problem: It is widely believed that housing affects both residents' social and economic opportunities and the prospects for neighborhood upgrading. Housing plus refers to the public or nonprofit sectors providing affordable housing together with services that support family well-being and community development within subsidized rental housing developments. In this article I consider whether providing housing plus services rather than housing alone should be national policy.

    Purpose: This article provides an overview of the national housing-plus initiatives for families, what is known about their effectiveness, how nonprofit organizations are implementing them, how they affect participants, and recommendations for changes in state and federal policies.

    Methods: I review the literature assessing resident-focused housing-plus programs and draw on interviews with staff at eight large regional nonprofit organizations that provide such programs.

    Results and conclusions: There is little rigorous research on the efficacy of the housing-plus approach. However, the...

    Problem: It is widely believed that housing affects both residents' social and economic opportunities and the prospects for neighborhood upgrading. Housing plus refers to the public or nonprofit sectors providing affordable housing together with services that support family well-being and community development within subsidized rental housing developments. In this article I consider whether providing housing plus services rather than housing alone should be national policy.

    Purpose: This article provides an overview of the national housing-plus initiatives for families, what is known about their effectiveness, how nonprofit organizations are implementing them, how they affect participants, and recommendations for changes in state and federal policies.

    Methods: I review the literature assessing resident-focused housing-plus programs and draw on interviews with staff at eight large regional nonprofit organizations that provide such programs.

    Results and conclusions: There is little rigorous research on the efficacy of the housing-plus approach. However, the people I interviewed considered the housing-plus approach a key component of their organizations' anti-poverty missions. I conclude that public and private entities should support nonprofit organizations' resident-focused housing-plus initiatives by initiating rigorous evaluations and creating mechanisms for funding. I note that these programs have the potential to create some unintended negative side effects, which should be addressed.

    Takeaway for practice: Not every nonprofit housing organization should offer housing plus services themselves. Rather, some should develop referral relationships with other service providers. Nonprofits aiming to deliver housing plus services should determine in advance how they will cover costs, and how they will assess effectiveness. They should involve residents in selecting, implementing and evaluating these programs. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Salsich, Peter W. Jr.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 1997

    This paper will explore the relationship between affordable housing and self-sufficiency, and will argue that the new welfare reform policy will not succeed unless it is accompanied by a revitalized housing policy that combines a significant number of additional housing vouchers with effective homeownership opportunities for persons coming off welfare. (author abstract)

    This paper will explore the relationship between affordable housing and self-sufficiency, and will argue that the new welfare reform policy will not succeed unless it is accompanied by a revitalized housing policy that combines a significant number of additional housing vouchers with effective homeownership opportunities for persons coming off welfare. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Bernstein, Eldon H.; Da, Yu
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2014

    Microfinancing is the concept of providing very small amounts of funds to a person or project who would otherwise be unable to obtain a loan. The concept has been successful in many developing counties. However, attempts to apply it to the United States have had little if any success.

    This paper identified several critical conditions that exist in the United States that help to explain its failings. Significant differences exist in the size of the microenterprise sector, the existence of the functional social safety net, competition from both large firms and commercial lenders, and limits to forming a group based upon joint liability all differ.

    While the goal in the traditional model in developing markets is the elimination of poverty, we show how those critical conditions help to explain the lack of success in the United States. We propose a modified model whose goal is the creation of an entrepreneurial venture or improving the performance of an existing small enterprise. (author abstract)

    Microfinancing is the concept of providing very small amounts of funds to a person or project who would otherwise be unable to obtain a loan. The concept has been successful in many developing counties. However, attempts to apply it to the United States have had little if any success.

    This paper identified several critical conditions that exist in the United States that help to explain its failings. Significant differences exist in the size of the microenterprise sector, the existence of the functional social safety net, competition from both large firms and commercial lenders, and limits to forming a group based upon joint liability all differ.

    While the goal in the traditional model in developing markets is the elimination of poverty, we show how those critical conditions help to explain the lack of success in the United States. We propose a modified model whose goal is the creation of an entrepreneurial venture or improving the performance of an existing small enterprise. (author abstract)

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