A main goal of the HOPE VI program was to improve public housing by replacing failed developments with healthy and safe communities that offer a better quality of life for residents. This brief explores whether the safety gains for early relocates have been sustained and whether those who moved later have benefited equally— because these residents tended to be among the most vulnerable, there was good reason to think that they would not fare as well. We find that almost all former residents are now living in safer conditions and that improved safety and quality of life has been the greatest benefit of the Plan for Transformation for CHA residents.
Eight years after the Madden/Wells redevelopment started, this brief presents what has happened to the original residents, including the type of housing assistance they received and where they lived in 2009. Despite a number of challenges, we found that by 2009, all of the residents had relocated and nearly one in five former Madden/Wells residents was living in a new mixed-income housing development. Most of the former Madden/Wells residents reported that their current housing and neighborhood was better than Madden/Wells. However, only a minority lived in economically or racially diverse neighborhoods that offer real opportunities for themselves and their children.
This overview presents findings from the Chicago Panel Study, a follow up to the Urban Institute’s five-site HOPE VI Panel Study, to assess how the residents are faring as the Plan for Transformation progresses. We find that after 10 years, the story for CHA families is far more positive than many observers—including ourselves— would have predicted at the outset. Regardless of where they have moved, most families in our study are living in considerably better circumstances. However, the study also highlights the serious challenges that remain, most significantly, residents’ extremely poor health and persistently low rates of employment.
This paper addresses two questions: How well do teachers understand their current pension plans? And, what do they think about alternative plan structures? The data come from administrative records and a 2006 survey of teachers in Washington State. The results suggest Washington's teachers are fairly knowledgeable about their pensions, though new entrants and mid-career teachers appear to be less knowledgeable than veteran teachers. As for teachers' preferences for plan structure, the survey suggests that when it comes to investing additional retirement savings, a plurality of teachers favor defined contribution plans which offer more portability and choice, but more risk than traditional defined benefit plans. All else equal, teachers newer to the profession are more likely than veteran teachers to favor a defined contribution structure.
The Obama administration has emphasized postsecondary education as the key to its jobs policy, continuing a long-held federal strategy while broadening its goals beyond traditional four-year schools. But disadvantaged students and working adults may still fall through the cracks—and educating college-age youth alone can't meet the nation's employment and social policy objectives. While the focus on college has gone up, federal spending on adult employment and training programs and high school career and technical education has declined. As the nation recovers from the recession, we need to pay more attention to these alternative paths and do more to link education and jobs.
Expert Harry Holzer testifies that 2009 and 2010 have been among the worst years ever recorded for teen unemployment, averaging 25 percent. Prospects for young African Americans are especially grim, with unemployment around 40 percent. But we can help youth into the labor market—during the "Great Recession" and beyond—through an aggressive policy agenda. Existing programs that could be more fully funded are YouthBuild, the Youth Service and Conservation Corps, Year Up, the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe, Gateways, and Youth Opportunities. While these would cost federal funds, the costs of not investing in our vulnerable youth will be far greater.
State agencies finance and administer a range of services - from foster care for abused and neglected children to prisons to long-term care of the elderly. How can large public agencies and small community organizations plan better to meet the needs of the people they serve? Traditionally, useful and timely data for planning purposes have been in short supply. Recent research linking data across a number of public agencies has highlighted some significant findings about state services and the people who use them.
Nearly one in five U.S. youths will run away from home before age 18. Almost 30 percent of these youth will do so three or more times, greatly increasing their risk of violence, crime, drugs, prostitution, STDs, and many other problems. Employing new methodology to yield estimates not available elsewhere, this paper follows a nationally representative sample of 12-year olds through their 18th birthday to discover how many youth run away from home, the number of times they ran away, and the age they first run away. Female and black youth are found to run away the most often.
Low high school graduation rates and sharply declining employment rates continue to plague disadvantaged youth, especially young men. We review the evidence base on programs and policies such as youth development for adolescents and young teens; programs seeking to improve educational attainment and employment for in-school youth; and programs that try to "reconnect" those who are out of school and frequently out of work, including public employment programs. We identify a number of programmatic strategies that are promising or even proven, based on rigorous evaluations, for disadvantaged youth with different circumstances.
Much of today’s literature on youth programs emphasizes the importance of evidencebased approaches. The Urban Institute’s evaluation found Reclaiming Futures to be a promising strategy, however, many of the features that may be responsible for the positive system changes seen in the Reclaiming Futures initiative were inspired by practices not yet tested thoroughly by evaluators. This report examines two such components of the Reclaiming Futures initiative: positive youth development and cultural competence.