Research by Author & Topic
Publications by Margery Austin Turner on Housing Markets and ChoiceHow Would Reforming the Mortgage Interest Deduction Affect the Housing Market? (Research Brief)
Opponents of MID reform warn that reducing the deduction would undermine the value of owner-occupied homes and impede the recovery of the depressed housing market. The best available evidence predicts far less dire effects and suggests that some reforms could actually bolster the housing market recovery. However, the results are far from definitive. As debate continues, the Urban Institute plans to further explore behavioral and market changes, strengthening the evidence upon which policymakers can rely.
Benefits of Living in High-Opportunity Neighborhoods (Research Report)
|Posted to Web: March 26, 2013||Publication Date: March 26, 2013|
The Moving to Opportunity (MTO) demonstration tested the long-term benefits of helping poor families move from severely distressed housing projects to low-poverty neighborhoods. Evaluation results recently released by HUD find significant gains in health but not in employment, incomes, or educational attainment among experimental families. One possible reason gains were limited is that few families spent much more than a year living in high-opportunity neighborhoods. This brief summarizes new evidence that the MTO families that lived longer in neighborhoods with lower poverty and higher education levels did achieve better outcomes in work and school, as well as in health.
Why Housing Choice and Mobility Matter (Commentary)
|Posted to Web: September 07, 2012||Publication Date: September 07, 2012|
HUD's proposal for transforming federal rental assistance expands subsidy recipients' freedom to choose where to live. This essay summarizes research evidence showing that: 1) project-based housing programs limit families' choices about where to live; 2) families benefit when they move with vouchers; 3) assisted mobility programs further expand families' options; and 4) "opportunity moves" can improve families' life chances. Although many families living in federally subsidized housing projects will choose to stay (especially if new investments improve the quality and safety of these communities), expanding opportunities for families to move strengthens federal housing policy by improving the well-being of assisted households.
Building Environmentally Sustainable Communities (Series/What Works Collaborative)
|Posted to Web: August 17, 2010||Publication Date: August 17, 2010|
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has decided to include two key goals in all of its programs: encouraging sustainable communities and enhancing access to opportunity for lower-income people and people of color. This paper examines the relationship between these two goals through a literature review and an original empirical analysis of how these goals interact at the neighborhood and metropolitan area levels. We also offer policy recommendations for HUD.
Promoting Neighborhood Diversity: Benefits, Barriers, and Strategies (Discussion Papers)
|Posted to Web: May 14, 2010||Publication Date: April 01, 2010|
Despite substantial progress since passage of the Fair Housing Act four decades ago, neighborhoods remain highly segregated by race and ethnicity. This paper summarizes existing research evidence on both the costs of segregation and the potential benefits of neighborhood diversity. It uses decennial census data to show that a growing share of US neighborhoods are racially and ethnically diverse, but that low-income African Americans in particular remain highly concentrated in predominantly minority neighborhoods. Because the dynamics that sustain segregation today are complex, strategies for overcoming them must address not only discrimination, but information gaps, affordability constraints, prejudice, and fear.
Vibrant Neighborhoods, Successful Schools (Series/What Works Collaborative)
|Posted to Web: September 09, 2009||Publication Date: August 01, 2009|
Every parent recognizes the inextricable connections between where we live and the quality of our children’s education. Although public policies have historically contributed to disparities in both neighborhood affordability and school quality, federal programs focused on affordable housing rarely take public schools into account and school officials typically assume that they have no influence over housing patterns. This paper focuses on four principles regarding the vitality and performance of schools and communities, discussing opportunities for constructive policy interventions, summarizing what we know about their likely effectiveness, and recommending next steps for the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Education.
Residential Segregation and Low-Income Working Families (Discussion Papers/Low Income Working Families)
|Posted to Web: July 28, 2009||Publication Date: July 01, 2009|
Historically, residential segregation constrained where minorities could live, contributing to disparities in education, employment, and wealth. Researchers interested in the well-being and future prospects of low-income working families have not yet explored how their residential patterns may vary across racial and ethnic lines or considered the implications of these patterns. Therefore, this paper explores differences in neighborhood characteristics among white, black, and Hispanic low-income working families. The findings suggest that policies aimed at reducing the persistent disadvantages facing minority low-income working families need to address the ways the neighborhoods in which minorities live may be compounding these disadvantages.
Quality Schools, Healthy Neighborhoods, and the Future of DC (Policy Report)
|Posted to Web: March 04, 2009||Publication Date: February 01, 2009|
Over the last decade, the District of Columbia implemented bold steps to improve its public schools while also experiencing population growth, property value increases, and strong city fiscal health. But its child population (0-17 years old) remained essentially the same and a dwindling share of the city's children was attending the public schools.
This policy report summarizes analysis from the Quality Schools and Healthy Neighborhoods: Research Report that describes the relationships between education, housing, and neighborhood development in the District, as well as provides policy recommendations for how to make the District of Columbia a more family-friendly city.
Quality Schools and Healthy Neighborhoods: A Research Report (Research Report)
|Posted to Web: October 09, 2008||Publication Date: October 09, 2008|
Over the last decade, the District of Columbia implemented bold steps to improve its public schools while also experiencing population growth, property value increases, and strong city fiscal health. But its child population (0-17 years old) remained essentially the same and a dwindling share of the city’s children was attending the public schools.
This research report describes in-depth the relationships between education, housing, and neighborhood development in the District of Columbia, and it is the basis for the subsequent policy research report, Quality Schools, Healthy Neighborhoods, and the Future of DC, which outlines recommended policies to make the District a more family-friendly city.
Q&A: New Income and Poverty Statistics and the Social Safety Net (Opinion)
|Posted to Web: October 09, 2008||Publication Date: September 01, 2008|
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The Census Bureau released its annual report on income, poverty, and health insurance coverage for the U.S. population on August 26, 2008. According to the report, median household income increased by 1.3 percent in 2007, while the overall poverty rate dipped slightly and the number and percentage of people without health insurance decreased. While the overall numbers were positive, not everyone shared in the economic gains. The number and percentage of children in poverty increased, and households in the lowest 40 percent of the income distribution had no significant income gains.
|Posted to Web: August 27, 2008||Publication Date: August 27, 2008|