urban institute nonprofit social and economic policy research

Metropolitan Housing & Communities Policy Center

Driving to Opportunity

In a 10-city study of housing voucher recipients, families with automobile access tended to live in better neighborhoods and were more likely to be employed. Should cars now be part of the antipoverty equation?

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Atlanta downtown skyline


Rail funding

The Metro Center's work concentrates on the communities—housing developments, neighborhoods, cities, and suburbs—that make up America's urban regions. Our research investigates factors that shape the quality of life in these communities, the opportunities they offer residents, and the effectiveness of federal, state, and local public policies that govern urban housing and neighborhoods.

What would it take to end family homelessness?
In February, the Obama administration announced a multi-pronged approach to ending family homelessness. But what does “ending” really mean? Read More

The revitalization of American central cities: fact or fiction?
Is the revitalization/gentrification narrative driven by a handful of hipsters in Brooklyn and San Francisco or by actual trends in multiple places? Despite the popularity of the revitalization narrative, in a 10-city study, we found little evidence that neighborhood-level gentrification is affecting city demographics overall. Read More

Why it’s so hard to get federal transit support
Competition for federal transit funds is not a level playing field and new rules seem unlikely to change that. What if we re-think the game by expanding federal support for operating costs and transit agency capacity? Read More


Main feature photo by Flickr user Ted Eytan