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Responsible Relocation: Real Opportunities for Families Displaced by Katrina (Opinion)
Margery Austin Turner, Susan J. Popkin

When an earthquake hit Northridge, California, in 1994, emergency housing vouchers helped hard-pressed families secure homes and apartments in decent neighborhoods. For those left destitute by recent Gulf Coast devastation, say two housing experts from the Urban Institute, vouchers, especially when coupled with counseling services, can open up opportunities for stability, security, and economic advancement.

Posted to Web: October 03, 2005Publication Date: October 03, 2005

Home-buying Vouchers for Storm Victims (Commentary)
Steve Anlian

For Gulf Coast residents who survived Hurricane Katrina but no longer have homes, finding somewhere to live is an immediate concern. Steve Anlian, the Urban Institute's senior associate in Yerevan, Armenia, says housing vouchers are the answer. "As officials figure out how to respond to under- or uninsured home owners who are eligible for aid, experience abroad, in developing countries, argues strongly for multi-state housing-purchase vouchers."

Posted to Web: September 23, 2005Publication Date: September 23, 2005

Closing Doors on Americans' Housing Choices (Commentary)
Margery Austin Turner, Carla Herbig

[Tulsa World] With media engrossed by skyrocketing home prices, Center on Metropolitan Housing and Communities Director Margery Austin Turner and Research Associate Carla Herbig remind readers that "for many Americans, spiraling home prices and rents aren't the only barriers to housing. Discrimination -- by landlords, real estate agents and mortgage lenders -- stands in the way of too many families searching for a place to live."

Posted to Web: September 18, 2005Publication Date: September 18, 2005

Low-End Rental Housing: The Forgotten Story in Baltimore's Housing Boom (Research Report)
Sandra J. Newman

This monograph provides an intensive look at the low-end rental market in Baltimore--its renters, housing stock, ownership and government programs. Policy remedies are proposed to address the affordability, physical inadequacy, ownership profile, and policy deficits uncovered. Approaches include creation of an affordable housing trust fund, institutional ownership, and revisions to, and coordination among, the code enforcement, lead paint abatement and rental rehabilitation programs.

Posted to Web: August 30, 2005Publication Date: August 30, 2005

Do Asset Limits in Social Programs Affect the Accumulation of Wealth? (Policy Briefs/Opportunity and Ownership Project)
Henry Chen, Robert I. Lerman

In providing benefits to those without resources to support themselves, public assistance programs must define what counts as resources. Typically, programs consider assets and income in determining assistance eligibility. However, valuing assets can be difficult and asset tests create disincentives to save. In some cases, one additional dollar of assets can result in the loss of benefits worth thousands of dollars. Current practices raise two questions: are asset tests fair and do asset tests discourage asset accumulation? This brief identifies the population subject to asset tests, reviews existing research, considers strategies for meeting objectives, and offers suggestions for additional research.

Posted to Web: August 04, 2005Publication Date: August 04, 2005

Who Receives Homeownership Tax Deductions and How Much? (Article/Tax Facts)
Adam Carasso

Some of the costliest tax expenditures the federal government allows go to subsidizing homeownership. In 2004, the total tax expenditure value of the mortgage interest deduction was $70.2 billion while the value for the real estate tax deduction was $19.3 billion. Fifty-four percent of these sums went to taxpayers at or above $100,000 of income and 72 percent went to taxpayers at or above $75,000. Very few taxpayers receive these two subsidies at low incomes-as most low-income tax filers owe little tax, do not itemize, and are less likely to own a home-and very many taxpayers receive them at higher incomes.

Posted to Web: August 01, 2005Publication Date: August 01, 2005

Overcoming Concentrated Poverty and Isolation: Ten Lessons for Policy and Practice (Policy Briefs)
Margery Austin Turner, Lynette A. Rawlings

During the 1990s, the Department of Housing and Urban Development launched three rigorous research demonstrations testing alternative strategies for helping low-income families escape the isolation and distress of high-poverty, central-city communities. All three demonstrations were carefully designed to include rigorous controls and systematic data collection so that their implementation and impacts could be systematically evaluated. And all three are now generating provocative results that offer new insights for ongoing program experimentation and policy development. We draw ten broad lessons--including lessons about the potential for success, about the realities families face, about implementing complex strategies, and about obstacles to success. [View the corresponding report]

Posted to Web: July 29, 2005Publication Date: July 29, 2005

Overcoming Concentrated Poverty and Isolation (Executive Summary) (Research Report)
Margery Austin Turner, Lynette A. Rawlings

During the 1990s, the Department of Housing and Urban Development launched three rigorous research demonstrations testing alternative strategies for helping low-income families escape the isolation and distress of high-poverty, central-city communities. All three demonstrations were carefully designed to include rigorous controls and systematic data collection so that their implementation and impacts could be systematically evaluated. And all three are now generating provocative results that offer new insights for ongoing program experimentation and policy development. We draw ten broad lessons--including lessons about the potential for success, about the realities families face, about implementing complex strategies, and about obstacles to success. [View the corresponding brief]

Posted to Web: July 29, 2005Publication Date: July 29, 2005

The Impact of Community Development Corporations on Urban Neighborhoods (Research Report)
George Galster, Diane K. Levy, Noah Sawyer, Kenneth Temkin, Christopher Walker

Supporters of urban revitalization have relied on community development corporations (CDCs) to carry a major share of the front-line burden. This research presents new evidence that these community-controlled, market-responsive organizations can indeed spark a chain reaction of investment. Advanced econometric analysis shows that CDC residential and commercial investments have led to increases in property values--the single-best measure of neighborhood improvement--as great as 69 percent higher than they would have been otherwise. To achieve these results, CDCs did more than just develop projects; they also brought business people, civic organizations, and public agencies into the neighborhood improvement process.

Posted to Web: June 30, 2005Publication Date: June 30, 2005

Beyond Housing: Growing Community Development Systems (Research Report)
Avis C. Vidal, Langley C. Keyes

This report explores how the community development system--relationships among providers of finance, expertise, and political influence needed to carry out community development functions--has begun to move into activities other than housing. It concludes that in moving to scale in other arenas, three functions are critical: a capable national or local intermediary with strong relationships throughout the system and a willingness to move beyond its current players; individual CDCs working collaboratively--or at least using shared approaches--across neighborhoods; and new players at the city-wide level joining to meet the needs of the new activity.

Posted to Web: June 30, 2005Publication Date: June 30, 2005

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