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Racial Segregation

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Improving Neighborhood Location Outcomes in the Housing Choice Voucher Program: A Scan of Mobility Assistance Programs (Series/What Works Collaborative)
Mary K. Cunningham, Molly M. Scott, Chris Narducci, Sam Hall, Alexandra Stanczyk

This paper provides findings from a rapid scan of mobility programs, including interviews with program staff, from across the country. The paper concludes with recommendations for future research, including suggestions on how to design a demonstration program that tests the impact of mobility assistance program.

Posted to Web: October 13, 2010Publication Date: September 01, 2010

What Do We Know About Housing Choice Voucher Program Location Outcomes? (Series/What Works Collaborative)
Martha Galvez

The Housing Choice Voucher Program serves nearly 2 million low-income households nationwide, the majority in urban areas. This literature review examines the empirical evidence on neighborhood location outcomes for voucher recipients, including research regarding housing and neighborhood preferences. Voucher holders live in most urban neighborhoods, and do not typically experience extremely high poverty rates. However, disparities by race persist, and the program is less effective than the LIHTC program in allowing poor households to reach low-poverty suburbs. Neighborhood quality is lower for nonwhite households compared to whites, but evidence suggests black households may benefit more from the voucher than whites. 

Posted to Web: September 17, 2010Publication Date: August 01, 2010

Fair Housing in the District of Columbia: Before the United States Commission on Civil Rights (Testimony)
Peter A. Tatian

This testimony to the US Commission on Civil Rights discusses the Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice report prepared by the Urban Institute for the District of Columbia in 2005. The testimony highlights the key impediments to fair housing choice identified in the report and describes the recommendations made to address those impediments.

Posted to Web: September 16, 2010Publication Date: September 16, 2010

What Does It Take to Help Families Move to Better Neighborhoods?: The Housing Mobility Demonstration Proposed in the Preservation, Enhancement and Transformation of Rental Assistance Act (PETRA) Is Long Overdue (Commentary)
Mary K. Cunningham

This commentary describes the need for a research demonstration that examines the impact and cost of housing mobility services.

Posted to Web: August 04, 2010Publication Date: August 01, 2010

Monitoring Success in Choice Neighborhoods: A Proposed Approach to Performance Measurement (Series/What Works Collaborative)
Robin E. Smith, G. Thomas Kingsley, Mary K. Cunningham, Susan J. Popkin, Kassie Dumlao Bertumen, Ingrid Gould Ellen, Mark Joseph, Deborah McKoy

The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative proposed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is intended to transform neighborhoods of extreme poverty and severely distressed housing into revitalized mixed-income communities. This paper considers how to effectively evaluate outcomes and measure success in comprehensive community transformation efforts like Choice Neighborhoods. It is divided into two parts: (1) a general framework for performance management in Choice Neighborhoods, including a logic model, and (2) a detailed, evidence-based approach to Choice Neighborhoods performance measurement, including proposed management reports and performance indicators.

Posted to Web: May 20, 2010Publication Date: April 15, 2010

Building Environmentally Sustainable Communities: A Framework for Inclusivity (Series/What Works Collaborative)
Vicki Been, Mary K. Cunningham, Ingrid Gould Ellen, Joe Parilla, Margery Austin Turner, Sheryl Verlaine Whitney, Ken Zimmerman, Adam Gordon, Aaron Yowell

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.

Posted to Web: May 14, 2010Publication Date: April 01, 2010

Seeking Sustainable and Inclusive Communities: A King County Case Study (Series/What Works Collaborative)
Sheryl Verlaine Whitney

This case study, written by the former King County Deputy Executive, provides an overview of King County's sustainable development efforts.

Posted to Web: May 14, 2010Publication Date: April 01, 2010

Rising Poverty Threatens Neighborhood Vitality (Commentary)
Margery Austin Turner

High poverty rates, especially among African Americans and Latinos, threaten the well-being of neighborhoods as well as families. We can anticipate that the number of neighborhoods with dangerously high poverty rates is higher today than in 2000, representing a tragic reversal of the downward trend between 1990 and 2000. Historically, public policies played a central role in establishing and enforcing patterns of racial segregation, alongside discriminatory practices by the private sector and individuals. But no single causal process explains the persistence of residential segregation in America today. To ensure the well-being and sustainability of all neighborhoods, public policies must intervene to break the cycle.

Posted to Web: September 10, 2009Publication Date: September 10, 2009

Promoting Neighborhood Diversity: Benefits, Barriers, and Strategies (Discussion Papers)
Margery Austin Turner, Lynette A. Rawlings

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.

Posted to Web: September 09, 2009Publication Date: August 01, 2009

Academic Perspectives on the Future of Public Housing: Before the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Financial Services, Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity (Testimony)
Susan J. Popkin

Many policy makers and scholars regard the HOPE VI Program as one of the nation's most successful urban redevelopment programs (c.f. Katz 2009; Cisneros 2009). But despite its very real accomplishments, the HOPE VI program's record in meeting the needs of the original residents who endured the worst consequences of the failures of public housing is mixed. With its proposed "Choice Neighborhoods" initiative, the Obama administration has the opportunity to build on the experiences of nearly two decades of experience with HOPE VI. Incorporating intensive case management and permanent supportive housing for the most vulnerable into Choice Neighborhoods and any other comprehensive redevelopment efforts is one way to ensure that these initiatives truly meet the needs of all public housing families.

Posted to Web: July 29, 2009Publication Date: July 29, 2009

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