Let Girls Be Girls

Though most children in chronically disadvantaged communities face anxieties, trauma, and toxic stress, many girls in these communities face unique, gender-based risks. Chronic sexual threats and pressures play a critical role in the lives of adolescent girls. The Urban Institute is investigating ways to reduce the gender-based risks that low-income women and girls face and help improve their life chances—and those of their children.

Housing Opportunities and Services Together (HOST) 

The Urban Institute launched HOST with the support of the Open Society Foundations (OSF). In this project, researchers go into low-income neighborhoods to examine and address parents’ barriers to self-sufficiency—poor physical and mental health, addiction, low literacy and educational attainment, and historically weak connections to the labor force—while integrating services for children and youth.

Family-Centered Community Change

The Urban Institute is evaluating The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Family-Centered Community Change demonstration. The demonstration follows a two-generation approach, which integrates the development of both children and parents/caregivers by providing programs that focus on healthy development, growth, and education for children while also providing educational and job training opportunities for parents and caregivers.

DC Promise Neighborhoods

The Promise Neighborhood Initiative is one of the Obama administration's major antipoverty initiatives and a core part of its strategy to address poverty in places. The Urban Institute is the data analysis and local evaluation partner for the DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative, in the city’s Parkside-Kenilworth community.


Past Projects

CHA Families and the Plan for Transformation (2003–13)

For more than a decade, the Urban Institute followed the experiences of Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) families as they were relocated and their buildings were demolished and replaced with new, mixed-income housing. Researchers described key successes and challenges faced by CHA and its residents and outlined the lessons from this research for cities grappling with how to improve troubled communities and provide decent, affordable housing for vulnerable citizens.

Three-City Study of the Moving to Opportunity Program (2003–08)

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development launched the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) demonstration in 1994 to offer families in some of the nation’s poorest, highest-crime communities a chance to move to lower-poverty neighborhoods. Designed to examine puzzles that emerged in previous MTO research, the Three-City Study highlights the complexity of the MTO experience and limitations of a relocation-only strategy.