Many families involved in the child welfare system face deep and persistent poverty, depression and mental illness, domestic violence, and drug addiction. Homelessness and unstable housing—which increase financial, mental, and physical stressors on children and parents—often amplify these intense needs. Families sleeping in cars, garages, homeless shelters, or doubled up in untenable situations often wind up “in the system” and at risk of separation. Promising evidence from a supportive housing pilot program in New York City led the Administration for Children and Families’ Children’s Bureau to fund a five-site supportive housing demonstration called “Partnerships to Demonstrate the Effectiveness of Supportive Housing for Families in the Child Welfare System.” The Urban Institute is part of a collaborative effort to evaluate this demonstration. We examine how supportive housing affects housing stability, child welfare involvement, and child, parent, and family well-being.
The Great Lakes region—home to 50 million people in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin—has become a fixture in our national political discourse. Many of the country’s social, economic, and political challenges are being played out here. The report highlights four major implications of this research and aims to inform efforts to improve the quality of life and economic mobility of Great Lakes residents. Also available are fact sheets for the six Great Lakes states, highlighting recent economic trends and projecting future change.
Promise Neighborhoods is a federal place-based initiative striving to turn neighborhoods of concentrated poverty into neighborhoods of opportunity. The program’s vision is to ensure that all children growing up in Promise Neighborhoods have access to great schools and strong family and community support systems.
Financial coaching is an increasingly popular intervention designed to help low- and moderate-income individuals achieve financial stability and meet their financial goals. Urban Institute researchers are evaluating financial coaching initiatives to better understand how they work, who they serve, and what effects and outcomes they have.
The Urban Institute studies the impact of foreclosure and strategies to mitigate it both nationally and in cities around the country. Our research and resources in this area include an evaluation of the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling Program; an online guide to foreclosure prevention and neighborhood stabilization called Foreclosure-Response.org; and the Washington, DC, Metropolitan Area Housing Monitor.
The choices individual consumers make daily have ripple effects that are felt in households, communities, and the country as a whole. As part of our economic and community development portfolio, Metro investigates factors that influence consumer decisions and some of the strategies organizations are using to support healthier financial habits.
The Chicago Family Case Management Demonstration is an innovative initiative designed to meet the challenges of serving the Chicago Housing Authority's "hard to house" residents.
The Urban Institute, often in conjunction with HUD, has conducted a variety of national studies revealing the extent of discrimination against racial and ethnic minorities and people with disabilities in the housing market. The studies span decades and reveal how much progress has been made and how much work is left to do.
Homelessness and Stable Housing
Metro researchers evaluate the design, operation, and effectiveness of federal, state, and local programs to prevent homelessness in vulnerable populations.
Decent and affordable housing has far-reaching consequences for people’s health, quality of life, and access to opportunities. But these consequences are not always well understood. To inform public debate and strengthen policy outcomes, Housing Assistance Matters uses a multimedia approach to highlight research and analysis about the need for and benefits of well-managed public and assisted housing.
Launched by the Urban Institute with the support of the Open Society Foundations (OSF), HOST researchers go into low-income neighborhoods to assess 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.
A pilot program from The World Bank Group and the Urban Institute to build performance measurement and evaluation capacity among local nonprofits in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area.
The National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP) is a collaboration between the Urban Institute and local partners in 35 cities to further the development and use of neighborhood information systems for community building and local decisionmaking. Creation of this project, which did not exist in any US city two decades ago, has democratized information, allowing for direct, practical use of data by city and community leaders.
Neighborhood Info DC works to support community organizations, neighborhood leadership and residents and government as they work to improve the quality of life for people throughout the District of Columbia and the Washington region.
In this initiative, we are testing place-based, two-generation strategies to help vulnerable parents and children.
With support from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Urban Institute explored trends and differences in economic exclusion in cities across high-income countries, as well as strategies that cities have put in place to combat it.
Metro researchers are helping governments and nonprofit organizations track and improve their effectiveness and efficiency.
A multidimensional research initiative spanning America's various infrastructure systems, the Program on Innovation in Infrastructure sheds light on significant policy challenges facing all levels of government. Researchers bridge conventional specialties to understand four cross-center issues: privatization, performance measurement, economic efficiency, and intergenerational communities.
The Great Recession and the corresponding collapse of the housing market have had far-reaching effects on communities across the country. With nonprofits and local governments both trying to do more with less, Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) commissioned a study to crystallize the tools its affiliates need to nurture successful collaborations. Synthesizing information gleaned from a literature review, an extensive web survey of Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative (NRI) affiliates, and case studies of three communities, we suggest concrete strategies to plan, build, and sustain relationships with local government partners.
The What Works Collaborative is a foundation-supported partnership that conducts timely research and analysis to help inform the implementation of an evidence-based housing and urban policy agenda.
The HOPE VI program, which began in 1993, targeted some of the most beleaguered housing in this country—dilapidated public housing developments that failed to deliver on the promise of decent housing for the poor. Researchers followed HOPE VI residents at five sites to evaluate where they moved and how the program has affected their overall well-being.