State workforce and economic development interests naturally align. However, state-level collaboration between economic development and workforce development agencies and activities is not well understood. This paper explores opportunities for collaboration between state workforce and economic development, based on a review of the literature and interviews with state and local practitioners. It finds that there are many examples

November 30, 2016
Working Paper
 

Drawing on the experiences of Urban researchers engaged in PFS evaluations, this paper focuses on the unique characteristics and primary responsibilities of the evaluator in designing and implementing PFS evaluations, as well as ways in which the evaluator can leverage their expertise to go beyond these primary roles to work with each PFS stakeholder to strengthen both the project and the evaluation. Urban’s experience has shown

November 29, 2016
Brief
 

Increasing pressures for accountability and outcomes reporting coupled with increasing competition drive nonprofit organizations to implement continuous improvement strategies to meet internal and external needs. Learning is a key factor in the push for continuous quality improvement,1 and nonprofits need data to make decisions, change their operations, and inform planning and program management activities. Nonprofit

November 29, 2016
Brief
 

Evidence is at the core of the pay for success movement, which pushes government to rigorously evaluate programs and pay only for those that achieve positive outcomes. Evidence, however, is only as good as the evaluation that produces it. As such, evaluators are an integral part of any PFS project, from beginning to end. In these projects, the evaluator implements activities that assess program outcomes in order to determine

November 29, 2016
Research Report
 

The Head Start Designation Renewal System (DRS) is an accountability system to determine whether Head Start grantees are delivering high quality, comprehensive services and to implement a competitive grant making process in communities where they are not. This formative evaluation suggests that the DRS is meeting its goal of supporting quality improvement in by incentivizing grantees and applicants to engage in a range of

November 27, 2016
Research Report
 

The state of Florida is experiencing significant and costly prison overcrowding that is largely the result of policy decisions made over the past few decades. This briefing overviews the current criminal justice landscape and describes major trends that impact the Florida prison population. We then discuss the growing national trend of broad and bipartisan state criminal justice policy reform, detailing several key successes. By

November 22, 2016
Brief
 

The November 2016 edition of At A Glance, the Housing Finance Policy Center’s reference guide for mortgage and housing market data, includes updated figures describing first-time homebuyer share, mortgage delinquency rates, the composition of the mortgage insurance market and a special quarterly feature on GSE loan composition, repurchase rates, defaults, and loss severity.

November 21, 2016
Research Report
 

More than 1 million post-9/11 veteran families live in the United States, accounting for more than 1 million veterans, 1 million spouses, and 2.1 million children. Another 1.9 million veterans are expected to exit the military over the next decade. To better facilitate the transition of veterans and their families to civilian life, we must understand the strengths they possess and the unique challenges they face. With this

November 18, 2016
Research Report
 

Many have complained that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) places overly tight restrictions on the conditions under which condominium units are eligible for FHA loans, making it difficult for homebuyers to obtain financing for these units. This paper examines the data to determine if FHA can afford to be more flexible in insuring condominiums without increasing risk to the insurance fund. We show condos have lower

November 17, 2016
Brief
 

Millions of working parents qualify for food, medical, and child care assistance that can help them support their families. However, accessing these supports can be difficult or confusing. Six states participated in the Work Support Strategies initiative to help modernize and streamline state benefit delivery systems so low-income families can get and keep the full package of work supports for which they are eligible. This final

November 16, 2016
Research Report
 

How do children, adolescents, and young adults get on track to have successful lives and how can policies help them get there? The Social Genome Project (SGP) asks these questions using a tool called the Social Genome Model: a data-rich model stretching from birth to middle age that allows analysts to examine how circumstances and actions at developmentally significant life stages reverberate through a person’s life. The model

November 11, 2016
Research Report
 

Globally, policymakers and the public are searching for solutions to help ensure money meant for public service delivery goes to fund effective programs. One such solution, results-based financing (RBF), leverages existing or new financial resources to incentivize results by paying for desired outcomes or outputs. RBF approaches are diverse and have emerged in different contexts and with different partners. Generally, however,

November 10, 2016
Brief
 

In July 2015, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) alleged that some state housing financing agencies' (HFAs') down payment assistance programs are violating FHA requirements and putting the FHA mortgage insurance fund at unnecessary risk. In this brief, we review the publicly available data to assess their concerns. We find that the number of loans for which a

November 9, 2016
Brief
 

Essential to improving the services nonprofits provide is performance management—monitoring and learning activities that use information to shape programming. How well do nonprofits understand the work they do and the effects they have on clients? And how well are they supported in this by funders? Recognizing the challenges many nonprofits face in doing performance management, the World Bank Group and Urban Institute set out to

November 8, 2016
Brief
 

This research report presents preliminary results on the effect of gun violence on local economies, providing findings from three cities: Minneapolis, Minnesota; Oakland, California; and Washington, DC. The study finds that an increase in gun homicides or gunfire in neighborhoods can lower the number of retail and service business establishments, the number of new jobs created, and the volume of sales in business establishments

November 3, 2016
Research Report
 

The PFS Project Assessment Tool (PAT) helps people answer a fundamental question: What makes for a strong PFS project? It describes core elements of PFS projects, explains why those elements are important, provides a scoring system to help distinguish the strengths and weaknesses of a proposed project, and generates recommendations for improving those weak areas. The PAT is designed for individuals, governments, and

November 2, 2016
Research Report
 

The majority of older Americans own homes they could use to help finance their retirement. However, their prospects diminished substantially after the Great Recession. Not only did home values decline, but older homeowners became increasingly indebted and leveraged. In 1998, a quarter of owner-occupied households age 65 and older had housing debt. By 2012, the share had increased to more than a third. Among those indebted, the

November 1, 2016
Research Report
 

While it is commonly understood that the 7 million foreclosures that occurred between 2004 and 2015 fueled the Great Recession and have held back a robust recovery, the role of adverse public records is just as significant and less recognized. Nearly 35 million consumers had adverse public records between 2004 and 2015 including bankruptcies, civil judgments and federal tax liens. Combined with the 7 million foreclosures, this

November 1, 2016
Research Report
 

Employment is an important component of successful reentry from prison to jail. Yet far too often formerly incarcerated people who are able to secure jobs do not retain them over time. This report presents findings from the first validation of the National Institute of Corrections’ Employment Retention Inventory (ERI), an assessment tool designed to detect potential job loss among justice-involved individuals and help guide

October 31, 2016
Research Report
 

The Great Recession and housing crisis erased approximately half of Black and Latino households’ wealth, while Asians suffered the largest absolute loss in wealth. But the dramatic wealth disparities between White communities and communities of color long predate the dramatic economic downturn. This report explores racial and ethnic differences in net worth, focusing on Black families in Washington, DC, and shows, through

October 31, 2016
Research Report
 

The Welfare Rules Databook provides tables containing key Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) policies for each state as of July 2015, as well as longitudinal tables describing selected state policies from 1996 through 2015. The tables are based on the information in the Welfare Rules Database (WRD), a publicly available, online database tracking state cash assistance policies over time and across the 50 states and

October 27, 2016
Research Report
 

Distressed neighborhoods in US cities are a product of centuries of systemic inequalities and there is increasing evidence that living in distressed neighborhoods is harmful for children and families. The recent federal place-based initiatives of the Obama Administration aim to revitalize these neighborhoods and their efforts offer great potential for insight about how the federal government can improve the impact of its

October 26, 2016
Research Report
 

The Health of the States (HOTS) project is a detailed analysis of state rankings on 39 health outcomes, and correlations between those health outcomes and 123 determinants of health spanning five domains: health care, health behaviors, social and economic factors, the physical and social environment, and public policies and spending. The project was conducted in partnership with the Center on Society and Health at VCU and was

October 26, 2016
Research Report
 

This series of reports details the experiences of six counties that engaged in a multi-year systems-change effort to help people leaving jail reintegrate into society. The project, known as the Transition from Jail to the Community (TJC) Initiative, prompted the implementation of critical jail transition services and evidence-based practices, with participating jurisdictions demonstrating commitment to core values like

October 25, 2016
Research Report
 

The October 2016 edition of At A Glance, the Housing Finance Policy Center’s reference guide for mortgage and housing market data, includes updated figures describing housing credit availability, first-time homebuyer share, GSE risk-sharing transactions, and latest agency issuance activities

October 24, 2016
Research Report