Urban Institute researchers examine gender inequalities, racial segregation, and the mutually reinforcing disparities they cause in education, housing, employment, income, and health care.
Our experts analyze race and gender gaps in student test scores, measure unequal treatment toward minorities in the housing market, and study the persistent discrimination that feeds wealth and income gaps. We also probe the unique challenges of single mothers, noncustodial fathers, and hard-to-employ young men—and evaluate the public and private programs designed to help them.
The Housing Opportunities and Services Together (HOST) Demonstration is testing the feasibility and effectiveness of two generation intensive service models in distressed public and mixed-income housing communities. This brief draws on findings from the 2012 survey of parents and youth living in the first two HOST sites - Chicago's Altgeld Gardens and Portland's New Columbia and Humboldt Gardens - to illustrate how HOST youth were faring at the start of the HOST intervention. Our survey results demonstrate HOST youth are at serious risk of experiencing school failure, they engage in risky sexual activity, and suffer from poor mental health.
This brief considers how Social Security’s many benefit and tax features have redistributed across groups over time. Using Current Population Survey data from 1970 through 1994 and microsimulation projections from the Urban Institute’s DYNASIM3 model, we find that for many decades, Social Security redistributed from blacks, Hispanics, and other people of color, to whites. These transfers will likely to continue in future decades. Our findings suggest that future reforms that place the burden of Social Security reform solely on younger, more diverse generations may have undesired distributional consequences if the aim of the program is to provide greater relative protections to more vulnerable groups.
Richmond, CA, has taken steps to become the first city in the nation to vote to use its powers of eminent domain to seize underwater loans and, the city argues, prevent foreclosures and neighborhood blight. We look at several cities that have considered this controversial strategy, evaluating what they have in common, and whether the plan, as proposed, will address the problems they face.
Low and moderate-income mortgage borrowers, and borrowers of color, withdrew from the market disproportionately during the Great Recession and have not returned, even as total lending activity has begun to recover. While these potential borrowers are applying for loans in increasing numbers, their denial rates have increased since 2009. This shift is especially surprising since communities of color, particularly Hispanics, continue to increase their share of the population. While housing finance policy cannot target the central factors driving these disparities, it should avoid creating barriers to obtaining mortgage credit for qualified borrowers and the financial benefits of homeownership.
Given the high stakes for children living in economically insecure families, it is important to document how many children are living in such circumstances, how economic insecurity has changed over the course of the Great Recession, and which children were most affected. It is also critical to consider whether children are receiving public program benefits, how this support has changed over the course of the Great Recession, and whether these programs appear to be meeting the needs of families with children. This summary highlights key findings from a paper that examines how children's circumstances changed between 2007 and 2010.