Government safety net programs aim to protect families during tough times—before they fall into poverty. But rising unemployment, foreclosures, and economic distress are putting pressure on a system already in need of updates and repairs.
Urban Institute experts, building on decades of welfare reform research, evaluated public safety nets and proposed new initiatives to bolster work supports and help families gain a stable financial footing. Read more.
Social impact bonds (SIBs) inject private-sector capital into public-sector activities for improved outcomes and innovation. Private investors fund interventions that are uncomfortably risky or expensive for the public sector. If established performance targets are met, investors are rewarded with the profits. Otherwise, the government does not pay for the services delivered. In the SIB model everybody may win: investors leverage resources for potential profit and provide a socially beneficial investment, while the government gets private-sector investment for a new intervention. We believe that Bill B20-125 is insufficient to support SIBs in the District of Columbia.
In this commentary collection, twelve authors - national, state, and county leaders along with research and policy experts -- offer perspectives on lessons from the first year of Work Support Strategies (WSS). WSS is a multi-state initiative to design and test cutting-edge improvements in policy, service delivery, and technology to help low-income working families get and keep the benefits for which they are eligible. Its lessons will interest local, state, and federal officials seeking to integrate health and human services programs (Medicaid, SNAP, and child care assistance); health reform experts; and others who care about programs for low-income families.
State and federal officials spanning political perspectives can find common ground in helping low-income working families get and keep the public benefits they are eligible for, according to a collection of commentaries published by the Urban Institute. Streamlining and integrating health and human services programs can reduce the burden on states and help families, the officials explain.
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, this report suggests concrete strategies to plan, build, and sustain relationships with local government partners.
With ELE, a state's Medicaid and/or CHIP program can rely on another agency's eligibility findings to qualify children for public coverage. Using 2007 to 2011 quarterly enrollment data, we estimate difference-in-difference equations with quarter and state fixed effects to measure the effect of ELE on enrollment. The estimated impacts of ELE on Medicaid enrollment were consistently positive across model specifications, ranging between 4.0 and 7.3 percent. The analysis also finds that ELE increased Medicaid/CHIP enrollment. Our results imply that ELE has been an effective way for states to increase new enrollment or improve retention among eligible children.