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.
This report helps states confront burdensome administrative processes that make it difficult for low-income families to get and keep child care benefits, and the cumulative challenges clients face in trying to access other benefits for which they are eligible (i.e. SNAP/Medicaid). Through concrete policy ideas and examples from states across the country, it offers an in-depth guide to help states not only simplify child care subsidy policies, but also to align child care policies with other work supports. With this information, states can identify strategies to improve service delivery for clients, while improving service delivery and reducing administrative burden.
Building on research in distressed public housing communities, we argue for a new approach to addressing the worst consequences of concentrated poverty and helping families move toward self-sufficiency. We introduce the Housing Opportunities and Services Together (HOST) demonstration, a two-generation, whole family service model that uses public and mixed-income housing as a platform for intensive, wraparound services. We describe how HOST encapsulates lessons learned from studying federal housing policies, challenges that make reversing chronic disadvantage so difficult, and our theoretical framework for fostering change. We outline HOST's research design in four sites: Chicago, New York, Portland, and Washington, D.C.
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.
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.