urban institute nonprofit social and economic policy research

Poverty, Assets, and Safety Net

Mother and ChildGovernment 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.

Featured Links

Data Tools

  • NICCNet Income Change Calculator
  • TRIM3 program and poverty analysis model
  • Welfare Rules Database — tables on TANF data from each of the states and Washington D.C.

Related Policy Centers

Viewing 1-5 of 1839. Most recent posts listed first.Next Page >>

Financial Burden of Medical Spending by State and the Implications of the 2014 Medicaid Expansions (Research Report)
Kyle Caswell, Timothy Waidmann, Linda J. Blumberg

This study is the first to offer a detailed look at medical spending burden levels, defined as total family medical out-of-pocket spending as a proportion of income, for each state. It further investigates which states have greater shares of individuals with high burden levels and no Medicaid coverage, but would be Medicaid eligible under the 2014 rules of the Affordable Care Act should their state choose to participate in the expansion. This work suggests which states have the largest populations likely to benefit, in terms of lowering medical spending burden, from participating in the 2014 adult Medicaid expansions.

Posted to Web: April 03, 2014Publication Date: April 03, 2014

Driving to Opportunity: Understanding the Links among Transportation Access, Residential Outcomes, and Economic Opportunity for Housing Voucher Recipients (Research Report)
Rolf Pendall, Christopher Hayes, Taz George, Zach McDade, Additional Authors

In the 1990s and early 2000s, the Department of Housing and Urban Development sponsored two major experiments to test whether housing choice vouchers propelled low-income households into greater economic security, the Moving to Opportunity for Fair Housing program (MTO) and the Welfare to Work Voucher program (WTW). Using data from these programs, this study examines differences in residential location and employment outcomes between voucher recipients with access to automobiles and those without. Overall, the findings underscore the positive role of automobiles in outcomes for housing voucher participants.

Posted to Web: March 31, 2014Publication Date: March 31, 2014

Innovations in NYC Health and Human Services Policy: Early Learn NYC (Research Brief)
Julia Gelatt, Heather Sandstrom

As part of the Bloomberg administration’s focus on young children, New York City reorganized its system of contracted child care through EarlyLearn NYC. This program braided funding from child care, Head Start, and state universal prekindergarten to improve access and continuity for low-income children and their families. EarlyLearn NYC has implemented higher program quality standards and redistributed contracts across the city to increase the supply of care in targeted, high-need neighborhoods. This brief is one in a series examining selected social service initiatives undertaken during the Bloomberg administration.

Posted to Web: March 31, 2014Publication Date: March 31, 2014

National and State-Level Estimates of Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Eligibles and Program Reach, 2011 (Book)
Paul Johnson, Linda Giannarelli, Erika Huber, David Betson

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) provides nutritious foods, nutrition education, and referrals to other services. WIC eligibility is restricted to infants, children under age 5, and pregnant and postpartum women with low incomes. This project uses survey data to estimate WIC eligibility for the nation, states, the District of Columbia, and territories. In 2011, 14.3 million individuals were eligible for WIC benefits in an average month, including 63 percent of all infants. Overall, 63 percent of eligible people participated, with the highest coverage rate for infants (83 percent) and widely varying rates across states.

Posted to Web: March 31, 2014Publication Date: March 31, 2014

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