In my 25 years at Urban, I've had the opportunity to pursue work with real impact on policy issues. Much of that work has focused on public and assisted housing, especially on how policy affects residents' lives. I'm excited to be taking a new direction now with our Disability Equity Policy Initiative, which is building a body of evidence to improve the lives of disabled people.
Susan J. Popkin is an Institute fellow in the Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center and codirector of the Disability Equity Policy Initiative at the Urban Institute. A nationally recognized expert on public and assisted housing programs and policy, Popkin also leads Urban’s Future of Public Housing initiative. She has served as principal investigator on many mixed-methods studies on the impact of housing programs on resident outcomes, including Chicago’s Plan for Transformation, HOPE VI, and Moving to Opportunity. This work also includes Urban’s HOST Initiative, a research program that uses community engagement and community-based participatory approaches to explore new strategies for improving outcomes for families in public and assisted housing, and in conducting evaluations of complex community-based interventions, such as the local evaluation of Baltimore’s Promise Heights Promise Neighborhood and the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Family Centered Community Change Initiative. Popkin is the author of No Simple Solutions: Transforming Public Housing in Chicago; coauthor of the award-winning Moving To Opportunity: The Story of an American Experiment to Fight Ghetto Poverty; lead author for the book The Hidden War: Crime and the Tragedy of Public Housing in Chicago; and coauthor of Public Housing Transformation: The Legacy of Segregation.