Accelerating Innovation for Inclusion

Supported with a grant from the Mastercard Impact Fund, in collaboration with Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, the Urban Institute will fill critical knowledge gaps on what the digital transition means to cities and states in the US. Urban’s experts will develop tools that policymakers can use to target investments aimed at reducing inequities and increasing pathways to upward mobility.

Access to Opportunity through Equitable Transportation

Transportation is key to accessing opportunities including employment, education, and health care. But in many places, a history of racist planning and policy have created a transportation system rife with inequities, which disproportionately harms people of color, low-income people, elderly people, and people with disabilities.

Building the Next-Gen Federal Place-based Program

With support from Blue Meridian Partners, the Urban Institute and PolicyLink are collaborating to develop a blueprint for the next generation of federal place-based policy. The places where we live shape both our day-to-day quality of life and our prospects for upward mobility, but our nation’s history of racial discrimination in both public policies and institutional practices has built profoundly separate and unequal places, sustaining and exacerbating racial inequity and injustice. The blueprint will lay out principles and a structure for incorporating lessons from the past into future place-based policies that confront long-standing racial inequities and deliver meaningful change for people and places.

Boosting Upward Mobility from Poverty

The Boosting Upward Mobility from Poverty project builds on the work of the US Partnership on Mobility from Poverty by developing a draft set of actionable metrics that communities can use to set priorities and catalyze action for improving economic and social mobility. Upcoming work will beta test the metrics in a set of communities and support broader community learning to create and bolster conditions that substantially boost upward mobility and narrow inequities for children, youth, and adults.

Catalyzing Data-Driven Inclusive Growth

The Urban Institute is collaborating with JPMorgan Chase to inform and catalyze a data-driven and inclusive economic recovery. The goals of the collaboration include generating cross-sector, place-based insights to guide local decisionmakers, using data and evidence to help advise JPMorgan Chase on the firm’s philanthropic strategy, and conducting new research to advance the broader fields of policy, philanthropy, and practice.

Housing Matters

The Urban Institute supports the cross-sector movement for affordable housing by sharing evidence and insights with advocates, practitioners, and policymakers; accelerating innovations in practice and policy; and generating powerful new research findings to make the case for investing in affordable housing. The Housing Matters website is the leading source for evidence on the connections between housing and health, education, child welfare, and other fields. This initiative is supported by grants from JPMorgan Chase and Co. and the Kresge Foundation. 

Inclusive Recovery

Our inclusive recovery project examines how cities can overcome economic distress in a way that provides the opportunity for all residents—especially historically excluded populations—to benefit from and contribute to economic prosperity.

Land Use Lab at Urban 

The Urban Institute’s Land Use Lab at Urban (LULU) delivers data and analysis on land-use regulations to help decisionmakers ground land-use laws, policies, and practices in research and evidence.

Opportunity Zone Community Impact Assessment Tool

With support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, researchers from the Urban Institute have created the Opportunity Zone Community Impact Assessment Tool to prospectively assesses the potential social impact of a local development project using evidence-based indicators. The tool is available for use by any stakeholder interested in the social impact of an eligible investment in an Opportunity Zone, whether an operating business; a residential, commercial, or industrial development; or some combination of these types. Urban drew from evidence and expertise across a range of sectors—including community development, environment, health, housing, and justice—to develop the Assessment Tool.

Place-Based Impact Investing Knowledge Foundation

The Urban Institute, in collaboration with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, is developing an evidence-based toolkit to advance the concept and practice of place-based impact investing. Like many emerging fields of practice, there are different definitions and assessments about which approaches and models are most effective. This project aims to classify place-based impact investing as efforts to deploy capital locally, in ways that have the potential to both yield a financial return as well as improve quality of life in measurable ways.

Renters and Rental Market Crisis Working Group

Initiated in March 2020, the Renters and Rental Market Crisis Working Group (RCWG) convenes public- and private-sector capital providers, rental housing owners, philanthropic organizations, tenant and civil rights advocates, and research and data analysts to regularly share what they are learning about evolving market dynamics and conditions for renters, owners, and rental markets nationwide. The RCWG will inform the design and implementation of federal legislative or regulatory efforts as well as state and local policies to address the impending rental crisis by sharpening analysis of solutions with evidence and analysis.

Sizing Federal Rental Assistance

As part of our work with the Renters and Rental Market Crisis Working Group we have provided regular estimates of the number of renter households impacted by job loss and the cost of assistance needed to keep renters stably housed through the pandemic and resulting economic downturn. As the unemployment situation has changed, so too have our estimates. This page compiles the blog posts, slides, and briefs on previous and current estimates, allowing users to see the evolving and most current data on one page.

Shared Prosperity Partnership

The Shared Prosperity Partnership—a collaboration of The Urban Institute, The Kresge Foundation, the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, and Living Cities—convenes local leaders in select communities across the United States to discuss challenges to inclusive growth and provide data, research, and access to national experts, networks, and financial resources. Nationally, the Partnership elevates promising models through publications, public forums, and a national summit to spark dialogue among practitioners and support evidence-based policy at the state and national levels.

Wealth Equity Initiative

The Urban Institute will advance knowledge about how and why housing wealth accumulates differently across racial and ethnic groups and inform actionable solutions. Through this project, we are developing a set of tools and metrics that will  measure gaps in homeownership and housing wealth accumulation by race and ethnicity, provide a snapshot of future homeownership, and assess how equity will need to be addressed in the post-pandemic recovery based on market cycle downturns and economic disruptions.