Pay for Success Initiative

Pay for success (PFS) has emerged as a catalyst for driving investment at the federal, state, and local level to improve outcomes for vulnerable populations. The Urban Institute launched the Pay for Success Initiative in 2015 with funding from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation to bring the breadth and depth of Urban’s evidence-based social policy research directly to states and localities interested in PFS projects. The Initiative offers training and technical assistance to project stakeholders, leads communities of practice to explore the intersection of PFS and specific issue areas, and produces high-quality research and tools to support the development of strong PFS projects.

Pay for Success Administrative Data Pilot 

High-quality pay for success (PFS) projects rely on data to inform project development. From feasibility analysis to implementation, local entities often face significant challenges in accessing and using administrative data from different service systems, and addressing these challenges may require considerable resources. With support from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the Urban Institute’s Pay for Success Administrative Data Pilot will help selected PFS sites address some of these challenges in order to further their PFS projects. Urban will work with awardees to assess site needs; develop flexible, individualized training and technical assistance plans for selected sites; and to provide training and technical assistance and capacity-building services to help communities incorporate administrative data into their PFS projects.

How Housing Matters

A large and growing body of research has shown how housing and neighborhood conditions are connected with health, education, and economic outcomes for individuals and communities. The Urban Institute provides a clearinghouse for that research and related stories through the How Housing Matters portal. The portal and other How Housing Matters activities, such as roundtables and reports, strive to inform and engage practitioners, policymakers, and researchers across a range of fields to better and more cost-effectively help all families lead healthy, successful lives. This initiative was launched with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Evidence-Based Policymaking Collaborative

With support from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, researchers from the Urban Institute, Brookings Institution, American Enterprise Institute, and Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative have formed the Evidence-Based Policymaking Collaborative. The Collaborative leverages the expertise of its members to inform evidence-based policymaking efforts through publications, convenings, and an Innovation Prize competition. As the Collaborative’s primary grantee, the Urban Institute provides project management and editorial support to the partnership.

The State of Low- and Middle-Income Housing in Austin, Denver, and Miami: Strategies to Preserve Affordability and Opportunities for the Future

This project assesses housing affordability for low- to middle-income (LMI) households to better understand LMI housing needs in rapidly changing cities (Miami, Denver, and Austin). The studies focus on those households that do not typically qualify for federal housing subsidies, or those with income ranging from 50 to 120 percent of the area median income (AMI).

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.

National Resource Network

Across the United States, many cities face growing poverty, high unemployment, poor-performing schools, aging infrastructure, and vacant and blighted properties. These symptoms of economic distress are often accompanied by symptoms of fiscal distress, leaving cities without the tax base or resources to address economic challenges or provide basic services that enhance quality of life.

The Strong Cities, Strong Communities Network uses the expertise, partnerships, and resources of the public and private sectors to help cities tackle their most pressing challenges.