Researchers at the Urban Institute have been considering how to shape and evolve the research and communications processes to ensure that our work is inclusive, respectful, and incorporates a racial equity lens. Though we originally developed this guide as an internal resource, we are releasing it publicly to share what we are learning and solicit feedback from our peers in the academic and nonprofit sectors. We

October 22, 2020
Working Paper
 

It has become increasingly clear that the pandemic has had dramatic spillover effects on receipt of health care services unrelated to the coronavirus. In this brief, we review the evidence on children’s unmet health care needs during the pandemic and identify promising strategies to address these gaps, as well as barriers to widespread implementation of these strategies. We find large declines in childhood

October 22, 2020
Brief
 

In this report, we provide an overview of how policy can help cooperatives build healthy, equitable, and sustainable communities. We describe four broad policy goals: level the playing field, help grow the number of cooperatives in underserved markets, help grow the size and market share of existing cooperatives, and support cooperatives in reaching underserved people and communities. We also identify six

October 20, 2020
Research Report
 

Each year, millions of older workers leave the labor force and retire prematurely, often because of health shocks. The COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn have only exacerbated this. In this brief, we explore how providing workplace accommodations can help more workers remain in the labor force. Although we focus on workers over age 55, workplace accommodations could also help many younger workers who

October 19, 2020
Brief
 

Simplifying the student aid application process and making the system easier for students and families to understand and navigate has long been high on the agenda of policymakers and advocates for college access. Despite progress, the process for completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) remains daunting for many students and families, and the formula for computing expected family

October 19, 2020
Brief
 

The Opportunity for All series offers bold ideas for federal action to reverse the legacy of segregation and disinvestment in communities of color and ensure that every family can live in a neighborhood that supports their well-being and their children’s ability to thrive. But progress on these and other promising ideas could inadvertently be undermined by other federal policy choices that fail to consider place

October 15, 2020
Brief
 

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in California v. Texas (called Texas v. US when heard by the lower courts) on November 10, 2020. In the case, a group of state attorneys general, led by the Texas attorney general, argue the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA) should be found unconstitutional and overturned, given that a 2017 tax law set the ACA’s individual mandate penalties to $0 but did not

October 15, 2020
Brief
 

This brief updates estimates of the revenue and distributional effects of former vice president Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign tax proposals. Biden’s spending proposals would also have important distributional and economic effects, but we have not estimated their cost and distributional effects. Our modeling assumptions are based on information released by the Biden campaign and conversations with campaign staff; we

October 15, 2020
Brief
 

This report chronicles the genesis and evolution of the Greater Washington Community Foundation’s efforts to raise and coordinate funding from a wide range of individual and institutional donors to address the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. With a particular focus on The Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, the largest of its kind in the region, this account highlights the

October 14, 2020
Research Report
 

The state of Colorado is considering implementing performance-based contracting (PBC) for its community corrections programs, which provide residential supervision and treatment for people convicted of felony offenses. The Colorado Department of Public Safety (DPS) contracted the Urban Institute to develop a set of risk-adjusted outcome measures, a proposed PBC payment model, and an implementation plan for

October 14, 2020
Research Report
 

As state and local governments face unprecedented budget deficits and households spend months unable to pay rent, funding for rental assistance has become increasingly important but difficult to come by. Policymakers, housing advocates, and practitioners should look beyond well-known and oversubscribed housing subsidies administered by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development to other federal programs

October 13, 2020
Brief
 

The 21st Century Cures Act of 2016 created a new Electronic Health Record (EHR) Reporting Program to provide publicly available, comparative information on certified health IT products and improve the health IT marketplace. The program will reflect developers’ and voluntary end users’ reporting of comparative information on certified health IT. This report concludes work to develop the user criteria as an

October 13, 2020
Research Report
 

Several candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination developed detailed Social Security plans, which illustrate the spectrum of reform approaches being considered by the party. This report examines Social Security proposals from Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren and compares their projected impact on beneficiaries, taxpayers, and system solvency. All

October 13, 2020
Research Report
 

Steven M Rosenthal, senior fellow, testified before the US House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means, Oversight Subcommittee at a hearing on “Tax Fairness.” In his testimony, he examines President’s Trump’s reported taxes as a case study. Mr. Rosenthal assesses tax fairness through three perspectives: amount of taxes paid, business losses reported, and the ongoing IRS audit

October 13, 2020
Testimony
 

Many older Black people face significant financial challenges. Black adults age 65 and older receive only about half as much income as their white counterparts, and they are more than four times as likely to be impoverished. Shoring up Social Security’s finances, boosting Social Security payments to low-income beneficiaries, and expanding Supplemental Security Income would improve financial well-being for many

October 12, 2020
Research Report
 

This brief finds that participation in the Opportunity Works initiative increased the likelihood of opportunity youth enrolling in postsecondary programs and earning a postsecondary credential in South King County. Opportunity Works was a three-year effort led by JFF with the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions to help opportunity youth—young people ages 16 to 24 not in school or meaningfully employed—

October 9, 2020
Brief
 

Financial coaching programs are increasingly popular services offered to help people with low and middle incomes navigate their finances. Despite these programs’ growing prevalence across the US, evidence about their effectiveness is still emerging. To add to the evidence base, Urban Institute staff evaluated a uniquely structured program in Delaware: $tand By Me ($BM). For the past decade, the state of

October 8, 2020
Research Report
 

Financial coaching programs are increasingly popular services offered to help people with low and middle incomes navigate their finances. Despite these programs’ growing prevalence, evidence about their effectiveness is still emerging. We evaluated a statewide public-private partnership financial coaching program in Delaware: $tand By Me ($BM). This fact sheet highlights the key findings from analysis of credit

October 8, 2020
Fact Sheet
 

In November 2020, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in California v. Texas, where the plaintiff argues that the entire ACA is unconstitutional in the absence of the individual mandate penalties. Researchers in the Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center have spent much of the past decade compiling evidence on how the ACA has affected individual and family health care coverage, access, and affordability,

October 8, 2020
Brief
 

Federal agencies are increasingly using evaluation and analytics to better understand their programs, partially motivated by the 2019 Evidence Act requirement to boost evidence capacity. Evaluation and analytics are often used to learn and disseminate findings about which programs effectively advance progress and which do not. However, evidence, including that from data analytics and evaluations, can also

October 8, 2020
Brief
 

Joe Biden has proposed increasing Social Security revenue, enhancing Social Security benefits, and expanding Supplemental Security Income, a program that provides cash benefits to low-income older adults and people with disabilities. Our projections show that his proposals would lift more than 1 million people out of poverty in 2021 and cut the poverty rate for adult Social Security beneficiaries over the coming

October 8, 2020
Brief
 

This brief explores how the federal government can invest in enhancements to the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program to fulfill the program’s unmet goal of ensuring low-income families can live in opportunity-rich neighborhoods. As the COVID-19 pandemic highlights and intensifies racial and economic inequalities in the United States, the urgency to identify scalable strategies to broaden geographic (and

October 7, 2020
Brief
 

All Americans need some form of transportation to access employment, education, health care, and other services. But not everyone has equal access to high-quality, reliable, and safe transportation. This fact sheet highlights recommendations for how to increase transportation equity from case studies of four metropolitan regions.

October 6, 2020
Fact Sheet
 

Transportation is key to accessing such opportunities as employment, education, and health care. But not everyone has equal access to high-quality, reliable, and safe transportation. Leaders making decisions about expanding or cutting transportation services often lack clear definitions and measures of equity with which to make these choices. In this report, we examine transportation equity and inclusion in

October 6, 2020
Research Report
 

Women are the fastest-growing incarcerated population in the United States. Despite this drastic increase, correctional institutions often lack awareness and understanding of the victimization that many—if not most—incarcerated women experience before incarceration (Bloom 2015). Many women bring past trauma into prison settings, where they often experience similar violence, abuse, and trauma. In 2017, the

October 5, 2020
Research Report