Each month we will post several articles that are current and relevant to the population we serve, and cover a variety of topics. A summary of the article will be provided, along with a website from which you can obtain a full copy of the article.
Looking for the February 2009 Report? Click here.
Evaluation of the Ohio department of rehabilitation and correction and the corporation for supportive housing's pilot program
Fontaine, J., Nadeau, C. A., Roman, C. G., & Roman, J.
Summary: This is a case study on a supportive housing development in Georgia. The author determines that securing adequate housing is a key component in achieving family well-being and a decent quality of life. The author examines existing literature on welfare-dependent households coping with substance abuse and mental health problems, and how the lack of affordable housing impacts their ability to achieve self-sufficiency. (2009, March 19)
District of Columbia forum on housing options for frequent users of jail and shelter:
Presentation of Urban Institute data analysis, Hall, S.
Summary: Presentation at Reentry Housing Forum, "Reducing the Revolving Door of Incarceration and Homelessness in the District of Columbia." Gives information on the number of people using jail only; shelter only; jail and shelter; jail, shelter, and Fire and Emergency Medical Services (FEMS); multiple spells in each, days in each, and a mental illness disability, for people using the D.C. Jail between October 1, 2004 and March 31, 2008, public emergency shelters between October 1, 2005 and September 30, 2007, and FEMS between January 1 and August 31, 2008. It also presents costs to the three systems providing data. (2009, March 16)
The stimulus package (HR1) and low-income families,
The Urban Institute [Research report] Simms, M.
Summary: This speech, given at the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration, discusses how the stimulus package addresses the policy needs of low-income working families. It focuses on three questions: how it might reduce poverty in the short term; how it might help position service providers for addressing poverty in the long term; and what researchers can do to inform future policies in this area. Efforts are compared to the following goals: increasing wages, promoting job stability and upward mobility, and providing income supports when needed.(2009, March 30)
Low Income Workers
A new minimum benefit for low lifetime earners
Urban Institute [Research report] Favreault, M.
Summary: Despite working hard and playing by the rules over long periods, many workers end up poor in retirement. We propose an enhanced minimum benefit for Social Security that targets long-career workers with low lifetime earnings along with a modest credit that compensates workers for up to three years out of the labor market due to caregiving, unemployment, or poor health. By combining these elements, the proposal provides work incentives, yet recognizes realities facing low-wage workers, many of whom have had intermittent work careers. We show that these proposed enhancements would allow more adults to retire with a secure financial foothold. (2009, March 20)
Improving health insurance markets and promoting competition under health care reform
Urban Institute[Testimony] Blumberg, L. J.
Summary: Current health insurance markets suffer from many shortcomings. Comprehensive health care reform will be necessary to address them. Insurance market reforms and subsidies to make coverage affordable for the modest-income population within the context of a more organized health insurance market are essential strategies. A health insurance exchange can be developed to organize the insurance market and to provide guidance and oversight in achieving reform goals. Making a public health insurance plan option available to purchasers can further promote competition in insurance markets and could be an effective strategy for slowing health care cost growth. (2009, April 22)
Assisting newcomers through employment and supportive services: An evaluation of the New Americans Center demonstration project in Arkansas and Iowa
Urban Institute [Research report] Koralek, R., & Parnes, J.
Summary: The U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (ETA) provided a three-year demonstration grant to Arkansas and Iowa to develop New Americans Centers (NACs) in high immigrant population areas. The purposes of the grant are to promote stability and rapid employment with living wages, speed the transition of new immigrants into communities, assist employers, and enhance local economic development opportunities. This paper is the first report in an ongoing Urban Institute evaluation of the NACs. It focuses on the initial implementation phase of the NACs, highlighting start-up and early operation as well as the types of services participants receive. (2009, February 1).
Best practices for effecting the rehabilitation of affordable housing
United States Department of Housing and Urban Development [Report]
Summary: Two volume report distilling the practices that have been shown to work in many settings to implement the renovation of affordable housing. These best practices are designed to address the challenges to rehab at its development, construction, and occupancy stages. Volume 1 is a comprehensive resource guide to state, local, and federal tools for overcoming barriers. Volume 2 provides analyses of key rehab resources and barriers, and case studies of state and local efforts to overcome major regulatory impediments.(2006, September)
Interim report to Congress on the root causes of the foreclosure crisis
United States Department of Housing and Urban Development [Interim report]
Summary:The problems in the mortgage market are routinely referred to as a "foreclosure crisis" because the level of defaults and foreclosures greatly exceed previous peak levels in the post-war era and, as a result, have drawn comparisons to the levels of distress experienced in the Great Depression. This interim report contains a review of the academic literature and industry press on the root causes of the current foreclosure crisis and a plan for further discussion of policy responses to the crisis.
Better coordination of transporation and housing programs to promote affordable housing near transit
[Report] United States Department of Housing and Urban Development
Summary: Transit-oriented development (TOD) is increasingly recognized as having the potential to improve the quality of life for American households, by creating vibrant, livable communities in proximity to transit. Improved access to transit can reduce transportation costs for working families and mitigate the negative impacts of automobile travel on the environment and the economy. (2008, September)